How to make an awesome game
As a developer, I was never successful to reach this level of awesomeness in creating the perfect game ,nevertheless as a gamer who like To play games , I can see that there is a pattern in most successful games available in the market , and this slide set is about how to explain this pattern as I see it .
The games are played by young ,teens , adults and even seniors .they all play in order to emerge themselves in colorful fantasy world full of unicorns , be builders of the world of mine craft , sharpen their strategic war tactics in simple chess game .
Every games have different set of ingredients that must be there :
- Resources to be used (Tetris is the building blocks , mine craft is the building blocks , call of duty is the rifles or grenades , candy crush is the candies ,…..)
- Games rules , the simpler the more fun it is .
- The Goal , the Win , the victory dance .
What happens during the game is by using some of the game resource , these resources tend to be depleted , killed in action , run out bullets , …..Or you are trying to get better resources that helps you faster to reach to your goal .
This need/demand of extra game resources creates a market for these resources that game designers are exploiting heavily in their awesome games .
A market needs currency where you can exchange ” game dollars ” with these resources according to the game designer market rate .
The ” game dollar/ currency ” is obtained by playing more and more rounds of the game or finishing some levels or sharing your status to your friends ( I will get back to this point of social sharing and peers interactions )
The more gamers play , the more they make game money , the more they get closer to their “WIN” target .
Now everyone loves to win , so if the win target is very far away from the gamers reach , they will feel bored and leave the game to something more challenging ( unless you are only trying to beat a friend or relative in a peer to peer game where the WIN target itself is to win over your peers ). Same case if the win is too easy , the gamers will not play it again .
So the issue is to create a win loop where gamers win challenge after challenge in order to reach the big WIN.
That’s why most successful games are series of mini challenges one after the other in order to keep the win juice into the blood stream of gamers .
Now how can you create an addiction to the game , how game designers create the addictive part of the game ?
Well there is no 1 size fits all for such part , there is many practices such as :
- Time based challenges
- Life/try based challenges ( means gamers have only 3 lives to spare for this challenge )
- Peers interaction and challenges
- Audio and video graphics in the game ( either simplistic like colors , 2048, dots , Tetris ,… or complex approach like candy crush , call of duty , asphalt ,….)
- Randomized effect of the game ( every time the gamer fails in the level , it has the same game structure but with completely random resources for example: Tetris , candy crush ,…).
It is worth to mention that there is 2 types of games that I have played :
- Peer to peer ( playing against a person )
- Monoplay ( playing against the machine )
- Random challenges ( playing against random generated challenges created by the machine )
The origin of games is the peer to peer competition where Olympic Games are derived from , board games are derived from .
And since the invention of the computers, game designers have managed to create the artificial intelligence necessary for peer to peer games .
Also they have managed to create new games concept Where gamers are challenged against randomness in games like mine sweep and solitaire from Microsoft , snake from Nokia ,….. where the gamers are competing against random generated challenges.
The social effect on games is a complete different aspect that has been improved and maximized with the mobile and the internet booming which has enhanced the role of peer to peer challenge into the clouds , literary.
Now I can challenge my father into a chess game while he is a complete different country, I can challenge my friends who are scattered all over the globe in candy crush game , my kids can play call of duty with their friends who in different parts of the town .
The internet boom have revived the peer to peer gaming into different dimension.
So with the internet boom you can play with any body anywhere in any peer to peer game .
Some games where very successful because of this factor only , just like ” draw anything ” .
And with the social networks presence gamers can brag about their achievements in the monoplay and random challenges games in the social network like Facebook , twitter or even a simple hall of fame which resides within the games and acts as internal game mini social network.
The game concept or the storyline for any game is little to do with relevance with the success of the game and most probably you will find an older version of the successful in the past for example :
- Candy crush is a simple match 3 game concept with candies theme
- Mine craft is a virtual logo
- Call of duty is modern version of Doom
- Gorilla run/subway surfer is a complex vision of the old Nintendo game of Mario jumping off obstacles
- Asphalt/ fast cars games is as simple as the sports of running and marathon itself .
- Clash of clans is different vision of age of empires
- Age of empires is a different vision of Sid meir civilization
- Sid Meir civilization is a holistic approach of monopoly
Humans have been entertaining themselves with games since forever , so the game concepts are always there , so rarely you will ever see a new game these days , although there will be new visions of the old games that excite us for different reasons .
So if you are a game developer looking for the next big game to develop , find which of the old games that makes feel happy to play it and start fudgeing it with the cool factors .
So to sum it up about the cool factors to make the game more fun than simple chess game is as follows :
- Game market
- Game currency
- Series of mini challenges or levels
- Addictive ingredients