Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
TechnoGoth

What makes a game "Good"?

This topic is 4627 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

When you play a game and say to yourself that was or is a good gam what about that game made it good? If you have two games of the same type one good the other bad. What in you mind makes one Good and the other one bad? Is it the features? the graphics? story? replayability? flexibility? or something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
The only definitive answer I can give you is the same answer for what is good art: the longer it keeps your attention, the better it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My advice is to go play some games. Sounds like you need some inspiration ;)

I like Tekken. And I like the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. And I like all of the Super Dodgeball games. There's no way I can describe one quality they all have that make them fun. I need a theme to input some opinion.

Tekken is better than Virtua Fighter because the attack moves are more intuitive. RTK is better than Command & Conquer because there's more strategy and planning, as well as all of China as the territory to conquer. Super Dodgeball is better than tennis because it's way cool how the little dudes get whacked across the screen when you nail them with the ball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It needs to be able to flow smoothly, to grasp your attention and hold with it.
Something that you could always play no matter how many times you beat it.
It needs to be able to still stand even while graphics continue to improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
When you play a game and say to yourself that was or is a good gam what about that game made it good? If you have two games of the same type one good the other bad. What in you mind makes one Good and the other one bad? Is it the features? the graphics? story? replayability? flexibility? or something else?


(I'll assume video games, but most should apply to board and card games.)

Easy to learn, hard to master. For me to enjoy a game, I need to be able to be competitive relatively quickly. This doesn't mean "good", but it does mean "don't get my ass handed to me every 5 seconds".

Number of hours it can keep me entertained. I don't have a lot of money to spend on games or much time to spend learning new games. This means I need a game that I can keep playing. Replayability is important only in so far as it adds to hours of enjoyment.

Doesn't require a huge time investment. Sometimes I only have 20 minutes to play. Sometimes I can't play for a several days in a row.

Feels "solid". Graphics, sound, interface, programming, etc. are important in so far as they enhance/hinder the game's style. They needn't be great, just consistent.

Story is important in RPG's, adventure games, and sometimes puzzle games (Myst, not Minesweeper). Otherwise, story isn't important, but its mere existence helps (Doom would've been great without a story, but the story did help some).

Examples:

Tetris: Probably the greatest game ever. Exteremely easy to learn, but always room for improvement (made it to level 15 once, but I've heard of higher. *twitch* *twitch* Makes the fastest paced FPS seem to crawl!). How many hours have I watched those falling blocks? A game or two can easily be squeezed in and I don't miss anything if I skip out for a week.

Minesweeper: Up there with Tetris. Any nay-sayers should realize that more man-hours have probably been wasted on this game than any other. Very well designed. Great interface. Always more patterns to recognize, and can always recognize old ones faster.

Zelda series: Always have a great feel and an entertaining story. The controls aren't hard, and it's always fun to swing your sword at things for a few minutes.

Fallout series: I'll admit, I have a thing for the that high-tech, run-down feel (steam punk?). I also have a thing for that retro look. Well put together games. Pipboy gives enough information to get back up to speed after not playing for a while. Also, there's really no secret mix to a good character. Most setups work well enough. Story was good but didn't get in the way.

Infantry: Man, haven't played that since it went pay to play, but it's another all-time favorite of mine. The slower paced 2D combat made it easy to be competitive, but there was still plenty of room for finesse and skill. Customizable characters allowed you to change play styles if things were getting a little boring. (Never seen that style of CTF anywhere else. Loved that twin peaks map.)

Final Fantasy series: Great where the story didn't get in the way of the game play or vice versa. Have a distinctive "feel" that keeps me coming back.

MMORPG's in general: These usually fail me. I've never found someone who plays exactly as much as I do. If you don't, then one of you will quickly out class the other. Maybe this has improved recently, but the time investment is still high.

RTS's in general: I can't get up to a competitive level fast enough for the game to be entertaining to me or my opponents. I don't play them often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Servant of the Lord
Something that you could always play no matter how many times you beat it.


That's replayability. A game can be absolutely breathtaking but only really be playable once, and I think that game would still qualify as 'good' as long as that single playthrough was worth whatever price you payed for the game. That being said, replayability is certainly something to consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
'Good' is pretty subjective - some people will absolutely love a game that others hate. There do seem to be some general things you can apply to improve the quality though:

Intuitive Controls:
The player should be thinking about the game, not about the controls. For example, the player should be worried about jumping the correct distance at the correct time, not about pushing the right button at the right time. This goes for both interface and input devices/setup. The player should never have to think about how to do something as much as possible, but rather about what to do. For a complex game the player might need some time to learn the controls and/or interface, but this should never be a complex process, and shouldn't take a long time.

Easy to play, hard to master:
This seems to be a bit of a golden rule, and has already been mentioned. Players should easily be able to pick up and play the game, but should be challenged if they so wish. The game should avoid frustrating the player if possible, but should provide a challenge appropriate for the player's level of skill (which can be a bit hit and miss, as most games don't adapt much). For a bit on both this and the above, check out Designing Games For Novice Gamers (requires free registration).

Avoid wasting the player's time:
Again, this is already touched on. Did you know that the card games that come installed with Windows are some of the most popular games out there? Have you thought about why? Apart fromt the factor of the gameplay generally being simple and intuitive (and often already familiar), these games respect the player's time. There isn't any splash screen, and no loading time. There isn't a menu to navigate before gameplay. As soon as yo launch the program, a game with the default (or last used) settings is available for the player. Check out the excellent article Designing Games For The Wage Slave.


Anyways, those are just a few points that I personally tend to keep in mind when trying to come up with game designs. It really is quite a subjective thing though. Hope it helps you out. [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's all about the interface baby - easy to use and easy to learn.

Its gotta feel good too... movement wise - thats the difference these days between Quake 2 and say... Half Life or Doom 3..


One is way more clunky and "realistic" feeling. It all depends on taste in that case too though, some people feel Battlefield 2 is way better then Half Life 2. Featurewise i'd agree- but I hate feeling like I'm doing something "realistically" I play games to play games, and I want it to feel arcadeish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has to be complete, with attention on details. The most amazing thing in Half Life 2 is not the advanced physics engine - thats just a bunch of formulas (Yhea, I know, it's a fast and efficient bunch of formulas, but still). The thing that made the game sooooooo good is the attenetion of the developers to details. This game is good beacause they payed attention to every rock and leaf in the game's environment. Thats the key to a good game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I buy games for the same reason I buy movies: I want to be entertained. The art, graphics, sound, music, gameplay, strategy, story, etc. all contribute to the overall product, but usually gameplay is the biggest factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!