What are the keys to making a great game?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Logan97, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Logan97

    Logan97 G.B.A.T.e.m.p T.e.m.p.l.a.r K.n.i.g.h.t

    Dec 24, 2013
    United States
    Where all things matter
    What are the Keys to making a great game?

    What do you think that has to have to be perfect, and up against its counterparts? It can be any genre that seems to be lacking the most or less that no one recognize, because of the high replay value (Pokémon X & Pokémon Y) for example.
  2. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

    Aug 22, 2013
    United States
    Away from this shithole
    Depends by the genre. What should never be missing is fluid controls, though. And a difficulty select.
  3. GameWinner

    GameWinner Take your heart

    Jun 14, 2009
    United States
    Interesting characters.
  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Global Moderator
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    A perfect balance of all constituent elements with special attention given to those which are defining for the genre. I know this is an umbrella statement, but I really think that no matter how good everything is, if one element is bad in the mix, it will stand out and screw up the whole enjoyment of the game. A perfect game has to look good, sound good and play good, really - you either do everything right or your product is visibly flawed. Naturally, you can never reach perfection, and this is where sequels come into play. Game design is a neverending pursuit of something you can never really achieve... but you can get damn close to reaching it, so you try your darndest (or not, at your own peril).
    Bobbyloujo likes this.
  5. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    I'm not saying Stan Bush's "The Touch" is the key to a great game, but it is featured prominently in both Saints Row 4 and Shadow Warrior, and both of those titles are rollicking good times.

    Coincidence? Probably, but I'll pretend otherwise.
    megahunter likes this.
  6. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    United States
    Steal other peoples ideas.
  7. Logan97

    Logan97 G.B.A.T.e.m.p T.e.m.p.l.a.r K.n.i.g.h.t

    Dec 24, 2013
    United States
    Where all things matter
    How? this is way different from the games you shouldn't buy. I'm just using the game name as an example... Look before you even comment :glare:
  8. Clarky

    Clarky Don't you know who I think I am?

    Oct 4, 2007
    United States
    polish usually helps
  9. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    United States
  10. cdoty

    cdoty GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 14, 2009
    United States
    Balanced game play.

    Using the EA NHL series as an example: Each year the game looks better, plays smoother, and is more realistic, and problems usually just result in humorous moments. But they've broken the game several times with poorly balanced game play. There have been several years where it was frustratingly difficult to score.
  11. BlackWizzard17

    BlackWizzard17 Don't worry Captin we'll buff out those scratches.

    Dec 1, 2012
    United States
    A First Person Shooter.
  12. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 19, 2013
    Gaza Strip
    A bit of each game genre, advertise it properly, keep your customers interested and have cool features for it.
  13. nukeboy95

    nukeboy95 Old skool member

    Aug 24, 2010
    United States
    The left side
    Community, take a game like Ingress with out a big community the game is boring.
  14. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    Dividing gameplay into sections of challenge and reward that are shorter than the audience's attention span for the given activity.
  15. p3rand0r

    p3rand0r Advanced Member

    Mar 10, 2014
    On the ⌨
    well ...
    3 things
    1.innovation: do something no one has done before
    2.story : put an awesome story
    3.graphic: put some great graphic
    4.talk to the masses : make a game that anyone can find them self , show that you can do it , it doesnt take a special person to do what the boy/girl/thing can do in the game
    5.marketing : a lot of bad games out there with good reviews
    6.multiplayer : no words here
    7.simple controls and small learning curbe yet brain/reflexes challenging
    8.a pair of hot girls helps........allot :tpi:
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    First I would argue until we get to AI that is functionally human then single player vs multiplayer has to be taken into account. Along the same lines you probably can not have an all things to all people until such a day, and even then you have to wonder how augmenting a weaker player to be as good as a good one works out. More generally humans are not as good at providing certain sorts of challenge that more mathematical or AI driven things can, even if only because a human player would get bored doing things on my schedule and vice versa.

    However even without AI augmenting things I still have to ask what a game is. It turns out it is surprisingly hard to nail down.

    Going a bit more into the real world I would argue DOTA/MOBA/LOL and co are terrible games -- having a weaker player on your team is a liability and that means you immediately race headlong into elitism. It goes further and I also take issue with all the stupid mechanics like tower killing (or possibly the way they are framed). However millions play it and millions are made from them.

    "millions are made from them"... now I am quite happy with art and saleable products being one and the same. I recently saw a video on games that cover depression -- if my game's aim was to highlight the plight of the depressed then money might be a secondary or considerably less required goal.

    Veho's start down the path of game theory, psychology and the like is probably where I would head. However there is a notable lack of such things in game design today and years past, however though there have been good games in spite of this many do seem to be reinventing such things.

    Foxi4 mentions things sounding great but I often play things without sound or sub in my own sounds, games and devices with this feature are often applauded for it.

    On realism... in some cases it can be nice. In others I am all for pure abstraction, deliberate deviations from realism are also something that is done -- what if pi was not 3.14159...... Not a great question in physics as you usually have things to do but makes for a nice thought experiment and good teaching tool from time to time.

    Speaking of teaching not all games are purely about fun.

    innovation was mentioned.... the numbers probably say otherwise. Equally if we are doing iterative game design to reinvent game theory and psychology, or simply subjecting the code to a beta test with several million players, then polish comes into play. Equally some have argued the hero's journey concept speaks to something deeper in human psychology.

    I have never been one to say endings make a game, indeed "finishing" a game is not something I am driven to do. Likewise intros are a popular subject of discussion these days and otherwise enjoyable games have been seen to have bad ones.

    In the end it is a very hard question. I would say make sure the mathematical model that underpins your game is mostly sound (not the easiest) and you have a good UI to interact with it. If you have something that also speaks to the psychology of humans then you will probably up your game again.
    Whenever I make, tweak or review a game I find myself quite concerned with the former.
  17. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    Pretty much everything?

    Usually if you lack one of the elements then you're game is lacking. Lack good gameplay and it's boring. Lack good graphics and it's an eyesore. Lack good score and SFX and it's dull. Lack enough play value and it's a waste of money.

    It's kinda like a movie. You can't just have a good script and make a good movie, you need good direction, good score, good actors, and good visual effects.
  18. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Oct 11, 2011
    A good storyline.

    Other then that, good controls and good physics is also a must.
  19. lampdemon

    lampdemon GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Where the land sea lions live.
    Go watch Extra Credits on youtube, they cover game design concepts and other stuff in short episodes(about 5-8 mins each).
  20. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

    Oct 31, 2011
    Knowing exactly what your target audience is and marketing everything towards making sure that basically everyone within your target audience demographic will be pleased.

    Because there is no universally good game.
    dxplay2128 and EZ-Megaman like this.
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