Focus on the Player
Every player genuinely wants
to be the focal point in the game and desires to
control its outcome. Games don’t have to be easy
– they shouldn’t be easy. The more difficult a
game is, the more is the satisfaction of having
Keep it Simple
Simplicity is often underestimated. A gamer doesn’t want to read dozens and dozens of documentation to be able to start playing a game. Just a few quick pointers and perhaps a quick tutorial at times, should serve the purpose. Yes, advanced features and functionalities should be included but it’s very important that a player learns quickly how to play the game. At least theplayer should grasp the basics within such time. If a game fails to catch the player’s attention and interest immediately, it’ll probably end up gathering dust in the basement…
The design of the
interface and menus play an important part. We
avoid incorporating bizarre controls, for
example - the Fire button mapped to the F key.
In a 3D-Shooter game, by and large, one should
utilize a similar set of controls as other games
in the genre. The menus should be simple and
easy to interpret. We’ve reviewed a lot of games
where menus are made from symbols and lacking
any text or tool tips. This is most definitely
not recommended as a player tends to interpret
symbols in a subjective manner – by mixing
symbols with text and/or tool tips, the desired
result can be achieved.
Action doesn’t necessarily
mean violence. Something needs to be happening
constantly in a game, and when it does happen,
the player should be able to notice it fully.
For example, killing an opponent in a 3D Shooter
game should be a bloody affair, building a
police station in a Strategy game should
decrease crime, killing the opponent in an RPG
should generate an intermediate victory and
maybe, a few spoils.
The story behind a game is very important. If you read any of the various game development articles, newsletters and magazines, there is a definitive emphasis on graphics and eye-candy. Graphics are an integral part of game development but at times, could mean very little if the story is non-compelling. However, this is not true if a game tends to be a path-breaking one. For example, Doom did not have a very well conceptualized story but it was still a raging success simply because gamers had never before seen anything like it.
As a general
rule, the story is very important – a gamer
wants to be a part of the bigger picture. For
example, nearly all RPGs are powered by
invigorating storylines. However, a good story
doesn’t necessarily mean a complex story. A
story should not be over-complicated.
Stunning graphics are an
integral part of the overall game package.
Graphics greatly enhance gameplay and all of the
above factors. It is meaningless to have, for
example a great storyline and poor graphics.
They will cancel each other out. Good graphics
communicate the overall game to the player.
Ideally, one should make use of the latest and
state-of-the-art graphic engines when required
or build a great graphics engine from scratch
when any of the existing ones are insufficient
to serve the purpose.
Relation to Player
A great game
needs to incorporate features that a gamer can
relate to, in one way or the other. For example,
The Sims – the world’s most successful game
until date has many facets to it that players
can relate to in real life situations. However,
it is not essential that all players relate to
the same thing.
Yet another integral part of
a game is its sound. Sound encompasses
background scores, voice-acting, character
reactions, FX, situational music and the lot.
For example, in Baldur’s Gate II, the background
score is situational and hence, very
interesting. The music changes from the languid
when conversations take place, to the dramatic
when a battle is being waged. The overall
increase in the tempo and style of music greatly
increases the overall gameplay.