How do you make your game interesting to play?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Nutty171, May 9, 2017.

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  1. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    I'm mostly familiar with the older ones. My favourites are the Oracle games, even if they had me open my inventory the whole time through. Far worse than anything Golden Sun ever had.
     
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  2. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Good thread and the most basic answers are already in the earlier posts so I'm going to write my own
    • I like grinding. I like getting stronger and feeling awesome. So I added a lot of reward from level up.
    • I hate puzzles so I will not add any puzzle in my game.
    • I hate traditional MP system because it punishes you if you use skill too often and depleted the MP. So I make it that you don't have to worry about running out the resource to use skills.
    • I hate agility based turn. So I use a turn system where you're free to pick the actor in any order you want.
    • I hate micromanagement, so I eliminated a lot of micromanagement like persistent state after the battle or paying attention to the HP after the battle. I use recovery after the battle so you only focus on the battle with less micromanagement.
    • I like equipment that enhances the character ability or change how they play, not just equipment with flat stat increase.
    • I like a game where you feel like you're constantly in danger while you are actually not (i.e, it's between casual and hardcore difficulty).
    • I like animations, while this has nothing to do with gameplay, I make my game animation as good and as satisfying as possible.
    • I like skill combo so that if you combine skill x,y,z in a particular order, you will deal a tremendous amount of damage.
     
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  3. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    @TheoAllen Do you feel that most of those smaller focuses and preferences combine into one or two "Big Ideas" or overall design goals which could be followed to create a game that you would find enjoyable?
     
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  4. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Pretty sure I will personally find it enjoyable. However, I would like to know if it also sells to people :D which is also the reason why I dev game. If people won't find it enjoyable, it's fine. If people find it enjoyable, that's great!
     
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  5. Kuro DCupu

    Kuro DCupu Trust me, I'm a veteran RMer Veteran

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    What do I do to make my game seems interestesting? I'm mostly depend on research and innovation.
    But personally I like to bring the impression of "the little satisfaction from doing little things", such as opening menu, interacting with object, pressing buttons, etc etc. It's more to the animation, UI and UX stuff.
     
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  6. Skoops

    Skoops Villager Member

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    Right at the top, I think the premise of trying to separate gameplay mechanics from the other elements of your game runs the risk of making something rather disjointed. A good mechanic for one game can be wildly out of place in another. A good mechanic for one part of a game might be out of place in another part of the same game. It can be that context sensitive.

    A good example of this is the suite of mechanics in LISA (The Painful). The game's "Pain Mode" literally only lets you save once at each save spot before it's gone forever, forcing you to take massive risks and tough choices that ramp up the stress of every choice you make. Resting out in the wilderness runs the risk of several bad things happening while you're asleep, from status effects to party members disappearing. Though your teammates typically faint when they're out of HP, there are several ways they can be permanently killed, and it's not likely that you're going to go through the game without losing at least a few of your guys. Permadeath in addition to saves being a finite resource means sometimes, instead of restarting, you're gonna just make your peace with some of your guys being permadead and move on.

    Those mechanics only really work for that particular game, because the setting and story is as brutal and unforgiving as the mechanics. They work together, often amplifying each other. If you put that into a bog standard jrpg full of cutesy magical anime teenagers, you'll cause severe thematic dissonance, which is fine if that's the whole point of the game, but you've gotta commit to that. Again, it's the themes working alongside the mechanics that make it interesting.

    Reading some of the discussion up until this point, I think it's worth pointing out that immersion is not typically broken just by switching up a mechanic, goal, or mode of play. It's narrow-minded design and a lack of purpose or reason to go along with the changes that will do it to you. Block pushing puzzles are typically pretty meh if you find yourself in a room that is just a room, and there are blocks that are just blocks, and the reward you get for pushing the blocks is just a chest full of stuff or you just get to go to another room to basically do the same thing again. If you're in an ancient city that powers its arcane technology with the power of runes, and pushing a displaced stone into its proper place completes a runic circuit that wakes a giant stone golem that advances the game in some meaningful way, that might have more staying power, because even if you don't really care about the puzzle, you might be taken in by the setting or motivated by the curiosity over what might happen next.

    The TL;DR answer to all that is: Context.

    The second bit is that you'll have more success if you're lenient with the boundaries of your game. Ever play a game of D&D where your DM is constantly punishing you for trying to solve problems creatively? It becomes less of an RPG and more of a guessing game at what this one jerk wants you to do, and unless your idea of fun is 100% in sync with his, there'll be times when you probably won't find it very fun at all. If you're not into block puzzles, sometimes (not always, but sometimes) it would be good to have alternatives to the puzzle altogether. Maybe completing the puzzle might help you in a boss fight later, but if you prefer challenging combat, you might relish the idea of fighting that boss at full power. Maybe there are rare items that auto-solve puzzles you get stuck on, so you can keep people from going to a walkthrough if they're really, truly stumped and not having fun figuring it out. Find a balance that maintains your player's forward momentum; they're supposed to be the ones defeating you, not the other way around.
     
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