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AuthorTopic: What makes the -playability- of a game?  (Read 1075 times)

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Offline Im>bE

What makes the -playability- of a game?
« on: August 03, 2003, 01:52:38 AM »

Playability, is in my opinion
the core, and adds the most to a game.

As an amateur developer,
I am seriously mega interested
in knowing what exact factors
makes the playability of a game,
because then I can ofcourse use them
in my own games.

Playability and addictiveness
can sometimes be linked,
but is the 'struggle to succede'
the only factor that creates playability?

Maybe it is the right balance, or mix,
of hard and easy gameplay that does it?

Its good when a game has user friendliness
and many options to suit each taste,
but these things will be nothing without
the basic drive to play the game.

It is that drive I am interested in.
What does this drive have?

Maybe one could pack all things
that entails playability
into a list of keywords...?

Exploration...(what is beyond the mountain)
Danger...
Surprises...(unexpected things happen)
Releave... (survived something dangerous)
Growth... (getting a better player/army)
(more?)...

PS: I will steal and use your thoughts
when I develop ofcourse.
Hopelessly addicted to the world\'s best strategy game.
Total Chaos on YouTube
 

Offline bloodline

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Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2003, 01:54:43 AM »
For me it has to be control!!!!!

Offline MikesterBrau

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2003, 02:12:11 AM »
   Well, I have always found that the most addictive games have mastered the art of incremental rewards.  Wether it be levels in an RPG or advancing the research tree in a turn based strat. it is what gets you to play a few more turns or until I level then it is 4am and I know work the next day or school will be a real challenge.   :-D
   Good luck with your project!
/V\\\\i/{ester /}rau
 

Offline Targhan

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2003, 02:16:47 AM »
The two most important factors of a game are:

1. The Pull

2. The Push

These encompass what you are looking for and what you are dancing around (Growth, Relief, etc).

"The Pull" is something that entices the player to investigate something.  A reward, a secret treasure to rack up a score, a secret game, a chance to catch a boob shot, whatever.

"The Push," coversly, is something that forces the player to move along.  A damsel in distress, a treasure is stolen from the character, something that entices a strong negative emotion. (Think of when Aereth died in FF7, Sephiroth ran her through with a sword while as a player you could only watch in suspence.  This pushes the player to desire some level of revenge against Sephiroth.)  

Once the emotional aspect is attained, particularly in RPGs and Graphic Adventures, the rest is just academic.
Regards,
Targhan
 

Offline Ilwrath

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2003, 05:49:11 AM »
Targhan seems to have it for the RPG/Adventure game...

As for action games, though...  Control is a lot of it.  Even if your controlling an object with inertia, there should be instant visual (and perhaps audible, if applicable) feedback of you starting the manouver as soon as the joystick is moved.  Sluggish controls will get a game shelved in a hurry.

Which goes to the next point.  You have to actually make the game possible.  For example, if a move generally takes 1.5 sec to execute, you can't expect people to be too happy when you only give them 1 sec worth of forward information before the event.  Yet so many games mess this one up.  Give people some time to react.  In fact, give a little more time than necessary in the first few levels while people are learning the controls...  In the later levels, you can tighten that up somewhat, though, to ramp up the challenge, if you choose.  

You also need "breather points"...  Every so often, you need a spot where you can pause for a second or two and not get slaughtered.

And, as also mentioned, throw in some bonuses and "easter eggs" for doing strange or semi-unexpected things.  
 

Offline Im>bE

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2003, 06:03:16 PM »

bloodline, pls elaborate
on what you mean about control.
Is it that the game immediately respond
to your actions,
or is it that you can do alot of different things
with your player?

MikesterBrau, so if a game can always
give the user something new,
it has eternal playability?

Targhan, The push and pull that you explain
is more about the atmospheric plane IMO.
Or has this push and pull statement become
a widespread theory to explain all games
with good playability?
I too played the magnificent ff7,
but few games get me very emotional,
so I didn't run up in sephiroths face
immediately after,
but when I saw that I had to. ;)
 Besides, aerith went to a better place
inside the planet. :DD

>you can't expect people to be too happy when you only give them 1 sec worth of forward information before the event.

I so totally agree,
I hate games that expect the player
to be superhuman with enormous reflexes.
 The only way to enjoy such games
is to memorize where the enemies come from.
An 'incoming' radar with 4-5 second alert
would be a good feature against this.
Another would be to make the character smaller
so that one can see more enemies in the visible world much easier. Cannon Fodder does that.

'breather points' are not only
good to pause your mind,
but the hands too,
tho children seem able to play and play forever.

The same effect can also be accomplished with
a stressless subgame or a shop.

Ilwrath, is your avatar from a game?

