For as long as I can remember, whenever I've played a video game, I've always looked at it from a technical standpoint. I've always considered how functional it is, if it's easy to use, where improvements could be made, and what was just outright poorly designed or not functional. This basically left me wanting to make changes to nearly every game I've ever played, but if it didn't; I considered that game a good game. This is why I wanted to become a game developer/designer.
But, after having a conversation with one of my friends today, I understand how the average gamer judges the games they play. They pointed out that the reason they like most FPS games isn't really due at all directly to the game play, or the functionality of the game; but simply put "The rest I like just because they're awesome".
This has lead me to several revelations:
A. I now understand how games like GTA4, Devil May Cry, Gears of War, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed can get wide-spread praise and awards; while games leaning more towards perfection like GTA:SA, MGS4, Hitman: Blood Money, and Star Ocean: First Departure can go somewhat under the radar. Honestly if MGS4 was the first in the series I doubt it would have gotten any publicity at all, aside from some chatter about its graphical quality (Crysis for example).
B. Graphical presence and fancy attacks/actions/special effects mean more to gamers than highly functional and in-depth game play systems. This will majorly effect how I design my games.
C. I can see now why so many people play HU. Up until now I've always wondered how it managed to pull in such a large player base. Honestly, I wouldn't have touched that game for more than a few hours at most, and I'd even rate it as a somewhat poor game (though not so much by BYOND standards).
Even though vast majority of the game play is far from perfection; there are more fancy special effects and pretty characters to choose from than most, if not all, other games on BYOND.