The People Speak Week 8: The Formula for Success

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by danielrbischoff, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. danielrbischoff

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    Yesterday I wrote that I believed a formula had been found. The secret to making great games had been unlocked. What makes up that formula? What would be your best. game. ever?

    I don't care how you describe it! Just tell us the best combination of elements for your gaming preferences. Do you need a superhero to be happy? First person or third person? I don't think they've made a second person game....

    So? What's the formula for success?
     
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  2. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    My gaming preferences change all the time. One week I may want something that is philosophical and emotional, like Mass Effect or Heavy Rain can be, another week I want to blow stuff up, like in Ikaruga.

    So for me, the secret to success is variety to choose from, because if everything was the same it would just suck.
     
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  3. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    Well, first you have to specify. Do you want successful games, or do you want great games? Because the two are very, VERY different.

    Successful anything, games included, cater to the lowest common denominator. The casuals, in this case. However, really, these games are dime-a-dozen and forgettable. Either that, or they cash in on fandom and nostalgia, which seems to be a big selling point now.

    Great games are the opposite. They don't cater, but still manage to deliver a strong punch. How? It doesn't matter what the genre is, but it has to be flawless. Everything has to work out precisely how it's supposed to. It also has to be somewhat creative, which is why it's somewhat hard for any war game to be great, unless it's somewhat creative about it.

    It's easier to show examples, though.
    HAWX was successful, Ace Combat 4/5/0 were great.
    God of War was successful, God Hand was great.
    Final Fantasy XIII was successful, Nocture was great.
    Oh, and Demon's Souls fits in there somewhere.

    That doesn't mean successful games are bad, per se, but just that it's hard to truly make a game great without, well, specializing it and whatnot. It's hard to explain properly, but must truly be felt to be believed.
     
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  4. Tyrranis

    Tyrranis Veteran

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    Longo pretty much hit the nail on the head with pinpoint accuracy and no collateral damage with what he posted.

    Though, Links had a good point too. A truly great game would need variety, otherwise if you're not in the mood for what it offers, then it's not worth it. You wouldn't want to start up Tekken 6 if you didn't want to smash in the face of a shirtless muscle-man, would you?

    Mind you, if there's anything I've learnt from the forums of this vast Internet thingy, it's that there's no way you can cater to everyone's tastes simultaneously, so you really have to judge when to settle for those you are catering for at the moment, or stretch out and see if you can get more people in on it.

    Though, in this instance you have to ensure you cover these aspects well, otherwise you'll just annoy those you set out to entice.

    In short: Cover a great deal of aspects to get more people interested, but cover them well.
     
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  5. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    Boobs+physics
     
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  6. Eyebrowsbv31

    Eyebrowsbv31 Rookie

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    Freedom is all I need. Lots of it. Morrowind I believe was the greatest game of the decade, because it gave players the freedom to do damn near anything in a crazy, mushroomed treed-strip club-falling wizards-including slavery sort of game. It took major, if not the most risks of any game and did it well. The modding tools included also gives it a massive leg up, as it's still being tweaked and improved to this day with the High Def pack. The ability to break my game as well as play it is pure success.

    I mentioned slavery for a reason as well; no game, NONE in the past few years has taken a single risk except possibly flashing a bum or having hot alien sex. Morrowind included a subject that is much taboo; in game slaves and the moral issues that come with it. Although you never "own" one in game the option of buying one does come up; image if fox news got a hold of that.

    morrowind, also, is one of the few games to think vertically when it comes to the RPG dungeon crawl; up and down was an option, especially with the crazy wizard's tower spread about. Find me an RPG that I can go "up" in (and not just a single jump) without levitating around.

    Modern games are too linear (that used to be a criticism in reviews, now that's all gone), too safe, too "locked in" despite taking place across a galaxy, Mass effect 2 still feels cramped.
     
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  7. UghRochester

    UghRochester https://www.twitch.tv/ughrochester

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    I'm going to agree with LinksOcarina. Whatever kind of mood I'm in, I'll play a game to fit that mood. If I watched something a Star Wars film, half hour later you're going to see me play something dealing with Star Wars. If I watch YouTube vids of music vids, I'll probably be playing Guitar Hero.

    I don't believe there will ever be the perfect game, "The Holy Grail of Gaming." We should already know no game is perfect, and in future, we would change our opinion what the best game is. I remember when I was 5 saying, "Mike Tyson: Punch-out IS THE BEST GAME EVER!" Then years later, Halo: Combat Evolved came out.

    The video games industry is constantly changing. Like what Longo was saying, great games can be unsuccessful. The reason for this is because we're to jaded to actually go out and try new games, games that haven't had much attention for. Instead, the majority will go out and buy a game with so much hype. Again, there's not perfect game.
     
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  8. MattAY

    MattAY Forum Moderator
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    Same principle, but for ass.

    My perfect game would be Devil May Cry + Final Fantasy items, weapons, armour and levelling system (basically your standard RPG shizzle) + an insane amount of collectables + Metal Gear Solid-esque plot + NO Metal Gear Solid length cut scenes + all the sexy babes from Soul Calibur + a lifetime supply of cola and popcorn at the side of my gaming chair.

    ...I'd call it...."Devil Fantasy Solid 15: Enter Chick Physics"

    ...say what you want, that shit would sell brudda!
     
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  9. SpitefulSerpent5

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    As many have already pointed out in the thread already, it's hard to define any game as "perfect" due to the wide variety in ways to enjoy video games today. How can you look at franchises like Final Fantasy and Madden NFL, both supported by legions of fans around the word and say that a "perfect game" can be created?

