I play alot of games every now and then when I have time and there are a few things that really make a game interesting for me and make me want to play longer.
--------------------Months on end of Gameplay
I think for me games are always better when you can play them for months on end and still have thing to do with the game and still be trying to complete the game. I think as you get older that does get harder because games get easier but I think that a game with loads of levels and loads of challenges is one thing that always keeps me engaged in a game. Having lots to do in a game for me makes it more fun as opposed to finishing the game in a week and needing a new game. I know some games don't have levels and all that but as long as it has loads of things to unlock or collect or something to keep the game going then I will enjoy the game
--------------------Interesting Character & Quotes
I think for me in a game when there are fun characters it makes the game more entertaining if there are characters you enjoying seeing in action. I think it's always good for the characters in games to have interesting quotes that are addictive and memorable. An example of this in SSX Tricky the cometary used to say " It's the only trick you ever knew" in a really funny mockery way which used to make me laugh every time. Stuff like that make the game more fun and involving.
--------------------Location, setting, good graphics
I think that a good game will have good graphics and have a variety of different locations and settings to fit it's genre. There is nothing worse to me than playing a game tat looks the same for hours on end. It doesn't have to be dramatic changes but I mean even a classic game such a Burger Time which is really old every level looks quite different which is good and makes me think yes new challenge.
For me when playing a game it's always good to have some good music in the background at varies point in the game such as loading, menus and even Gameplay itself. The reason I think good music is good is because for example when you are waiting for menus to load it's boring especially if it takes long and music helps with the wait. Also when your playing the game you want something you game jam to and get you pumped to put everything into the game. For me the music is a bit of a motivational thing when playing games so I like when it's something fun, relaxing, aggressive or whatever to fit the genre of the game.
I hate games that when you die you just jump back up and start were you left of because it's a little bit unrealistic. I think it's better if your forced to go backed to the beginning or complete the level again or something like that because it's makes me personally take more care when playing and get into the game more because I know I all my effort is required if I want to successfully finish the level or game.
These are the main things really that make a game good for me and make me want to play more and more. I don't expect all in every game I play because each point really can't apply to every genre of game. As long as a game I'm playing has one or two then I will enjoy playing it. The only point that is mandatory is the first one because I generally hate games that I can complete or get tired of in a week.
There is currently a huge influx of FPS (first person shooter) titles being released at the moment. The genre is already massively to crowded and it doesn't help that developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch have teamed up to release a Call Of Duty game once a year.
The fact that Medal Of Honour (Reboot) will be released quite soon, Call Of Duty Black Ops and Halo: Reach means that people just won't bother buying First Person Shooters anymore. Also with multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2 for example, it extends the game indefinitely with the amount of weapon unlocks and skills you can apply to your character!
Many First Person Shooters also utilise many of the same mechanics. For example with the Call Of Duty titles, the aim mechanic where you can look down your sights is still the same throughout the games. Weapon variety is also extremely lacking, with many guns such as shotguns, machine guns and rocket launchers appearing in multiple games with no real innovation. The only FPS games that change these around is the Resistance franchise. Made by the same developers as the Rachet and Clank series (Insomniac Games), the weapons, environments and locations are extremely imaginative and more games need to be created like this!
The World War 2 genre is also extremely overused with games such as Call Of Duty: Modern warfare giving gaming audiences what they finally wanted- a change of scenery, weapons and characters.
In essence, developers need to move away from the 'play it safe' state of mind (easy money for them) and really experiment and give the customer a unique product! This is how they make games good, by constantly making sequels (such as COD) that the gaming audience constantly laps up (not bashing COD, because it is a great game, however they won't change the formula, because the industry is afraid of losing money)!
Unfortunately the gaming world has become saturated with low quality games. You all know the kind I am talking about - games based on movies, games that badly imitate others and a few more games based on movies!
