Fun-ness

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Post: #31
PowerMacX Wrote:Blink

You know, when you write it down it sounds so... wrong! Rasp

I don't think that's a bad thing, though. To replicate that phenomenon is the holy grail of designing anything "fun".
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Post: #32
Interesting thread.

I agree with djork's post mostly although I think that at least for me the fun is not quite as connected to the theme of the game. I think for example halo would be almost as fun without the aliens, blood, sci fi environments etc.

In my opinion even if you turned all of the graphics and sounds of halo into some completely different theme for example nintendo's cartoony mario style or even colored pieces of paper, it would still be fun. You just have to imagine a first person fire flower with the same spitting viciousness of the assault rifle.


As far as coming up with game ideas, seriously consider just running with some crazy thing you came up with while joking with your friends or while sleep deprived / intoxicated somehow. (Though I do not necessarily recommend use of drugs Rasp)

I thought it would be fun and challenging to create a game with nothing but particle effects, which was an idea that (along with several sillier ideas) spawned off of the single idea of "The axil of terrror", an overly silly spin off of "the axis of evil" that originated as a 4am mispronunciation while playing xbox at a friend's.

The result, mixed with a healthy dose of hard core FPS challenge was Megapixel.

I hope at least and I think several people agree with me that megapixel is a fun game. I think it was made fun by me taking inspiration coming from great existing games like halo and using it as a guide while tweaking all of the guns and enemies. I think all in all I spent most of my time tweaking content and testing over and over.
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Post: #33
I don't really get the whole Halo fascination with fun-ness. It seems like everyone I know either loves it or hates it. The *only* thing I've ever liked about Halo is the single player campaign. There's a story and a point to it, not just killing for a frag. Everyone else I know who loves the game only cares about the multiplayer. They all think I'm a freak, but I think multiplayer Halo sucks. In fact, I am borderline against multiplayer Gears of War too for the same reasons. Those two games focus on a certain rhythm in multiplayer which requires people to pump massive amounts of rounds into opponents for a kill. I know that this will sound somewhat hypocritical, but I much prefer a few shots for a kill over massive lead pumping to do the job in a video game... and here's the hypocritical part -- it just seems to me to be so much more violent to spray massive amounts of lead into an opponent than to just pull the trigger once, accurately and briefly to get it over with. I can't really place a finger on it, but games like Rainbow Six Vegas and Call of Duty seem less aggressive and much more tactical because of this. I say it is hypocritical on my part because you shouldn't see a kill as more violent than any other, but at the same time I'm not afraid to say that there's a difference when it comes to the business of `killing' in a video game. I just don't find the `feeling of killing' in Halo appealing vs. the `feeling of killing' in single shot games like Call of Duty. I can't believe I just said that. Maybe people shouldn't be playing those games after all... Shock

[edit] I forgot to add that I've had many discussions with players on Xbox Live who moved over to Rainbow Six Vegas and were very surprised by how nice everyone was there compared to Gears of War. There seems to be nothing but trash talking in Halo and Gears of War. It's like those flavors of `shoot em dead' multiplayer games tend to bring out the worst in people. Again, I know this sounds terribly hypocritical, but there does seem to be a difference. Of course, then there's Splinter Cell Double Agent which isn't like either of them and the players in that game are the rudest of all that I've ever met, but I digress... [/edit]
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Post: #34
I have never really played a multiplayer game that is more "single shot" based like I guess rainbow six and splinter cell. Except for america's army which I didn't like much, mainly because a) The whole idea of a game as a recruiting tool seems weird to me and b) the actual multiplayer sort of left me feeling frustrated. I didn't like walking around endlessly and then also being constantly sniped from endless different locations and most often dying before I knew I was even in a fight. Any time I did manage to shoot someone it was because they walked right in front of me stupidly without knowing I was there. Maybe I am just not strategic enough, but I really like games like halo more because of all the different possible outcomes of any given fight, more than I saw you before you saw me, therefore I have shot you and you lost.

I guess I don't really ever think about killing people while playing shooters. I think when I play I focus on the structure of the interaction instead of the content. But over all I agree that halo has a more brutal structure to its multiplayer than some other games. Personally I find it more enjoyable.
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Post: #35
Yoggy Wrote:...Except for america's army which I didn't like much, mainly because a) The whole idea of a game as a recruiting tool seems weird to me...
Me too. I didn't really think too much about it before, but now I feel strongly that they should abandon the idea completely and deliberately distance themselves from it. And I want to say this next thought carefully because I do not want to start a political discussion or offend anybody... But... because of the many online conversations I've had with my foreign brethren over the years I've been able to see some different angles about how our country (the US) has been being perceived lately. I think that America's Army somehow helps promote a distorted image that our country is some sort of war-mongering cockroach society on the planet, bent on invading and dominating everything. While I am very proud of our country and our defenders, I am definitely very disappointed with the way we've been being represented. I think that America's Army does not help our image as a country nor as gamers. Games used as political tools are NOT FUN.

Yoggy Wrote:Maybe I am just not strategic enough, but I really like games like halo more because of all the different possible outcomes of any given fight, more than I saw you before you saw me, therefore I have shot you and you lost.
Whereas from my point of view, games like Halo are exactly that -- I see you first or you see me first and that's that. I get very frustrated with that style of gameplay. I respect that there are two very large and distinct camps on these two styles of multiplayer FPSs though.

