What makes a game great? (Writing competition)

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Justinde75, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Justinde75
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    Justinde75 VGM Addict

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    I think we can agree that we all love and enjoy games, but WHY do we like them so much?

    Alot of people in all age groups are playing games now, and it looks like only more are going to join the fun. In the current year, gaming covers alot of different genres, and there is something for everybody.

    But what keeps bringing in more players?

    Alot of people play a certain game because their friends play it, or they got interested because they saw a video on the internet, a review or an article. The community plays a huge role in the enjoyment of a game for most people. There is a saying: No road is too long with a friend by your side. I think a healthy and fun community keeps you imterested, and discussions always make you think about the game, outside of the game. Pokémon Go is a great example for this. The game wasn't deep at all, it was basicly a map with some little interactions, but the social interaction and showing how much fun a walk outside can be made it a great experience for everybody (And made the developer's wallets happy too). Trying new things is always important too, but its not a good idea to just focus on innovation and to try to find the hot new thing. People fear change and would rather prefer the same thing over and over again. "Dont fix what isnt broken" is another saying which alot of game devs and console manufacturers go by, but there are Companies like Nintendo that try to innovate the market. Gimmicky controllers and games plague the company while their competition takes over the market. But change is important to keep a series fresh and to make new experiences.

    Personally for me music is extremly important. A boring battle system can easily be forgiven if you have some catchy and great music in the background, and it helps make scenes much more emotional. Touching the player with powerful scenes and getting them to feel the pain and sadness from the character is the greatest thing a game can achieve. But not only negative emotions can come from music, it can cheer the player up, make the boring field a joy to walk over and make the player feel like a badass. A game with no music would be boring and it wouldnt have any personality. When I think about games like Mega Man, Final Fantasy and Persona, I instantly think about the amazing music. Themes like the Mega Man 2 Theme, Aerith's Theme or Burn my Dread are some of my favourites, and I listen to them in the game and outside of the game. I still remember hearing Chrono Triggers soundtrack for the first time. It simply blew me away what they could do with the console. Listening to the soundtrack made me want to go back and replay it multiple times and I kept thinking about the game even after the 5th playthough. I cant really see me grind for hours in ffx if there wouldnt be the amazing battle theme in the background.

    Not only Music is important, fun should be at the top. Why should I play a game that isnt fun and that doesnt make me happy? I would be pretty stupid if I would throw away all my time for a game that I dont enjoy. A game also should have alot of replay value and additional challenges that give the player something to do after they finished the game. A great example for this is the 2nd Generation of Pokémon games. Once you finished the Johto Region, you go into the Kanto region where you can see how it changed and what happened after the events of the first gen. This is both fanservice at its best and gives you way more things to do, plus a really strong fight at the end, which makes the ending even better. Current Pokémon games like the Gen 3 remakes dont have anything fun to do after the end of the game. Sure you have stuff like legendary pokemon to catch, but I didnt enjoy that at all. The funny thing is that Gen 3 is my second favourite Geny but I still didnt like ORAS. Fun can be really different depending on what kind of player you are. Some enjoy 5 hour grinds, and some want to stop playing after 1 hour of grinding. Things like farming and grinding shouldnt be in the focus of the game, so that every type of player can get the most enjoyment out of a game. If somebody wants to fight a superboss, which requires you to level up to lv99, they should be able to, but players who just want to play the main story, should be forced to grind to defeat story bosses. This is very hard to balance since making story bosses too easy could quickly make the game boring, though a difficulty setting would take care of that problem. Alot of people complain that the current Pokémon games are way too easy, so they should give them the option to be more challenged in the game with higher level enemies and stuff like that.

    The feel of a game is very important as well. If you have a game which just feels so nice that you want to run around for the whole time, you did something right. If the game feels bad it instantly kills the fun for alot of people. Fighting games and platformers should feel good and responsive.

