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Kigurumi Cosplay Society Forums • View topic - What makes a good game?
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What makes a good game?

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Postby Sofa499 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:14 am

Fairly simple question, really, and one that's asked fairly often: What, in your opinion, makes a game good? It brings up a number of other questions as well. For instance, what role do graphics play in making a game good?* Can a game be held up by story alone?** Can a buggy mess that's still fun still be considered good?*** Where did I put my shoes?**** Will it be the mainstream industry that shapes gaming, or their indie counterparts?*****

Discuss.******

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Postby CorujaUTx » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:26 am

As someone who worked in the industry, something that sells. :)
There's a lot of niche in this industry, so it's kinda hard to generally speak what makes a good game. It really depends on the target audience and what does this audience expects.

Someone who likes content (and a lot of content) in games, like in wRPGs will often ignore bugs and stuff like that, because the amount of content is more important than the experience of those little pieces. Someone that likes FPS, on the other hand, is not really focused on the size of the experience, but instead in the experience itself. So every single piece should be bug-free and sort of flowing.

At a personal level, I like art (not graphics), music and gameplay mechanics. The last one, a lot. I also like strategical stuff but not just grinding and attacking other players, but instead building and having other options around than just warmongering (thus why I prefer Civilization or this kinda of genre).
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Postby Sofa499 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:31 am

To answer my own question, I for one think there's no objective means of classifying whether or not a game is "good"- like a lot of things, it's personal preference. If you're looking for a work of art that explores a young and exciting medium, you'd probably think higher of one set of titles, whereas someone looking for an intense, engrossing competitive experience would think similarly of a completely different set, while somebody who just wants to have a spot of fun on their lunch break would have another. While one might figure the best game would be one that covers all those points and appeals to all audiences, those tend to be confused messes akin to the Star Wars prequels, trying to cram as much appeal to different demographics as possible.

Asking me to name my favorite game is like asking me to pick between my kids, so I really don't have an answer to that. There's a number of games that each have their own redeeming qualities in different aspects that keep me from smothering them to death with a pillow in their sleep. However, the closest I think I can come to "favorite" is the one to which I pay the most attention- the one I keep coming back to no matter how long, or to sound all critic-y and educated, "replay value".

There is one particular title I still play to this very day after eight years, and that's Garry's Mod, but it's not the game itself as much as what the community builds upon it. Nevertheless, it demonstrates what I think makes a good game, and that is how long a player is drawn to it, and what the community can do with it.
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Postby RinRin » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:41 am

A game eh? Well if it's a good game, it is a system of rules that prompt the player to make ambiguous, meaningful choices that effect the outcome of the game. And also if it can be played infinitely while still offering meaningful and unique challenges. It also should not be able to be solved or "finished". (see: tetris) (So basically almost no video games)

However if we're going by a terminology of "video game" that does not make any promises on the "game" portion of it's descriptor... then probably a system that is elegantly made so that no elements conflict with each other and the intended experience of the creator is conveyed effectively. Maybe? I was just reading this very interesting article about just one of the minutia of game design than can totally be done wrong. http://www.blog.radiator.debacle.us/201 ... ry-of.html

A lot of video games get caught in the genre trap, so they contain a lot of useless bits that people feel like they "should' be there when they actually don't. Like "It's an rpg so we have to have such-and-such" or people putting their story ideas before the actual game design. Even pokemon, as much as i love it, is not technically a "good game"... it's poorly balanced, grindy, aimless, and when you get to the heart of it, suffers from the core issue with ALL RPGs... games that try to mix "gamey" elements with "fantasy simulation" elements that results in them just conflicting with each other.

Granted I'm mostly just parroting a game design podcast me and my bf like to listen to. :P
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Postby william_d » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:00 am

I agree with Sofa, there isn't really any clear-cut way of defining whether a game is "good" or not, its more or less entirely based on personal preference. Well, at least that's how I see it. I'm sure there are many people and industries out there that think that there are certain things all games need to have as a sort of "foundation" in order to be classified as "good" (I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but hopefully people reading this understand what I'm getting at), but ultimately there are always going to be those who disagree with what the masses think, and as such there will most likely never be a set standard as to what makes a good game.

