If the name Shigeru Miyamoto doesn’t ring a bell to you, the video games he designed over the past 30 years will surely. He was the video game designer, created some of the most popular and influential games of all time such as Donkey Kong, Star Fox, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario. His Video Game Design Philosophy has always been: Make Fun Games That Everybody can play.
What is a fun game for a designer will sound boring and bland for a player. In today’s instant world backed by cutting edge technology and a high speed internet enabled mobile gaming, a player is spoilt for choice when it comes to video games. The multiple apps available on different stores, the powerful gaming consoles, and indie games offer hyper casual games, with varying fun levels belonging to different genres, for players to choose from.
Various game development companies such as JUEGO STUDIOS, digital distributors, and game development platforms have enabled game designers to create more fun games from scratch. In this ever-growing gaming environment, how will you create a fun game that appeals to the players and create a buzz? The definition of a fun game may vary. A game cannot do away with certain features in order to bring in the element of fun. These necessities are described below:
Every single time, Shigeru Miyamoto tried to do things differently. In 2016, he kept away from adding small in-game purchases, which is widely practiced, for the game Mario for iphone. Don’t be restricted by trends. Let your imagination run wild to find out what is a fun game.
Don’t copy or compete with any existing games in any genre. Instead, try to make a fun game that has not been made before. Do your research. Think about untried genres and give it your own twist. Try to find a convincing answer to these questions based on your game idea: Why is your game unique? What new thing does it bring to the table? Your game should stand out in a world already choked with video games.
How to find out whether you have created the best version of your game? There are plenty of ways to find that out today. Instead of a single version, try to create multiple prototypes of the same game which are slightly different from each other. Play each of them often and decide what the best version is.
Or invite players to play the various prototypes and try to gather their feedback and make changes accordingly. Decisions such as designing your game to be Single or Multiplayer and making it available across platforms or not is up to the creator. Based on the feedback received you can make crucial improvisations to the game. Try to improve and update your game constantly to provide value for the players. This will keep the game relevant for a long time.
Playing a video game needs to create a sense of accomplishment for the player. This could range from a sense of completing something worthwhile to a sense of satisfaction. Everyone would like to be a ninja who kills his enemies stealthily or be the general of a medieval roman army without any negative consequences. Keep the fantasy element in your video game at a high level and minimize the negative, scary and gory details.
To create a sense of satisfaction for the players, it is not necessary to have a perfect story with a beginning, middle and end having character arcs for your game. They must contain various tasks/levels with accomplishments to boost up players to come back and play again. Your game should not have a single goal but a series of interesting accomplishments. Making visible progression will make the experience more satisfying.
This urge to come back to the game again can be created in a player by improving the immersive quality of the video game.
An Immersive gameplay can be built on the back of a combination of different things ranging from:
➔ Color scheme
➔ & Controls.
A fun game can create immersive experience for a player by combining visual, auditory and sensory information by sticking to the rules mentioned below:
Visuals should communicate the fantasy of the game. Visuals help create the first impression. When the players see the game they should feel an irresistible urge to play the game. The color scheme of a game matters. Adding right colors in correct proportions at right places can create the right mood. A great game with the wrong color scheme can end up getting negative reviews from players.
Creating more dynamic visual effects will enhance the energy of the gameplay. Adding reactive effects of challenges/enemies based on players’ action will make the game look more stimulating for the player. These will make the game more dynamic.
Attention to detail is the key when it comes to the motion graphics of the game. Choosing between first or third person perspectives and creating interesting avatars should all be well thought out. Your art style and designs should be unique. It should gel well with the identity of the game and its world.
Altering camera movements based on the situation of the game can enhance the playing experience. Shifting screen shape based on level changes and a shaky screen sometimes can break the monotony. This will make the game look more engaging.
A fun game should create nostalgia of sound. Whenever we hear a sound we should associate it with emotions and experiences derived while playing the game. Sounds and Noise in a game should communicate to the player and help him make better decisions. A game without sound or the wrong sounds will feel like a game and not a world!
A game should not be too slow or too fast. A game designer should experiment with the speed of the game. Increasing the speed can exhilarate the player but overdoing it may discourage him. Optimum speed means less downtime and better action in less time.
A simple fun game should convey a situation to a player most effectively. Even a novice should learn all the basic rules, moves and controls without any instructions or tutorials. Simple and precise control system doesn’t mean an obvious control system. If the players try to figure out things by themselves it will make them feel smart and clever and will reduce frustrations. Keep them simple.
A game designer should analyze the frequent decisions your player has to take. He should try to make those micro decisions as interesting as possible without complicating things. It should be slightly challenging for the player to arrive at the best decision. This will create palpable tension and interest.
Adding Random things in a balanced way can act as feel-good factors for the players. Changing colors, increasing the energy or providing bonus points for crossing a certain level when the player least expects it can work wonders. It will help increase the curiosity of the players to try the next level. Randomness can make your player feel competent and boost his confidence.
A game designer can extend the world building by adding the game’s own currency, characters, choice of weapons, modes and other paraphernalia. He can even allow a player to skip a certain level if he is not interested to play it. As mentioned earlier, he can refrain from installing in-app purchases or not based on his personal decision.
The factors mentioned above should be adhered to at any cost if you want to design a fun game from scratch. It is applicable even when you are working with independent game development company such as JUEGO STUDIOS or large game publishers. Until your fun game goes viral, keep imagining, creating, improvising and publicizing your own video games. You could be the next legendary game designer!! Keep learning.