What is it that attracts you to a game?

By omegaweopon ยท 22 replies
Dec 29, 2005
  1. New games come out all the time. So one big question is what exactly calls you to a game. Graphics, reputation of that series, Genre, Storyline, those kinda things. I think it would be kind of interesting to hear how people feal about this subject.

    Square 1985-2003 RIP Dearly Beloved
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Oh, I just go and buy the thing with the most popup ads and the most frenzied fanboy base (somehow they know a game is good even before the release). And if it requires a quad-videocard setup, then even better, because high-quality unrealistic 3D models are so much better than low-quality unrealistic 3D models :p

    OK, seriously now..

    I usually take mild interest in a game that is still remembered after 3 years or so. (Makes tracking the newest games difficult, I know.) And some genres like adventure and turn-based strategy are always a priority.
  3. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    for me its all about storyline, forget graphics, without a story, its nothing. Another big factor for me is the way the game is played, (online, team, by yourself)

    Thats why im a RPG fan, but hey i like my online FPS as well.
  4. Federelli

    Federelli TS Rookie Posts: 361

    In Order:

    GamePlay - Story - Good Characters - Graphics - Music - Sound - Good Camera System - Performance
  5. mastronaut

    mastronaut TS Enthusiast Posts: 168

    I like to read lots of gaming mags and sites. I first saw F.E.A.R. in a magazine preview, saw the screen shots and then read a million reviews before I purchased the game. It was a fierce battle between this one Quake 4, ultimately F.E.A.R. won out only because Christmas was coming up and I knew I'd be getting the other hehe. My genre of choice is FPS obviously, but I do like the occasional driving game as well. FlatOut was a surprise. I download demos if available to 'try it on' and see how I like it. Oh, and Call of Duty 2 looks like a keeper also. Try before you buy is my motto.
  6. mastronaut

    mastronaut TS Enthusiast Posts: 168

    Oh, by the way when can I have something other than "newcomer in training"
    under my name huh? :slurp:
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I like freedom in games. Freedom to go where I want and to interact with the world.

    I haven't seen many non-linear action games. Most First Person Shooters actually remind me of the old arcade games like Operation Wolf. Shoot everything that moves, advance a bit, back to step one.

    F.E.A.R., which I've been playing for a couple of days, is a good example of a bad game when it comes to freedom. Objects don't break when shot, not even a notebook on a table can be moved, and you can go only one way. A guy with weapons, grenades and inhuman powers can be stopped by a box on the other side of a closed door? It's also very repetitive, in my opinion.

    Far Cry isn't really non-linear either, but at least there's some freedom to choose which way to go (except that the player can't climb to trees or steep hills, can't set the jungle to fire etc.).

    In Half-Life 2 you can move and break many objects, and can even use them to go to places developers clearly haven't intended the player to go (you can avoid a couple of helicopters that way, and you can carry a turret to next level). Unfortunately it's also quite linear.

    I can't comment about MMORPGs as I've only tried Guild Wars for a little, haven't even joined a guild.

    I also like games that require thinking, such as those that have puzzles to solve. Just not those that require clicking on the correct pixel on the screen like in some old adventure games.

    Oh, and good audio is always a big plus.

    The thing that irritates me in many games is that there are too many enemies - and most of the time there are no peaceful people at all. Apparently I shouldn't want to explore the world but just kill everyone instead. Sometimes when there are peaceful people, they're rude (like in Morrowind, just standing still all the time but saying I'm busy).

    And I've played too many games where the enemies have unlimited ammo and/or they appear from nowhere in neverending hordes.

    At least in Tomb Raider games when you've shot all things that attacked you on the level, you're free to run around searching for secrets without someone popping up around the corner.

    Driving games could be good, but most of the time if there are computer opponents, they all drive at the same speed and style regardless of what kind of a vehicle they're driving (a'la Need for Speed). Carmageddon series is a good exception, though.

