None of you know me. You may know that I love Physics, Math, and cats (in that order). What you may find interesting (or you may not care at all, whatever) is that I also like to observe things. I suppose it's a sort of "tail" on my scientific minded nature. Anyway, I have noticed something. I suppose it's a key part of behavioral studies.
1.When a person observes an event that is repetitive in nature, they assume that it will never change.
This is probably a very safe assumption. I liken it to f(x) = x. The slope doesn't seem to change at the very second that I see it, so I assume that I will continue to have it's current slope forever.
If you saw a man juggling in the park for 3 hours, you would (probably) assume that he will continue it until he decides to stop.
2. When an action seems to be out of the ordinary, you adjust your "internal rule-set" to account for this new piece of information.
When you were learning to speak English, you were probably quite informed that, "ain't" is not a word. You should've also been told that "a lot" is two words, not one. When you were told of exceptions to the "i before e" rule (such as weird) you "updated" your internal rule-set to account for this new bit of information.
Though my graph may have f(x) = x for x > 0, at f(11) I seem to have 22... and it's a steeper slope now. My function has changed. So now I assume for x > 11 that f(x) = 2x.
What do we do when an action series seems totally random? Well, we assign a "random" label on it, and you can assume (until a pattern emerges) that it is random. So no matter what, your internal rule-set knows what's up.
The build up was for this. BYOND games. They are judged at a glance, and this is where games probably lose players.
I log into a Naruto fangame. Immediately I see code that looks ripped. I instantly assume that the rest of the game is ripped (or at least a majority is) and I leave the game. I want to note that although I left the game because I personally don't like rips, it is still a valid way to think about how you want to approach new players.
When a player logs in, do you want them to see the better players of the game stomp all over them? I hope not, getting killed often is very demoralizing and makes the game less fun. (Mario Kart seems to operate on this principle that being in 6th place is fun...) When your players log in, do you want them to see a list of things that they can't do unless they pay a fee? I suppose that's a pessimist's way of thinking of "Subscriber Features" but whatever. I am pretty sure that's how people think of that sort of thing. When I log in, if I see a list, it better be a list of things that I CAN do. I don't care about what I can't do. If I like the game and I want more, I'll look at the Subscriber Benefits then. Until that point, don't bother me with a list of subscriber benefits when I log in.
tl; dr for the previous paragraph - Player Entry is an important feature of your game, it is the first thing a player sees. Make it as appealing as possible.
Game play can become repetitive. I get that. But if you make another Goddess Awful Pokemon game where all you do is catch Pokemon, level them up, beat Gym Leaders to beat other Gym Leaders to train stronger Pokemon and yadda yadda yadda, I am going to shoot you. Yes, Pokemon R/B are always going to be classics. No, you cannot reproduce a classic. That's why they're "classic." And I swear to Goddess, if you have a log train system, I am going to personally come to your house, shove my hand down your throat, and pull your ceacum up through your mouth so you can taste the $#@! you are putting out. Keep the game fresh. There should be a multitude of ways to go about playing a game. When you make it so that there's only "one way" to play a game, it gets stale real fast. Why was Casual Quest so popular? For a while, people had to play it out to figure out how it worked, and this process seemed "fresh." (I hated when people got Nazi about it and was all, "We need 2 Priests, 1 Dragoon, blah, blah, blah.")
tl;dr for the previous paragraph - When you make a game, do not focus on one element. The best game is the game that can be played many times and still have a fresh feeling about it and be enjoyed for times to come.
Anyway, I'll be around. Stay frosty. (Yes I did just say that)