Friday, August 10, 2007

7 Most Import Things in a Game

Following a post by Juuso on on the 7 most important things to include a game, (although I heard it from Troy Goodfellows post on the 8 most important things) I decided to create a list for there is nothing man likes more than creating lists.

1. Online Multiplayer

This is true for every type of game (except maybe puzzle games) A good online mode can triple a games value. A good multiplayer can make up for an average single player (in the case of Delta Force 2), good muiltplayer can keep players playing a game and thus more interested in sequels and most importantly, multiplayer can extend the games longevity and thus value ad infinitum. Wii Sports is a game that is missing in online multiplayer.

2. Map Editor

Where Troy put random maps in his list, which are undoubtedly important, I think an editor can replace random maps, and improve on their ability. No matter how clever a designer is, the world as a whole is cleverer and will thus make better maps than them. Map editors can keep people tied to a game like multiplayer, on top of the fact it adds to value with out any extra effort on the developer. Map editors need to be well made and easy to use, but with lots of depth, unlike the Civ 4 World Builder. Also in this point is the ability to Mod stuff, this ironically, has been done excellently on Civ 4.

3. Customisation

Customisation should be added wherever it can. I may be alone in this, but I love customisation. From painting cars in Forza, to spending hours creating a character in Oblivion to just changing colour schemes in Dawn of War. Everyone wants to be unique and where online is present, customisation becomes even more important. I get frustrated when customisation is limited when it dosen't need to be(as with Miis) EA is currently leading the way with character development although Forza and Oblivion both need a nod of the hat.

4. Brink of Death

In any action game, you must always be on the brink of death. You must always be checking your health and finding it on one, reloading you gun to find it is the final magazine. At no point should you be comfortable in your position. RE4 does this excellently. Terror can incorporate you in a game like nothing else. This way you are breathing heavily and thank the heavens when you find a pause. Zelda always feels a little safe. You have loads of life and lose it rarely, you always have your trusty sword and enemies never seem to pose much more than a nuisance. Fortunately, Zelda isn't about combat.

5. No locked content

I don't know why developers do this. Why force you to unlock content? You have paid for the game, surely that should give you the right to play with all of it. Ok, I accept that some things should be kept as a reward, such as peripherals and costumes, but completing whatever the goal is should be a reward in its self in a well designed game. It frustrates me when entire modes are locked. For people like me, who often don't complete games, it means that when we review them we can only mark half the content, which will effect the score.

6. Save whenever

Something which is often over looked in anything except long strategy games for PC is the ability to save anywhere. Now I appreciate that developers don't want people saving every 5 minutes so they don't have to go back far, but what if you need to go out. Once again, it comes back to the point that you have bought the game. Yes the game will be more fun if you limit your saving, but that option should reside with the player, who can choose to only save when they quite, rather than the developer who clearly don't have the tasks of real life or know about the individual habits. What does it matter to them if you get less enjoyment from the game because you just want to beat it.

7. Custom Music

A feature often overlooked for people developing for the Orginal Xbox was the ability to use a custom soundtrack. This issue has been fixed with the 360 as music is operated separately from the game. I thought this feature was great. Obviously some games need the tense music to create an atmosphere, but there are some games when their is no reason to have it. Civ 4 does have it, but is quite unique in this. It can't be hard to implement in a game for computers and makes a lot of sense as, thanks to the rise of MP3 players, most people have their music collection on their computer. Not being able to listen to music can often put me off playing a game because I want to listen to some music.

Most of these are small gripes but they really do irritate me when they aren't there. The majority of them their is no excuse not to include them. You can post y0ur 7 in the comments section if you wish.

On a side note, a went on Stealth at Thorpe Park a couple of days, ago, it was terrifying. Go to youtube and type in "Stealth Thorpe Park" and watch the second and third videos for some idea of what it is like. It is absolutely mental, I can tell you that for nothing.

1 comment:

  1. I almost always turn the music off in a game, but I think I'm a rarity. There is precious little game music that can hold my interest beyond the first couple of times I hear it.

    Brink of death is a good one. I don't play shooters, but the wargame equivalent, I think, would be "What's over that hill?" - the abiding sensation that you are missing something and that your whole plan could go to hell at any moment.


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