    NetHack still remains my favourite, except that there's no audio, and my pet eats corpses before I can sacrifice them or eat them myself. But at least I can use a fruit as a weapon, throw healing potions to monsters, dig through walls and floors, steal from shops, polymorph myself or others, read scrolls when drunk etc. That's what I call freedom in a game :)
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I won't play a game for very long if 2 things don't happen: 1 needs to be pretty easy to adjust to, 2 needs have a story or goal that is defined.

    If the game is too hard to get used to from the start I don't care how awesome the fanboys think it is, I'm not going to play it if it means I have to struggle through some huge learning curve.

    Its great when a game can start off real easy, and get progressively harder as you go on. Gameplay should stay fairly simple too, if you have to do ultra complex stuff to move on to the next level or stage or to get the next upgrade then I think it cuts some of the enjoyment out of the game.

    MarioKart for SNES is a great example of what I consider a good game, its easy enough to build up some skills in 50cc and 100cc, 150cc is getting pretty tough at least the first few times you play it. Then it doesn't lose any replay value because even if you are awesome at 150ccs you can always push yourself to get sub 10second laps on Mario Circuit 1 with DK.
  9. omegaweopon

    omegaweopon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Wow, this has been some pretty good feedback. To tell the truth I am currently in school for a bachelors degree for video game design. I'm also putting together ideas for several different games and it is important to hear what captures the publics attention. Please people more feedback. This is good.
  10. balzi

    balzi TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Yeah, I would pretty strongly agree with most of what's said.

    my main focus when looking at a game is
    1/ replay value.. which is really how many different ways can i play this game before I'm bored. My favourite game is 1nsane. an open-ended map (wrap-around), off-road driving game.
    there are about 7-8 different game modes, 20 something different cars, 20 odd maps.. but hte best fun is downloading someone's F1 car, and special map they've designed.

    incredible replay value..

    2/ co-operative play.
    I am inherently crap at most games.. I don't have the time to devote to your average FPS to be good enough to play online AGAINST humans.. but I do love playing those game WITH some mates.
    If there's co-operative mode then I'm in.. I love Joint Operations for this reason. though in australia the servers have more "assault" games open, than co-op games.

    3/ if the game involves a computer player of some sort (bots, cpu drivers, cpu controlled allies)... then they need to be smart.. I hate stupid AI. my main complaint about 1nsane (it's gotta be good to have a major complaint and still be the best), is that on '1nsane' difficulty the computer drivers need to be faster to balance the game.
    this is because the computer drivers do not remember orders of things, can't learn from experience, or don't even know how to effectively avoid obstacles..

    so that's my thoughts... smart AI (not as good as humans, but at least a decent attempt), replay, and co-op for the benefit of crap players.

  11. Surkitz

    Surkitz TS Rookie Posts: 145

    well if you end up designing pc games .......

    design it around your storyline. To me, nothing, i mean nothing, beats the half-life game series in storyline, graphics(could argue here), character build, dialogue, etc. Those guys at Valve knew what they were doing and to me its professionalism in video game arts. You can have a fantastic looking game that can only be played with high-end systems only to have a broken or misguided story leaving you with "wow i just blew $50.00 + on a game I can barely run with a ****ty story." Take Doom 3 for example. to me, doom3 pioneered the new graphics wave. The story is basically the same as the 1993 version when it came out, but of course better looking. Yeah, FEAR has now surpassed it in terms of graphic qualities at least from what ive seen playing the demo, but does it grab your attention with its story the way half life does?

  12. au071

    au071 TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Game play is the main thing. I usually look for games that are easy to learn and fun to play; good graphics help as well.
  13. 2old

    2old TS Rookie

    Well - i am like most others in terms graphics etc but for me it is the competition.

    I can beat most 'AI' programs so I need the human factor. I need to be able to compete on line against others who dont follow linear pathways. Which leaves me looking at online games.