Thanks mucho for the info,
I feel more enlightened already.
Hopelessly addicted to the world\'s best strategy game.
Total Chaos on YouTube
 

Offline bloodline

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Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2003, 06:18:09 PM »
Quote

Im>bE wrote:

bloodline, pls elaborate
on what you mean about control.
Is it that the game immediately respond
to your actions,
or is it that you can do alot of different things
with your player?


Glad you asked me that.

I want to be able to do as much as possible, the game engine should not limit my abilities within the game space.
And yes the game should repsond to how I paly, and the things I do, that way I get a different game depending on how I play...

Offline Targhan

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2003, 06:30:25 PM »
:-)

The push and pull aren't just about atmosphere, it's about moving the game along.  Even a good shooter needs something to interupt the playing time, giving the player a felling that he is partaking in something larger.  The story is everything in most games.  Even the better platformers had something behind them, driving the player.

BTW, Ilwrath's name and icon was from a classic Amiga game, Star Control.  In fact, it is also one of my all time favorite games too!  I had it for both the Amiga and my Genesis.  It was, erm IS, better on the Amiga than on the Genesis. :-)
Regards,
Targhan
 

Offline Wain

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2003, 07:29:43 PM »
It depends on the type of game.  If you're curious for outside reference, there's always extensive discussion regarding this stuff at www.gamedev.net

Professional Expatriate
 

Offline lempkee

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2003, 07:39:55 PM »
Controlls , ease of use , ie easy to get into..
well covered in learning process and most of all graphics that is not too little nor too much...

good example is...zool 1 ECS ...is awesome , zool 1 AGA suxx....

Xtr 1 had lousy controlls for beginners..., xtr upd (1.2) has sweet controlls....

anyway.... music also makes a game more playable...if its good anyway :)

cheers
Whats up with all the hate!
 

Offline GadgetMaster

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2003, 10:00:35 PM »
Quote

Im>bE wrote:

....... Another would be to make the character smaller
so that one can see more enemies in the visible world much easier. Cannon Fodder does that.


Cannon Fodder is one of my favourites.
I don't know what makes it so addictive but I shall try to pinpoint some of the things that combine to make an overall enjoyable game.

* Simple controls
* Simple to understand
* Contains Humour
* More than one way to accomplish tasks.
* Nice visuals (3D ? what 3D??)
* Nice sounds (Very simple yet atmospheric)
* And probably many more things.

I sometimes like to do crazy things in games like jump off a cliff on purpose just to see what happens. I hate games that make the environment too restricted.

If you are going to write a game then I would reccommend that you start with a clone of Cannon Fodder with Online/Network playability. I am sure it would be popular. ;-)  :-D
 

Offline Im>bE

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2003, 11:54:18 PM »

I agree with every single thing you have said.

>If you are going to write a game

I have already written several.

> then I would reccommend that you start with a clone of Cannon Fodder with Online/Network playability.

I would have done that immediately
if I had got the tcp problems sorted.
 If not, then I might make a clone anyway,
with customizable maps and weapons and and... :)

Im also thinking of making a Liero clone.
Liero is a very fun
'multiplayer at same computer' game.
(like realtime worms)
Hopelessly addicted to the world\'s best strategy game.
Total Chaos on YouTube
 

Offline Cass

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2003, 12:11:34 AM »
Here is one of the most addictive games I've ever played: http://www.warblade.as/amiga.asp

Deluxe PacMan is the only floppy that is being used the last "many" years on my A500.

It's all about it's gameplay, the control, and of course the random gifts-extras on each level (not being monotonous playing the same levels).
________
UNIVERSAL HEALTH
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 09:29:33 PM by Cass »
"If we don\'t got it, you don\'t want it! "
 

Offline Waccoon

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2003, 05:38:24 AM »
"Game" is pretty vague.  A first person shooter is a game, so is a top-down racer, as well as turn-based wargames.

Push/Pull is the establishment of the objectives and applies to pretty much everything.  How you go about the objectives varies by genre, so we might have to narrow down a specific type of game, or do a comparrison of genres.  A FPS is not a game of Monopoly (although that certainly would be interesting!)  :-D

Also, realize that control is not specific to  a single entity.  There's something thrilling about moving an army of 500 people with the click of a mouse.

GUI design also counts a LOT, and game developers understand that far more than application developers!  That must be why I hate windowed games so much.  :-)

A good way to learn all the little pieces is to compare an original game to its sequel, especially if more than one developer was involved.  Comparing Dungeon Keeper (my recent re-addiction) to Dungeon Keeper 2 reveals a lot of stuff.  I could write a book on why I love Dungeon Keeper, and HATE the sequel.
 

Offline Mike_Amiga

Re: What makes the -playability- of a game?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2003, 11:18:22 AM »
Like me and purchasing Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness, if the controls aren't responsive and make the game imposable to play it's going back, and I'm asking for a refund.

MAKE SURE THE CONTROLS WORK!

And emotion is a goood device for making games last as others have said. My example would be from Metal Gear Solid 2 where Otacons sister is killed by Vamp.
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