I have been a gamer for a good long time now. Im not as retro as some people but I was around when the SNES and the Mega drive were considered to be the top dogs of the gaming world! The question "What makes a great video game?" immediately screams the word ZELDA at me. I'm a huge nintendo fan and without a shadow of a doubt I believe the Zelda franchise to be a collection of the greatest games ever. Obviously Ocarina of time sits on the top of that list!
If I try to describe what makes Zelda so ruddy fantastic I find myself wanting to play it. I will try and get a grip for 10 minutes though. Zelda follows the adventures of Link as he tries to save the damsel in distress from the bad guy (thats in a nutshell by the way it has more depth!).
I think graphics are quite important for a great game but do not think they are the most important thing. If you look at Ocarina of time it isn't very good graphically by todays standards! However when it came out it was quite breathtaking! There are however games out today with stunning graphics but they are simply dreadful games. I like a game to have no loading times once you are in play. The nintendo has never had very long loading times but if you think back to the PS1 and the PS2 some games would load whenever it pleased. Thankfully the PS3 has a hard-drive so all loading is done before the gaming starts.
For me a hugly important aspect of games is the storyline. It needs to capture the audiance and make you either become the character or identify with them. The greatest storyline driven game in my opinion is Metal gear solid 4, which has only recently come out. I was entranced by what was happening. On my first play through my completion time was 19 hours. The crazy thing is I expect over half of that was cut scenes that continued the story. One scene was over an hour long and I was in awe for all of it. The graphics are important for longer cutscenes. The watching was mad much easier by the movie like graphics.
The gameplay obviously is important. The zelda games for me have the best gameplay. The control of the character and weapons are miles above any other game. Some will argue that you can dothings with gameplay on the PS3 that the nintendo 64 couldn't even dream of. It doesnt matter however how simple the gameplay, all that matter is how well it is done. A great example here is the wii. The game wii sports has some pretty simple gameplay. Bowl a ball, swing a racket. However due to the actual experiance of swinging the wii-mote something so simple has been presented in away that will keep a family mezmerised for hours on end!
Music is of great importance. MetalGear Solid and Zelda have always had amazingly music that could make your spine shiver. They fail in comparison to the music in Final Fantasy Vii however. The score has been released time and time again on CD in many different versions. It is simply put AMAZING!
Just to humour myself I think ill write a little list of the greatest games of all time:
Zelda: Ocarina of time and twilight princess
Final Fantasy VII
Pokemon on gamboy (you heard!)
MGS 1 through 4
Those are the games that have spoken to me in recent years. I personally think the new Grand theft auto was good but not great. The reviewers that gave it perfect scores should be ashamed! GTA has never really pushed my buttons however so I am biased! Other games that are less well known but still great include things like
Tales of Symphonia
Super Smahs bros
Shadow of the collosus
Pro evo soccer
There are a few multiplayer games that obviously cannot offer much in the way of storyline but they do make up for it with the fun you ave with your mates! Smash bros is a great example of this. It is the best fighting game ever to be released and is the game I have stacked up most hours on.
Other things that can make games great are originality. When I first played Shadow of the collosus I thought "Is this it". It takes around 3 hours to ride around a world on horse back fighting some truly huge boss battles and only boss battles. I soon realised the game was something special (possibly when fighting a boss the size of a skyscraper). Also the popularity of a game can add to its greatness. I do not mean if a game is very popular it is better. I mean if no one knows of a game but you then it can be more special. I completed Tales of Symphonia after buying it on a whim. No one else had heard of it as the Tales series isn't amazingly popular in the UK. I do advise all RPG fans to go out and buy it. It rivals FFVII!
Ive just noticed that the picture for this topic is Call of duty 2. This game was good as a single player but was more importantly the game that I first played online against people from around the world. Being my first experiance of such a huge scale multiplayer it was indeed great!
Thanks for reading if you made it this far. That was a late night rant that I hope you enjoyed
Peace - Rob :)
Stop and think. Some of the best video games were on the older consoles many many years ago. The likes of Jet Set Willy on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, or even Breakout on the ZX81... how I remember playing that for hours. My first memory of computer games was on a Grandstand Games System. Playing Ping Pong, knocking a sqaure dot that represented a ball, with a bat, well a line really. Sound was a beep here and if memory serves me right, the same beep when you scored. Sounds rubbish by todays graphical all singing games, but myself and my family used to spend hours on these games.