    But I also refuse to pay a mthly fee to play a game I have purchased (dumb philosophical stance I know) so NWN (and NWN2) and the old HL and HL2 mods are it for me atm.
  14. darkstuarez

    darkstuarez TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Realism, or just originality.
  15. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I typically start with who made the game. I have been playing video games for almost all of my life and I think I have a pretty good idea of which companies make games I like. I play pretty much all kinds of games, but the only genre I don't spend a lot of time in is sports - though I do play football (American) and basketball games.

    Next, well - let's face it - graphics play a pretty good part in my initial interest in a game. It's just like when you first see a girl - there as to be some sort of aesthetic attraction to spark my curiosity to even delve further into a game. Even if it's just for nostalgic reasons there has to be something.

    Next is support for current technologies. I hate it when I get a new game and things like widescreen support or special graphical or audio options that you can find in the most up to date hardware are not supported. I even avoided F.E.A.R. for a while because I read the developer's option to not include widescreen support inherently. Once I learned for sure that I could "easily" force it then I grabbed the game. This is the main reason I love Carmack. This is almost always a non-issue with him since he seems to be so far ahead of the technology curve than everyone else.

    Once I get past all that then it's all about control and accuracy.

    Finally is freedom - I really don't mind if a game is linear, as long as the developers have considered "most" of the possibilities I might want to try. I don't expect them to get it all since we're not at the holodeck level yet.
  16. flavin

    flavin TS Rookie Posts: 91

    i think the most important thing should be the hole LINEAR PATH everybody is talking about. i play COD and i love it. i love the MP and the SP but one thing that gets me down is its way way to linear. even the 2nd cod that wasnt suppose to be linear at all. another thing that gets me mad is that u have to do everything. in real life in a war nobody would wait for u to blow up a tank while ur hole squad is getting shot at.

    for me since i have played with bad graphics ever since i stopped playing diablo 2 (cracked cd from being in cd drive to long) graphics arent the MOST important. i prefer gameplay over graphics. and really every gamer is different.

    Hey OMEGA are u working on making anygames right now? also what did u have to do to get where u r right now? i have always wanted to make games. right now im a Junior in High School at Downers Grove South. we have this program called TCD that has alot to do with electronics and what not and next year when im a Senior im going to go there for half the day for game design. good luck. lol dang this turned out long.

    o yea 1 more thing OMEGA do u do anything w/ AUTO CAD? Freshman year i was the best in my drafting class.

    PS. im a FPS fan and a Star wars one too :darth:
  17. lithiumdeuterid

    lithiumdeuterid TS Rookie Posts: 88

    A great game ought to have:

    1) Control - The controls should be intuitive and precise. You should be able to place your character/vehicle/projectile where you want it with good consistency. However, there should also be a few tricky combos or button-mashing techniques to pull off the more advanced moves (such as in a fighting game).

    2) Replay Value - At least one facet of the gameplay should be different each time you play the game, or at least have the option of being different. Some games merely have three difficulty levels. However, an RPG, for example, could offer multiple paths, with different characters, story, and battles. A RTS game could have randomly-generated maps. A FPS game could have variable AI skill.

    3) No Boundaries - A game should not have artificial caps (such as 255 or 9999 or whatever) on statistics (like Hit Points), but the law of diminishing returns should definitely be in effect. The more side quests, the better. Offer successively larger rewards for an exponentially increasing difficulty. The player should always have a goal that's just out of reach, prompting them to keep investing in their characters/items/statistics. Multiple ways to play the same game are always good. If you get tired of playing in one mode, you can switch it up.

    4) Customization - For example, GTA: Vice City has an editable configuration file where you can change the physics of the game. This sort of thing can stay amusing for a long time. For a console game, an unlockable mode should be available that allows the player to change things and experiment. For customization without using config files, check out Unreal Tournament for PC. The mutators in that game allow such effects as low gravity, stat-enhancing items, headshot ammo rewards, single weapons allowed, etc. It's endless fun.

