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What makes a great game?

Posted June 10th, 2008 at 12:03 PM by Eberak
So there was a post in the Forums today that got me thinking about what makes a great game.

So I figured I would put my thoughts down in my blog and see what I came up with.

The game must be fun, no one likes to play a game that is not fun, that is why it is called a game for crying out loud.

The game must be simple to learn. It is no fun to have to wade through pages and pages of rules to learn how to play. We have all played games like this and most of the time they do not last, because no one can play because they get board with reading the rules.

The game must not only be simple to learn, but difficult to master. This is something that I feel is very important. If a person can master a game in a matter of minutes it is really worthless. An example of this would be when me and my brothers got our first Nintendo Entertainment System and we got the game Contra. My brother and I beat it in about 3 hours. After that it lost all its appeal and we rarely picked up again after that. On the other hand, chess is really simple to learn how to play, this peice moves like this and that one like that, but to master??? That can take a life time.

A good game must bring people back, not because the game is just plain fun, though that is important, but because a person wants to get better at it. Another example would be D&D. I use to play it all the time, I would pour over the books and look at how I wanted to develop my Charector. I kept coming back because I wanted my Charector to become what I felt it could. It was such a joy to level up that I looked forward to that more then actually killing the dragon's and such.

A good game must have some chance of failure, no matter how good you are. The example I have is anything with dice in it. If there is dice in it, no matter how good you are, the dice gods will laugh in your face at some point and bring you down a notch by giving you the gift of poor roles. The reason I think this is a vital part of a good game, is because on those times that the dice are used there is a certain amount of suspence that accompanies it. There is a certain amount of unknown, what if I can't take him down, what if he takes me down. That unknown causes a person to sweat just a bit and adds a tramendous amount of excitement to the game.

A game must include others in the game. Solitare is a fun game, but I would not call it a great game. When a person is faced with an opponent, the game becomes much more involved and much more entertaining. There is a sense of competition that stirs the mind and heart into a desire to win. So when that win comes it is great! but when the win does not come there is a sense of loss and a sense of "Next Time"

A great game needs to have a high level of skill, something that brings long time players back for more. There needs to be something that seperates noobies, like myself, from seasoned vets, like everyone else. Skill is a great part of a good game.

I am sure there are many other things that make a great game, these are just some random thoughts from a noob.
Total Comments 1


Mr Migraine's Avatar
Bravo, Ebrak.

That's some good insight there. I definitely agree with #3. A game that anyone can master in a day is no fun at all.
Posted January 1st, 2009 at 12:25 AM by Mr Migraine Mr Migraine is offline
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