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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignHow does a SUCCESSFUL GAME look like?!?
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Alex N.
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game dev!? so you play all day?


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« on: August 11, 2023, 08:47:31 AM »

     A game dev walks into a bar.
     The bartender says: "- If you can tell me in under 5 words why I should play your game, and convince me, you'll never have to pay for drinks in this bar, ever again."
     The dev pulls out 20$: "- Can I get a beer, please!"
     End of joke.


I don't know what makes a game successful.
To be fair I don't even know how a half-decent game looks like. HOWEVER I strongly believe that collectively, we have the information! So, maybe, just maybe, if we put our heads together we can come up with a recipe of DO's and DONT's for our grand-grand-dev-kids.

There's a couple of games I made in the past 15 years. They're all, mostly ...what's the word I'm looking for... kinda shit, overall, from the perspective of a successful, commercial game, but they have good bits in them, fun bits.
And I see a looot of games out there, and in here, especially in here but you can't get triggered cuz the font is hard to read, with small, fun bits, that overall are kinda shit.

Ok, let's skip the foreplay and jump directly into what I have so far.
A bulletpoint presentation of what makes a game closer to successful!

  • EMPATHY - Take StarCraft for example, it's easier for people to connect with the terran race as a first game encounter, as compared to zerg, or protos. Hook new players in with Raynor and then ease them into border-line hentai Kerrigan.

  • CLEAR MECHANICS - Make people want to play your game in the first 10 seconds of seeing it. Screenshots/ trailer/ first level should give a clear sense of what the core mechanic of your game is. Why? Please gather your things and leave the class.

  • DON'T GET CUTE - with it! (see what I did there? I got cute with it.) We all do this, all the time, getting too clever, too innovative with the mechanics.
    Keep it clear, clean and simple!

  • PLAYER - What is the player role? Are they an important element in moving the story forward or just completing tasks for you?

  • COMMUNICATION - I'm sure you know what's happening in your own game, but I'm just seeing 25 pop-ups overlapping the half a million menu buttons. Don't get your player confused. Ease them into the game and communicate goals, UI, whatever.

  • APPEAL - Remember your crush in middle school? Your game should be that, but available. Jokes aside, you must find your game appealing before anyone else does, but not because you worked on it, because it's something that you really want to fuck, play, sorry.

  • PROTOTIPES - Don't skip the prototyping faze!!! And I'm an artist... by trait we skip the prototyping faze! The prototype is the cheapest and fastest way to see if your idea has appeal, clear set of mechanics, overall worth making.

  • NO BULLSHIT - Stop lying! Yes, I'm talking to you Sean Murray. Pizza guy came, I had a bit, I lost it...
    If you need to overcompensate for core mechanics with fluff, because they are not fun yet, stop! Get back to the drawing board because that mechanic needs more work.

  • EXPECTATION - You are creating it, you need to live up to it. If you give a loaded gun to a player and place him in a closet, make sure to have bullet hole sprites at the ready because your player will shoot everything.
    Think of all scenarios that might appear and don't break the immersion or underdeliver.

  • YOUR GAME SUCKS - With love, most people!
    This goes hand in hand with APPEAL, stop worrying about your fan base, make the game for yourself first, do it with love and passion, and focus on the fun instead of what others might think of it. Most of them will hate it or be indifferent to it. Focus on the 10 people that will play it, they are worth your time.

  • STRENGTHS - Play around your strengths. Don't try to be someone you're not. If you can only draw buts and butterflies, then don't make a city builder game. Do something with buts and butterflies.



My brain hurts, so this is enough for now.
Please note I did not take into consideration the marketing visibility aspect, which is AS IMPORTANT as the game itself.
I don't really have too much knowledge about it to be frank, so I invite you to add whatever piece of information you find relevant to this topic, because you're doing it for... Christ, idk. Just do it, be a good person!


This topic is open for everyone to add useful tips, observations on how does a SUCCESSFUL GAME look like!
Cheers
Gentleman
« Last Edit: August 11, 2023, 10:34:43 AM by Alex N. » Logged

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michaelplzno
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2023, 04:46:18 AM »

A pixel metroidvania where as you upgrade your character's combat abilities she gets bigger bouncier boobs.

Them boobies are flappin around the whole game, and then the last item you get as an upgrade is a bra.
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Alex N.
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game dev!? so you play all day?


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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2023, 05:19:52 AM »

Quote
A pixel metroidvania where ...
So what I hear you say is "sex sells" which is true, sadly, but I think dangly bits go into Appeal, which is already on the list.

What's one or a couple of other things you can think of that can improve the chances of a game being successful?
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I used to be here often:
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2023, 05:30:28 AM »

I honestly don't know what makes a game successful. Seems like being friends with powerful people is really helpful, but you can only do that if you think like they do and play the political game. That's not really an option for most people.

For example, if I were to pitch Super Mario World, or Portal to the bartender with just 5 words, I'm not so sure I'd earn my free drinks.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2023, 05:40:27 AM by michaelplzno » Logged

flowerthief
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2023, 12:44:31 PM »

How does a successful game look like? Well Flappy Bird was bringing in $50,000 a day, so I'd say that was quite a successful game. The most mindless game to ever be called a game, but it was successful.

Not everyone wants to make a game like Flappy Bird. Some devs are more interested in making something that is original, or something unique, or something complex, or something with interesting mechanics, something they can be proud of. That is a very different thing from making a successful game.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2023, 06:15:41 PM »

I would have been thrilled to make flappy bird and bring in 50k a day.
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PukenGuts
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2023, 07:06:39 PM »

Term I've been seeing more often in response to game showcases and WIP's : "Juice".

I think it's a pretty broad and not explicitly defined term, but I do like it. It's a good reminder to think about where "the juice" can be added. Often it refers to small bits of polish, like the way a button or UI element jiggles or responds to player input. I suppose "feedback" is another good descriptor.

To summarize this rambling;
Provide the player with satisfying feedback whenever possible (without overdoing it).
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VideoGamer
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2023, 06:21:03 PM »

Most successful games either make a lot of money, have a lot of players, or dedicated players that continously play it or all three!!!!

Hope that helps.  Cheesy
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