    One of my last points I want to mention is discussion. I think its a great idea to hide certain clues in a game to make the fans talk and discuss certain things in a game. This makes the fans stay interested in the series and they have to think alot more about their favourite games. A well written story doesnt shove all the story into your face. The fun comes from puzzling all the different pieces together with the help of friends, to understand the whole story. Some games have blank points so fans can discuss about it, so they keep interested till the next game in the series is released.

    Personally I think it all depends on your tastes. Some enjoy music from games and some think its wierd to listen to video game music outside of the game. A good designer can please all the fans without making others unhappy. Sure, there are the crybabies, but that has to be expected. Out of every thing here, Gameplay and Music are the most important thing for me. I would have a ton of fun with a Level editor that has amazing music, but yeah, thats just me. I would like to hear your opinions on what makes a game great, and I would love to discuss it with everybody here. Goodluck to everybody (Damn is this long, this took me like 1-2 hours haha)

    Stay safe and have a good night/day
     
    Last edited by Justinde75, Mar 7, 2017
  2. VinLark

    VinLark This machine kills bourgeois sentimentality.

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    I didn't see writing competition and thought this was just a block of text. You can really try to break up that text into other paragraphs and indent (or maybe that's just me i've been having to write essays all week)
     
  3. Justinde75
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    Justinde75 VGM Addict

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    Um its literally in the title
     
  4. VinLark

    VinLark This machine kills bourgeois sentimentality.

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    Yeah now I see it.
     
  5. Justinde75
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    Justinde75 VGM Addict

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    Changed it, hope its easier to read now
     
  6. hobbledehoy899

    hobbledehoy899 Conniption Master

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    Games should always be fun to play, don't give me political artsy bullshit that isn't even representing your movement/opinion in good light.
     
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  7. Justinde75
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    Justinde75 VGM Addict

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    What are you talking about?
     
  8. hobbledehoy899

    hobbledehoy899 Conniption Master

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    This is a writing competition, is it not?
     
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  9. Justinde75
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    Justinde75 VGM Addict

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    Sorry, but this isnt really constructive criticism.
     
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  10. hobbledehoy899

    hobbledehoy899 Conniption Master

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    Some things just aren't constructed at all.
     
  11. Chary

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    Uh. I don't see a hint of "political artsy" stuff here. It's a discussion on what components make a game good. He gives examples to show his point. There's a few grammatical errors, and he could stand to elaborate on his points, but your criticism doesn't make sense here.

    EDIT: you want political artsy stuff, go read a Polygon article that rattles on about how inane things affect gaming. That is not this.
     
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  12. Justinde75
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    https://gbatemp.net/forums/the-edge-of-the-forum.8/

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Sorry about the grammer errors, my English isnt perfect, but I try to do my best as a native German speaker
     
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  13. lcie nimbus

    lcie nimbus 100th degree asskicker

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    gonna have to write with all my soul to top this...
     
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  14. ned

    ned GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    What makes a good game? a game that engages you into it's storyline without cumbersome controls that draws you back for more whilst bringing up
    shocks and turns you don't see coming a mile off.
     
  15. Justinde75
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    Justinde75 VGM Addict

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    Exactly. A well written story is very important.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Are you sure? I dont think íts that good.
     
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  16. HavengulZenith

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    Edit: Deleted whole post. I thought this thread was the topic of a writing contest you were hosting, not a response. My bad.
     
    Last edited by HavengulZenith, Mar 8, 2017
  17. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Nice writing. If I were you, I'd make "why do we like games?" the title (what "makes a game great" implies a more in depth explanation of factors rather than a summing up of reasons...it'd be a good introduction to a much longer article, though :) ), but that's just my opinion. :)

    What I think makes games great depends on the genre. On visual novels this is how fast the story draws me in and has an original setting...on RTS'es I want to be able to slowly turtle up and defend while preparing for attacks...FPS'es need great controls...RPG's shouldn't piss about with their fantasy setting...rocksmith shouldn't throw me in the deep end...

    I can go on and create a very personal list for pretty much, well, all games that I think are great, and probably end up pretty controversial at some points*.