    5) A Steady Learning Curve - The player should never be surprised by a ridiculously difficult task after a series of incredibly easy ones, nor vice-versa. You can go to easy tasks after doing hard ones, but they should be task of a different nature, or ones requiring a different set of skills.

    Of course, sheer creativeness can make up for a lack in some of these categories (such as NES and SNES Mario games!).
  18. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I'm not much of a gamer, but I like HL2 and Battlefield 1942 and BF2. I liked Lineage 2 for a while as well.

    Here is my take. Take a deep breath.

    I LIKE a game that ENDS. That is, you play, build, advance until you save the world and get the girl, right. Ok. Games like MMORPGs are fun for some people, but I couldn't stand the fact of a never ending character build that leads nowhere except to fight some harder creatures. It's like a never ending game that I just had no ambition to play anymore. Whoopty do you got a better sword. Now how many hours of your life did you waste to do that virtual task?
    This works itself into having a good story line. Because you REALLY don't want to be fighting a creature for hours on end, and accomplishing impossible end-game goals, only to beat him and then CLICK, a black screen with credits rolling up. In other words, ANTIclimatic. Then end of the game is the best time to throw in every plot twist you can, bring out surprise enemies, extra challenges, and something brand new you haven't seen in the game yet. Something so fun, your friends won't tell you what it is because they want you to play it for yourself.

    I like cut scenes, some people don't, but it's pretty cool to just watch your game like a movie, then play, then watch, it's kinda like being there.

    As for linear paths, this doesn't bother me one bit. Matter of fact, games like 007 for Nintendo64 drove me mad, because the game is like a never ending flow of hallways and doors. Some people memorize all the different ways you can go, doorways and halls and stairs. But not me, I find myself walking in circles and have no idea how to move on. I like a game that makes it easier to know where you're going next.
    I played DOOM3 for a while, loved the graphics and monsters. But it had 2 problems. Never ending corridors, and way to dark environment. I could never see anything, even with settings turned up, that's annoying. And I stopping playing the game, literally, because I ended up in an area I could NOT figure out how to get out of, could not find the door, hall, stair, passageway, whatever, 4 hours of wasted life I could not figure out how to get out. So linear is good for me! Just as long as the next "area" or room or place has something new to offer, a new challenge, etc... and not just yet another room with the same monsters coming at you again, only from different locations. Like in HL2, you'd be outside, then you're inside, then upstairs, then along the roofs, back inside, then underground, etc. You get a new way each time. D3 however, seemed like it just never left the insides of a submarine, I got claustrophobic playing it.

    Graphics are always a plus, but not in the sense of "wow you can see light shining off my gun barrel". Those little wow factors are rarely noticed unless pointed out. I like graphics that are expansive. Such as huge vistas, open areas, humongous monsters, bottomless pits. This is what is really cool in HL2, when for example you are walking on along a cliff on a mountain side and can see hundreds of feet down. Or in the citadel on the inside with endless mechanical wonders. It's when the world "feels" big and you get to see it. I love creepy environments like forest in fog, odd coloring, not having clear vision when you know monsters are coming. It's the visual surprise effect. Being able to walk around in an otherworldly mossy, forest or planet. Come up with graphics that say wow! And not concentrate on how the skin texture of your hand looks. Look at the big picture!

    With that being said, I like games that are leisurely, HL2 can be hard, but it can also be easy if you played it before, which is nice. You never have to die, the challenges are not beyond reach, yet still difficult, so the game play doesn't stop you every 3 minutes by dieing and being sent to a place you were 30 minutes ago. I like a game that just keeps going, and if I die, I don't want to be returned way back somewhere and start over. I like to play the game as if I was watching a movie. Just enjoying the action and visuals and of course, the SOUND effects!