As for my personal opinion on what a "good" game is; as with a lot of things I am very picky, so it may be a while before I find my ideal game. Also, I don't know a lot of actually gaming terminology, so I may use incorrect words/take ages explaining some stuff. A good game in my opinion would be an open-world 3rd person shooter, with multiple forms of dynamic game play, but with a fairly "linear" (if that's the right word) plot. By this I mean the games story would follow a specific path, however, during the actually gameplay, the player would have multiple ways and routes to accomplish the same objective. As for "multiple forms of dynamic gameplay", I mean that the game would incorporate multiple forms of combat, enabling the player to deal with a situation however they see fit. I.e. there would be the standard, ground-based combat where the player is on foot, perhaps some form of aerial combat where the player uses some sort of flight suit or jetpack, and also a form of mech-based combat which combines both ground and air combat. However, these particular gameplay elements would not be contained to a specific area or segment of the game, rather they would be openly available for the player to switch between whenever they should choose to or whenever they find/acquire the necessary tools to do so. I think the closest I've come to finding a game like this would be Lost Planet 2, but even that isn't quite right.

Personally, if the gameplay is varied and interesting enough, I don't feel that a really good plot is that necessary. However, for me, the plot and story of a game can sometimes be the most alluring aspect of it. For example, I can't count the number of times I've played back through all of the Halo games campaigns, and my sole reason for doing so is because I think the story is really good. Also feel similarly about the quality of graphics a game uses; high quality graphics are not necessary to make a good game, they are more like the icing on the cake if you ask me.

All in all, if someone combined the sort of gameplay I described above (or something similar), and a really good story, they would more or less create my ideal game. And if the game had amazing graphics on top of all of that, even better, hehe. Anyway, that's my opinion. I do play, and enjoy, other types of games as well(GMod being one of my favorites atm), but this is the sort of thing I enjoy the most.
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Postby Zito » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:46 am

What makes a good game? Loaded question there Sofa!
For me it has to entertain as well as keep my attention for more than 5 minutes, strategy is a must, a background or history makes it intriguing, but game play should literally be in your face!
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Postby ScottDBetson » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:17 pm

For me what makes a good game?:
is it apart of a series? if so is it popular?
What genre is it in (is it a Strategy game, if so is it a real time strategy?)
Whose developed it and Published it?
What is the story about?
Whats the main theme in the game?
Is it being given great praise by other people that like the game for what it is?
I dont really care much on the graphics so it could look absolutely terrible
whats the gameplay? is it repetitive?
How long is the general story?
is there multiplayer? if so does it have competitive and co-op?
is there music in it? if so is it made by a composer or is just licensed songs? or is it both?
Why do people like it? is it because it brings new elements to the genre that arent really seen?
is it a standalone game or is it apart of a series? if its apart of a series is a sequel? in-between-quell? or prequel?
Does it have any recognizable names for voice over actors? if so who are they?
A solid example of what makes a good game to me is Deus Ex, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (prequel to Deus Ex)
both were Sci-Fi RPG with first person shooter elements, aswell as micromanaging elements that you would find in a RPG with upgradable parts of your character, The original came out in 2000, and the Prequel came out in 2011....both are Cyberpunk wise with Transhumanism elements, adventure, action, FPS, etc, etc, and well it does have choices on how to do the quests and missions you are given (it kind of feels like Grand Theft Auto with its free roaming when you just wanna screw around)......but all in all the series is great, Id recommend it if you are a fan of RPGs and FPS games (youll like the music in both since they are all done by composers, the first is made by Alexander Brandon who also did the music for the Unreal Tournament games) the 2nd Deus Ex: Invisible war (also by Alexander Brandon) the prequel was composed by Brandon McCann



its amazing I think anyone that likes any RPG game might get a kick out of the Deus Ex Series
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Postby sagedragon2 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:53 am

Well it's different for anybody. Usually what makes a good is either it's really long, with plenty of sidequests. As well as games you can keep playing over and over again. Like a classic RTS. There is also the games that just don't end like Brave Frontier a MMOJRPG which never ends, but has a story.
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