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codeman_nz

What makes a game fun

18 posts in this topic

I know there is no right answer so what does everything think what makes a game fun for them?

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What about graphics?  Do they contribute to the game's fun-ness or do they not matter so much?

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many things, maybe even unlimited amount of things, to long list to mention

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The only thing that makes any game fun, is players. Glorious players! The good, the bad, the new, the old and everything in between. And if you want to make players feel great, give those players' spectators! Games are nothing without these. No matter how rad they may seem.

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the touches on what i call the "reward feedback loop".

 

its seems that many games that aren't pure chance have a "reward feedback loop" as part of the basic game mechanic.

 

the player does something, and receives feedback. actions that move the player towards success in the game provide rewards.

 

this can be seen at both the micro and macro levels:

 

"reward feedback" at the micro level:

player turns left (action), car turns left (feedback), avoids hazard (reward).

player turns right by accident (wrong action), car turns right (feedback), player hits hazard (penalty).

 

as for the loop part:

1. player kills stuff to get treasure

2. player uses treasure to get gear to kill more stuff

3. goto 1.

 

 

when i was first designing Caveman, the loop was "find stuff to make stuff".  This turned out to be too simple.   So skills were added.    So now its more like "find stuff to make stuff" and "find and make stuff to learn skills", and "find stuff, make stuff, and use skills to do things".  

 

the point is that all fun games seem to have this reward feedback loop where positive actions on the part of the player are rewarded. and a multi-step loop ( do A to get B to get C which make you better at doing A) seems to make for a more interesting game. OTOH, arcade shooters are fun , and sometimes just have a simple, "hit something - increase score" type reward feedback loop.

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Just as some people must have good graphics, I must have a story of some kind, and the game play must match the story.

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Graphics is the "bait" and content (what the player can do and the story) is the "hook" of a game (for me). My two latest favorites are Fallout3 (also Fallout New Vegas) and Skyrim. They both have great graphics, but what makes them worth playing over and over again is the sheer volume of content available to the player. I find myself wanting to start over just because of the challange of staying alive long enough to develop my character to the point that it's no longer a challange.... Vicious cycle....

So, I think the most interest for me is the survival challange. Scavenging, avoiding obvious dangers, collecting neccessary supplies, etc...
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Emotional gratification and positive reinforcement.

1.
excitement
adrenaline rush
"social emotes"
being cool
silliness
making a mess

2.
Make a choice.
Do and accomplish something.
Feel good or get rewarded fairly -- too much and too little are both not fun.

immediate gratification
winning
doing the extra-ordinary
simplicity (vs absurd complexity)
misusing things for unintended purposes

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A fun game is one where repetition does not feel boring. Everything in life is about sufficient repetition; therefore, the most important aspect is to make the repetition of the game interesting and immersible.

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Play is fun, play leads to rules, rules create challenge, challenge leads to reward, reward creates competition, competition attracts spectators, spectators creates glory. Glorious, glorious, glorious fun that I'm better at having then you!

 

Play is fun.

 

Play is an interactive, artistic rendering of life. These interactive artistic rendering seem like more fun then real life because real life is too complicated and the rules are riddled with unseen variables and more interconnected then one person could ever know. Life is a great game though, in that it only takes a few years of the 100 or so you can play to learn most of the controls. However the win conditions are vague and the perma death makes much of the mini games too high risk to enjoy but on the whole you can't find a better game for crafting.

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Graphics is the "bait" and content (what the player can do) and the story is the "hook" of a game (for me). My two latest favorites are Fallout3 (also Fallout New Vegas) and Skyrim. They both have great graphics, but what makes them worth playing over and over again is the sheer volume of content available to the player. I find myself wanting to start over just because of the challenge of staying alive long enough to develop my character to the point that it's no longer a challenge.... Vicious cycle....

So, I think the most interest for me is the survival challenge. Scavenging, avoiding obvious dangers, collecting necessary supplies, etc...

This is very similar to me.  Skyrim's story wasn't really my cup of tea, and that's the only reason I haven't replayed it yet.  But I would jump all over a Skyrim clone with a different genre of story (no horror, more romance-fantasy-adventure).  I'd probably scream with frustration if it still had the two MAJOR design problems that drove me crazy in Skyrim (mount not shown on radar and unkillable NPCs) but I'd play it anyway.

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