    Ok, almost done. My last prerequisite for a game is the expansion. What created the legacy of Half Life and Battlefield is their mods and expansions. It's cool downloading new HL2 mods and playing through them, it keeps it fun, lets other people put their creative mind to work. And BF1942 especially, who plays that original? Now who plays Desert Combat and DC Final? And Unholy maps? Expansion and mods are a MUST to keep a game alive and kicking.

    the end
  19. omegaweopon

    omegaweopon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    It would appear that a good storyline and non-linearity would be in the favour of more people. Graphics and gameplay are equally important.

    Remember I am only in my third of fifteen quarters. So im still a rookie. WAY ROOKIE.

    Currently the reason why I ask is beacause I am simply writing every aspect of the game. It may be a long time before you even hear my name in games.

    Now as for my main question, would you feel that certain aspects of a game are contratictory? Like for instance in order to have non-linearity would you have to give up story?

    Tell me how you feel on that. BTW I've just always wanted to put this in a post just for fun puke:
  20. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I think as far as processing power, if you opt for non-linearity, you loose some game speed. Simply because SO much more mapping/graphics/functions/etc.. has to be added to every place you go.
    It's easy to add a hallway wall with doors, just a big flat graphic as you run by. But when you suddenly want to make every door openable and explorable? That increases the power and memory needed to load and run the map. I think that can be a tradeoff in a way.

    Having a deep story can sometimes effect the game, in that, when you try to have a very "real" and deep story to get into, you end up with a game that looses some of the completely unrealistic stuff that can be fun. Like if you want a story about john and jane saving the world from the evil empire, how do you work in a 3000 pound 4 headed fire breathing dragon?
    If you can come up with a fantasy story that rocks, WITH all the coolest graphics and monsters, there needn't be a tradeoff.

    I'm sure there are many more, but can't go into details now!
  21. lithiumdeuterid

    lithiumdeuterid TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Oh, and one other thing:

    6) Combinations - For any game utilizing items (which is pretty much every RPG, but also many FPS games), there should be ways to combine those items into something better. Something that is more than the sum of its parts. Breath of Fire III, for example, has 18 'genes' that can be combined up to three at a time to mutate the character into various types of dragons. There are only a couple dozen outcomes (despite 987 combination of up to three genes), but it's still a really cool idea. Final Fantasy VII's materia combinations are also rather cool.
  22. Eko

    Eko TS Rookie

    Why don't they try to keep the balance

    Ok, you are right when you say that you can't make the action too non-linear. Obviously, you will end up trying to understand a story so vague, that you'll lose interest for the whole damn game. But you should be able to make, for example, an alternate route in some walls, or blast your way through a door with a rocket. After all, if you have explosives powerful enough to take an objective down, why don't you use that to make a way through all the crates which inevitably block your way in every FPS?
    I enjoyed playing Syberia 2, for example, but from time to time, I also play Counter Strike Source.
    A game just has to be enjoyable, has to have some humour, some graphics, and a good soundtrack, if possible. Also, the action has to keep you interested in what will follow next.
    A good example of a playable game is Warcraft III (both of them), which can be played several times, and it's still fun. Another fine example is Brood War, which has that "je ne sais quoi" that keeps you with the hand on mouse.
    Maybe a good game just has to be made more "for your soul" than just for the money. When you really strive (as a producer) to get that warm feeling in the hearts of the players, that's it: You and your game will be remembered.
    This applies, in my humble opinion, to Half Life 2, and to most of the Blizzard games.
  23. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    And despite some people's outright hatred for it, I rather like the Steam interface for managing your games.
    If you are building a game which can have mods and add ons, it only makes sense to build a "wrapper" around the "main" game so as to keep track of, and launch, particular mods. Building into the system a way to validate files to make sure they haven't been ruined by upstart modders. You could even have such a thing as a "mod adder", so instead of having your users screw around with your folder structure trying to dump files here and there, you build an add routine to install mods automatically.

    So there.
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