Yoggy Wrote:I guess I don't really ever think about killing people while playing shooters.
I don't either, I was just getting creeped out about my own words being attached to such concepts. It reminds me of an interview I once saw with Quintin Terratino about Kill Bill. Basically it came down to him saying, violence in movies is fun. Violence in real life is not fun. They're two different things. I agree with that, but it's still creepy sometimes to identify parallels.
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Post: #36
I can't recommend A Theory Of fun more Wink.
I don't really think it matters if a game is violent, I mean its fun because your learning the game, learning that patterns of enemy placement ect., that doesn't mean you should make a game about sticking people with knives though....
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Post: #37
ccccc Wrote:that doesn't mean you should make a game about sticking people with knives though....

Why not? If you make it a FPS, it will be quite different, having to sneak around to come close to your enemy so they cant spot you and run away or perhaps shoot you. I think it could be fun.

I have ever since Marathon Infinity was released wanted to do an assasin FPS style game, where you got hired by people to pull of certain murders and you got information about your target and his whereabouts etc and had to figure out the best way to kill him (and according to the terms of your client). I think such a game could be really fun, I started making a TC for Marathon Infinity for it, which actually was pretty cool, but with todays technology you could make something much more along my original vision. Sure, there are games that are similair or have similair objectives in them, but I would like something more openended and a lot of other stuff that differ from what I've played.

Would it be violent? Yes, but but the point would be to try to find out the best ways to pull of murders without getting caught or killed etc. Could you make it seem less violent? Sure, you could make everything in a weird alien world where things are colourful etc, but I dont think it would be as fun.

"Gameplay Uber Alles. And if you can make it psychedelic too, great!" - Jeff Minter
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Post: #38
Quote:This is an excellent discussion. Personally, I really recommend reading the Theory of Fun book:

http://www.theoryoffun.com/

Cannot recommend this text highly enough; short and simple book, but with invaluable insights.

Also, as previously noted, good beta testers are very, very important. Fortunately, a lot of people will be happy to do this for free. Make sure they test early and test often; the sooner potential flaws and bugs are uncovered, the less time and frustration you'll waste.

"Who's John Galt?"
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Post: #39
BeyondCloister Wrote:I find it is a case of the ideas finding me. Sometimes overhearing a conversation triggers off an idea or seeing something in the street. Playing games can also trigger ideas. I'm sure you have played something and thought "what if it did this instead?". Take that what if as a starting point and move on from there. If the process works correctly you could end up with a game idea that is nothing to do with the game you were playing.
anne34 Wrote:I find it is a case of the ideas finding me. Sometimes overhearing a conversation triggers off an idea or seeing something in the street. Playing games can also trigger ideas. I'm sure you have played something and thought "what if it did this instead?". Take that what if as a starting point and move on from there. If the process works correctly you could end up with a game idea that is nothing to do with the game you were playing.
I don't know if you mods picked this one up, but anne34 appears to be a bot.

'It' did this in 2 other threads.
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Post: #40
Oddity007 Wrote:I don't know if you mods picked this one up, but anne34 appears to be a bot.

'It' did this in 2 other threads.

Nice catch! Yes, it's a bot. It did it in three other threads actually, now that I look at it.
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Post: #41
Look at classic games as well as the games that history forgot -- for example, did you know that Mark Twain invented a board game? ( http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/99231 ) -- read about the history of games and game genres -- try to combine genres (what if I combine SimCity with a sliding tile puzzle?).

Prototype lots of ideas. And... one way you know a prototype is good is when YOU can't put it down even when you're not supposed to be "working" on it! This happened to me with the ninth or tenth idea prototype, which became my first game.

Nothing beats beta-testing in person. An immediate, positive reaction is what you want to look for. Also, sometimes there will be a very specific stumbling blocks for almost every tester, which are incredible helpful to know.
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Post: #42
This is quite the blast from the past. Welcome to the forum, vzykov - which is your first game? And did you beta-test your prototypes in person with an electronic prototype, or paper and pencil?

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
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Post: #43
(Dec 28, 2006 08:42 AM)Zwilnik Wrote:  1. Write games that you want to play and have confidence in from day one. Ideally, you should be able to 'dry run' the game and either play it on paper or mentally play it through. It's also worth trying the two day rule. If you can prototype the game in a weekend and it's playable (and fun) there's a good chance it's a good one.

2. Generally yes, although after debugging them for 3 months non-stop I might not have played them for a while after finishing them Smile

3. Yes. Good testers. Ones that can report bugs properly and still enjoy playing the game. Apart from helping you track down and splat the annoying stuff that makes you feel the game isn't finished, they'll also help keep you enthused about the project.

I agree with having good testers. An additional value to test the fun-ness of your game is to invite external people to play your game to get their opinions. Best is they are your target audience and they can really pinpoint good feedback to your game, even if it's just a prototype. Smile
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Post: #44
good beta testers are a rarity these days, and cost money. I launched early and gathered data using analytic tools. 10000 initial players whose behavior I tracked proved ALL my game design assumptions wrong. It comes at a price of low star ratings, but it helped me understand my games so much better!

About me
I experiment with game analytics. Read about it here
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Post: #45
We found that some of our best beta testers were ... kids. Mainly coz,
1. They don't give a shit about your "feelings". If it sucks, they'll put it down and run away. They won't politely keep playing it and tell you "good job. keep going"
2. They have lots of experience in breaking things Smile.
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