When you log into a game, what are you looking for? Deeper than the vagueness of the answer “Fun”, your looking for something whether you know it or not, but what exactly are you looking for when you log into a game? You couldn't have come only to appreciate the artwork or perhaps you'd serve your time better at DeviantArt or another art based website. What your looking for is obvious, “Entertainment”, that's what games are, but the answer isn't quite that simple.
People are different and therefore want different things, think about it, a person may play a game only desiring that sense of community and friendships, but another person wouldn't care if he's the only conscious being in the game's world. Others may only want a quick pass time while they wait at the doctor's office or whatever, while another person wants to team up with other humans whom they can communicate to accomplish a great feat such as defeating that Dragon threatening the peaceful village. (I think I'm the only one still intrigued with the fact that there are actual people behind those avatars who can understand me with complete comprehension, we're the ultimate AI)
So unfortunately no one can make The Game that Everyone will always want to play, but they can make a game that many people play if they share your idea of entertainment. Some people want to use skill alone to take down their enemies whether it has to do with their strategy or steadiness of hand along with constant finger movement (First Person Shooters.) So now you know no one game can satisfy everyone.
“Surely the *sparkles* will make everyone want to play my game”, sure it will at first as it draws random people, but gameplay dominates it after 5 minutes and your looking for the nearest sword, but the people are saying, “Go start a fire so you can eat!” So you eat some grub and look for the nearest attackable creature, then you slap a few dead, yes! *Your stomach starts to rumble* “I have to keep eating? What kind of game is this?” It's a survival game Bob, and Your in it. *X* The game was never Bob's idea of fun, he wanted to swing his sword around as fast as possible and grind his face off with high stats that never end, but not everyone wants to grind their faces off. (Or have the time for it.) So that means that endless grinding games would be geared toward people with endless amounts of time. (which most don't have, or not for long anyway.)
When you log into a game, you know exactly what your looking for and when you find it, it will draw you in and keep you coming back. So my advice to Game Developers like many have said before me is to create something you want to play, because it will catch the people like you. Also, look at your game as a player, not a developer. Would you stay on a game where you only press “attack” to make an attack stat higher to compare to others and brag? Would you stay at a game where all information is given in a big white box on the corner of the screen?
Tl;dr? Create your game as the player, not the developer. Remember, you have a particular audience and “Byond” doesn't count. If something detracts you, it will others as well.
-Thanks for Reading ,Truly
Oct 4 2011, 4:50 pm