Are the games of today better? Well, they are certainly more captivating. The advance in graphics really make you feel part of the game. Awesome sound makes some games very atmospheric. So in that way, yes they are better. However, when I look back at my gaming youth, I certainly spent longer, playing these simple games. The latest PS3 or XBox 360 offerings get played a lot for a week, then this levels off, then they find themselves shelved.
Maybe the games have stayed the same, and it is just what we expect that is far greater. My advanced brain (ahem) would probably not get any sort of entertainment from the simple bat and square ball from my Pong days.
Personally no matter how good the graphics are in this game it still seems to be very generic.
Personally for good video game it needs good game play, plot and interesting characters to start.
A good sound track helps and makes a big difference to the atmosphere of a game as do good graphics, but a game is nothing without a good plot and interesting characters.
It should also be adaptable so you dont have to travel down a specific route and can explore your surroundings i think that was what was so great about the legend of zelda series especially the ocarina of time it seemed to have all the above characteristics above mentioned, the metroid prime games where great too.
Though it does go without saying that now a days there are far too many games based on movies which i wouldnt feed to my pet goat which are purely based on comercialism.
As far as games go, one must consider the following things:
1. There are too many World War II shooters within the entire first-person shooting range. Why even bother making a WWII shooter when 8 of them are going to be released at the same time as your game, not to mention that 65 of these games are already out on store shelves? Truly, graphics should not mean ANYTHING in this case when video-gamers have gone through World War II so many times that they're starting to recognize the beach levels are looking exactly the same. It is this that needs to die before the designers die from being so lazy on their own work. Allow me to give a suggestion. Instead of focusing on WWII so much, how about you give us different wars to try? The Crusades could make for a rather captivating scenario. Heck, there's your route for the sequels! It'd be like Harry Potter games, but without the kiddy things. (P.S. Yes, I know, interesting that I'm telling all WWII games to go to hell when there is a picture of Call Of Duty 2 right next to this discussion. So sue me.)
2. Better graphics do not solve everything. Not even buggy gameplay. Ask the developers who made "Lair (PS3)". You see, when this game was being developed for the PS3, the graphics were these beautiful things. The mountains looked so good you'd want to step onto them and therefore cause your TV screen to break. Your opponents were so ugly and angry that you wanted to kick them and therefore break your TV screen. And your dragon was so cool-looking that you wanted to make it breathe the awesome fire.....and therefore break your TV screen.
But, in all seriousness, this was actually the only thing the game had going with it. What people did not know until they bought the game was that the. controls. SUCKED. Truly, they did. The game required the Sixaxis controller to be tilted again and again, but the game would not respond to the motions you made. In fact, after gaming websites posted slandering reviews of how horrible the game was, Sony actually sent, and I'm not kidding you, a "Lair: Reviewer's Guide" to all of those critics that put bad reviews on Lair. You see, because of the large amount of publicity being put towards the game, there was no way the company wanted the game to fail. Yet, it did. And why? The graphics were the only good thing.
Now, that should be a good example for you companies, but I'd like to add even more to this long list. Another thing that I have also noticed is that most games that tend to get masses of publicity, due to similarities and controversies, are the more modern games that 'simulate' real life. For example, the Grand Theft Auto games have gotten such outcry for being a simulation of a criminal's life. Personally, I feel there should be none, but why have these modern games come out with graphics that supposedly 'reflect life exactly'? Honestly, if I wanted to see anything similar in the game and life, I would prefer to see real life. My reason is that there are those who claim that games are becoming so close to reality. If so, then they wouldn't be able to tell between what is real and what is not. Hallucinations, in other words. It's already happening to kids, is it not? You see, this is why games that are made up completely from the mind, and not the actual settings we currently are in. The world of "Myst", for example, is what turned it into an absolutely beautiful game, made with rich and pure graphics for it's time. Why? Because it was not similar to real life at all. It was made completely from the creator's mind. Their imagination created this whole world into the game, not deriving from anywhere on our planet.