    *If I want to think Sonic '06 is a great game because it has a beautiful skybox, nobody is going to stop me! :P
     
  18. Justinde75
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    I like pretty much all sonic games so haha
     
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  19. B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N

    B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N oh no

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    There are a few elements that I think help make or break a game. Grab a seat, this might take a while:

    Style -> Style should never take priority over substance, but that's not to say it's not important. Giving your game some set of style, whether it be a music style, art style, or gameplay style (Yes, style can carry over into gameplay!), helps create a unique identity for a game. It can create emotions within the player, give the game an identity that sticks in your head, and occasionally (OCCASIONALLY! Don't count on this) salvage bad or mediocre gameplay. That's not to say a game with little style can't be great, but style certainly helps.

    JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future is a good example of a stylish game. Owing its existence to an already-pretty-stylish manga series (which would later be adapated into an anime and spawn several memes), the game is filled with creative, exaggerated characters and their stands, which utilize special and unique forms of attack. Not that the game is skimping on gameplay, but its cast of characters, moves, and abilities certainly create a style that establishes the game.

    Exploration -> Good games usually have some features, be it characters, items, areas, moves, or what have you, that one might never encounter. Keep in mind that when I say exploration, I don't necessarily mean giant 3D open-ended worlds that you can explore, and I don't necessarily mean non-linear progression. Exploration can come in the form of discovering content, such as unlocking (or accidentally encountering) a secret character in a fighting game, completing an optional side-quest to unlock an ability, or something as simple as taking an alternate path. Give us content that we have to work for, to give some sense of accomplishment.

    Mega Man X3 is a good example of this without being an open-world game. The game is linear for the most part, but there are items to discover (Extra Health, Capsule Upgrades, etc.), in addition to an entirely optional boss that determines how events will play during the end of the game, which, on top of that, determines if you'll get an ultra-powerful weapon or not. There's a lot of content and choices in this game, despite the fact that, for the most part, the game plays more or less like your typical Mega Man game.

    Growth -> A lot of good games have some sort of sense of growth throughout the length of the game. This can come in many forms, whether it be actually upgrading the player character with items or abilities, or foreshadowing the Final (or not Final) Boss near the start of the game. It's very rewarding to reach the end of the game and reflect on how your character (or skills) have grown.

    Ocarina of Time is a good example. You start the game as a 10 year-old elf boy rolling in grass to get enough money to buy a shield, and by the end of the game, you're a fully-grown elf man with the Master Sword, Bombs, Hover Shoes, Three Shields, Three Tunics, Arrows, and countless other tools at your disposal to help you defeat Ganondorf, the King of Thieves, who has taken over all of Hyrule.

    The Metroid games are also a good example of showcasing Growth. The games give you a variety of items throughout the game so that by the time you reach the Final Boss, you're pimped out with Missiles and Abilities you didn't even know existed at the start of the game.

    Story -> While story is not required to make a good video game (as Miyamoto seems intent on showing), good stories can enhance a video game and evoke feelings, thoughts, and emotions within the player. Some genres, like the JRPG, are built on story.

    When making a story for a game, it's important to make sure that the scope of the story fits the scope of your game. Some games like Sonic 06 give us overly-convoluted plots that only detract from the gameplay, forcing us through hours of cutscenes. On the other end of the spectrum, we have New Super Mario Bros. 2, where the plot is essentially Mario rescuing the Princess from Bowser again, giving us really little motivation to rescue her when we've seen enough Melee matches to know the Princess is more than capable of rescuing herself. A little more plot would've been nice.

    If you're going to make a large story for a game like an RPG or something, you might want to avoid using straight character archetypes and tropes. Not saying a straight story with these characters can't be good, it's just that said archetypes and tropes are likely to be familiar and thus, boring, to your audience. Try tweaking or playing with these elements; you can come up with more creative characters and situations that way.
     
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  20. Justinde75
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    If a game has a alot of personality its way harder to forget thats for sure.