    That being said, it still is a fun idea to try and make a formula anyway. :p

    I'm probably missing a few things here, but when I look at the games generally regarded by the gaming community as the "greatest" many common elements seem to pop out:

    Fun
    Whether the point of the game is slaying a colossus or jumping on a brown mushroom moving in a predictable pattern, the game has to be FUN! This should go without saying, but regardless, I'm throwing it up as the first entry.

    An Immersive World
    Games exist as a way of escaping reality on some levels. Many games that are considered great suck players in. This is why most gamers will immediately recognize a sound effect taken from a mario game or Navi's demands to listen. It's also why those who've sacrificed months of their lives to the World of Warcraft can tell you all about the various races and locales in the sprawling environment they inhabit in their other lives. The Holy Grail would require a location that fans would remember and love.
    Examples: Zelda, Mario, Elder Scrolls, WoW

    Player Freedom
    Though it's been limited by technology, many of the greatest games had at least some degree of player freedom. You may be set on a linear path of sorts, but by allowing the player to enjoy a choice in where he or she ventures, the game is able to demand a greater piece of participation. Most Bioware games have you choosing what quests you'll take and in what order. WoW is again another great example as well. Even Mario allowed you multiple paths. The pinnacle of this ideal from my experience would be without a doubt The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. From the moment you stepped off that ship, the world was your oyster. The Holy Grail of Gaming would not only need an immersive world, but the freedom to let you explore it as you wish.

    Strong Characters
    Many great games, such as the Medal Gear Solid series, SOME Final Fantasies and KOTOR have had strong plots that made them fun to play and were able to engage the player emotionally. Many other great games, such as Halo and God of War, have relatively weaker plots (I expect at least a few protests for naming those two, but I believe what I believe) but are still great games. The common element was that whether or not the circumstances the characters found themselves in were part of a strong story or not, the characters themselves were compelling in their own way. The plot of any Mario game is simplistic and usually quite weak, but the characters are so beloved and familiar to most gamers by now that its simply a non issue. We don't care much what Mario is doing or why, we're just happy to be along for the ride. It's the strength of the characters that keeps people clamoring for a Final Fantasy VII remake more than a decade after it came out.

    Polish
    As any gamer can attest, many great unique games are made every year, only to be rendered unplayable due the the mechanics being unable to deliver the concept promised. The Holy Grail of Gaming wouldn't need to have no glitches, as a matter of fact, I'd argue that glitches and the occassional programming hiccups that have popped up in so many great games over the years serves as an almost endearing quality. After all, talk to any kid who grew up playing the original pokemon and one of the greatest waves of nostalgia will invariably spring from remembering the first time MissingNo. appeared! Polish is required in that the the goals the developers set out to meet are met properly and the game is enjoyable on all the levels it was meant to be.

    Personality
    The last key is based on uniqueness. Every great game has always had that little extra something that has allowed a small bit of it to stay in the hearts of its fans. Whether it's the quirky humor found in metal gear solid, WoW's community which has spawned its own culture, Grand Theft Auto's pushing of the envelope, or the heroic feeling that the Legend of Zelda never failed to inspire, the Holy Grail of Gaming would need to have that extra bit of personality. Graphics will eventually be outdated, but the heart of a game will live on despite it.

    Make no mistake though, I'd be waiting in line at midnight to pick up Devil Fantasy Solid 15: Enter Chick Physics if MattAy managed to get it made.
     
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  10. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    Refer to my point about the difference between greatness and success.

    SpitefulSerpent5: I agree with pretty much everything, though the one addendum I'd make is on player freedom, in that it doesn't necessarily have to be free to do what you want as much as how you want to do it. I mean, a little linearity is far from a bad thing, and even an almost entirely linear game can still be great.
     
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  11. GRColin

    GRColin Rookie

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    Wow. How could I forget about Nocturne? I remembered playing the demo for that and was thoroughly impressed back when it was released. Thank you good sir for reminding me of that title! Time to see if I can find a torrent and if it can work on Windows 7 64 bit! Another game they should remake...

    And would you put Demon's Souls in the great category Longo?
     
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  12. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    Yes, definitely.
     
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  13. JCD

    JCD Rookie

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    I'm not sure I agree with the big lists of characteristics a game should have, personally I find almost all of my favourite games can be summed up quite easily. They all have focus. I think as long as you have developers who know exactly what the game is supposed to be, exactly how to get there and exactly how to avoid pitfalls such as "I FOUND OUT HOW TO ADD THIS FEATURE TO THE GAME SO WE SHOULD BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE IT BIGGER AND BETTER AND THAT MUST BE A GOOD THING" and "WELL IF I'M HONEST I DON'T THINK THAT I LIKE THE GAME NOT HAVING A DRIVING LEVEL BECAUSE EVERY GAME HAS A DRIVING LEVEL" and suchlike, you'll have a game that may not be perfect or amazing in any way, but will most likely be enjoyable, if only to a certain demographic.

    I'm pretty sure that a lot of people seem to underestimate the vast wealth of really enjoyable videogames there are nowadays. Sure everyone has their own favourites, but there are thousands upon thousands of games that are really good and many wouldn't fall under a huge list of demands that a person may have of a game, yet I'm sure most could easily be said to have a singular focus on whatever it is the game should be.

    Basically, if a game doesn't aspire to be anything more than what it it quite obviously is on the surface, it's good enough for me.

    Focus. Focus be the formula for success.
     
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  14. daverabbit

    daverabbit Rookie

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    Formula for Success...
    Phase 1: Collect Underpants
    Phase 2: ?
    Phase 3: Profit
     
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  15. danielrbischoff

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