Do you need proof that games can be made like that? Of course, and with my own pleasure to introduce, "Spore". This game is being created by Sid Meier. "Oh, but what's so important about it?" Well, for one, it allows you to make your own species and civilization. Yes, you will be able to make your own worlds and make their lifestyles. Not only that, but you can visit other people's worlds and observe what sort of creativity the human mind carries (unlike most video game developers). It is, I think, one of the most innovative and unique ideas for a game EVER.
3. Repetition is one of the most annoying bits in games because, as the word means, you have to do things over and over and over and over and over and......over. So what exactly can you do to make your game not be like that? Well, for one, let the player decide what to do in these situations in order to learn from them, not decisions that are on a linear scale. Also, rewards wouldn't be too bad to put in. Truly, when I finish a game, I want some major payback in return for the effort I put into it, not for me to go through the game in a harder version. Make videos, create minigames, do whatever it takes to keep the player interested in your game.
With these ideas in mind, I recommend you video game creators start developing games immediately. New options are present for those who wish to make games, like the Nintendo Wii is now showing "Wiiware" and PS3 is showcasing user-made games on their "PSN". Games are like all other media, including books. In fact, I quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Book are meant to inspire, not to be divine." Therefore, allow your creations to inspire future creators for their own inspirations.
Thank you for the time,
If any game developers are reading this, I am sure some insight should be found from the following views.
With the gaming industry now growing faster than ever, most firms within the industry are all too eager to create that new IP that will become the new cash cow.
Unfortunately there are far too many sub standard profit driven games and yet people are all too often willing to buy them. The McDonalds of video games, Electronic Arts is a perfect example of this, constantly churning out more rubbish (based directly off market research) to make a quick profit.
Peter Molyneux is well known for articulating his desire to achieve the ultimate gaming experience. Yet, many would argue that his projects dont quite match up to the promises. When one has played hundreds of games since the introduction of the 8 bit consoles in the early 80s, one begins to recognize the key aspects which truly create an immersive and fun experience.
With improvements in technology games have become more sophisticated, pushing more polygons and environments with greater realism. As many would agree, a more powerful platform doesn't necessarily mean a superior platform. On the other hand how the platform is designed can be crucial to what kinds of games are suited to the system. Super Mario 64 is still perhaps one of the best 3-D platform games ever and still today it looks good. The N64 was designed to make such a concept work well on the system.
The key elements
A game can achieve an immersive experience by either creating a strong narrative with character development or simple fun factor or a combination of both. One of the reasons I prefer Japanese developed games over their Western couterparts is the attention to narrative, character development and detail. Western developed games all too often have narratives that are unimaginative. Games such as Splinter Cell, dont give much of an insight into the characters personalities and backgrounds; they all just seem too wooden. On the other hand the story development in Kojimas Metal Gear Solid series could easily be made into a manga novel.
Game play is an aspect that is dependent on what the developers wish to achieve. Although some games require realism they dont all need to be too complex, a game with simple game play mechanics can be fun too as long as it has depth.
Art & Design
The art and design of a game is perhaps one of the most crucial elements to making a game interesting. All too often people discuss the graphics and realism within a game yet they ignore the art, design & style. This includes the menu system, layout, colours and the chosen environments. The opening of Half Life 2 has a very interesting layout, from leaving the train station and walking through the town square. Unfortunately this soon changes with some very bland and repetitive locations such as sewers and corridors. Fear is perfect example of a game with extremely depressing and dull environments.
One reason why Resident Evil games have been successful is the use of interesting environments. Initially Resident Evil 2 was set to take place in a modern office style police station; however this idea was quickly scrapped as Capcom decided it would be more interesting to set the police station in a 19th century style building. Its better to make the game shorter and more interesting than attempt to drag it on with repetition.
Finally, perhaps what is the most important to creating a great game (other than investment & money) is the imagination to develop and create new ideas.