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Finding what makes a good game...

01-03-2010, 04:06 PM
#1
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 8
Finding what makes a good game...

Hi there. I'm at the very beginning stages of designing an iphone game. I've not done it before and have myself this challenge for 2010.

I want to a game that has an educational element to it, but something that's fairly simple to make. As it's my first game, I don't want to become overwhelmed.

Anyway, on top of this I want it to be successful and although i've got my own pretty solid ideas about what makes a good game, i'm interested to hear other people's thoughts. So....

What makes a really great iphone game for you?

That's it. Feel free to suggest anything you like from functionality to concept. All feedback is appreciated.
01-03-2010, 04:17 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,610
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Well if it's score based, a lot of gamers, including myself, enjoy online leaderboards (Plus+, OF, Agon etc), it helps to make gamers want to keep coming back to try and improve their score and beat others.

Good luck with your game!

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01-03-2010, 04:23 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
Alright, I'm in the process of creating an iPhone game, and my design was based on a fairly simple premise. That's the first part of it. You want to be able to sum up the goal of your game in one sentence. Example: I want to get a ball in the goal. And you want the goal to be at least moderately fun from the get go. If you get a simple prototype working, and you find yourself grinning a little messing around with the mechanics, you're on the right track.

Second part, spitball and brainstorm a lot of ideas. I mean a lot. You want to have a list of 20-30 features (power-ups, game modes, enemies). The more you have, the better chance you'll come up with a great idea. Go through all of them. Consider them in depth, then start eliminating them. Whittle down the list. Make sure those are the features you want to implement in the game.

And the last step to this: do not stray from what you planned. Don't let "feature-creeper" sneak up on you. It's easy to get carried away adding all this cool stuff to the game, but without the core gameplay down, you're just bogging down progress and creating all this stuff that just won't fit into what you're building. If a certain mechanic just isn't working out, tweak it. If you have to, throw it out and come up with something to replace it. Just don't heap in too much content. It's like cake. To much icing, and it just doesn't work out.

Each person has their own ways of building, creating, making, etc. These are more guidelines or tips that the rules. You'll find your own personal way of coding a game, just keep what I said in mind. And as for the education part of it, if it feels natural to add a concept like that in the game, go for it. Just don't force it or the kid playing it will whip out his PSP and delete your game. Make it subtle. Loading screens are always good for this.

Good luck
01-04-2010, 05:35 PM
#4
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 8
Spidey, thanks for that suggestion. I hadn't really though of that yet.

Kamazar that's amazing advice and I'll take it all on board. I do have a nasty habit of feature creep, but if I get this down on paper before implementation, i'll stay true to the design.

I've worked on a few games (as the artist) and have to say the best ones were the ones that had a solid goal and didn't stray too much if at all from that goal.

There were a couple that were changed half way through (by the client) and ended up as an incoherent mess. So I agree entirely with what you are saying.

Thankyou guys.
01-04-2010, 05:54 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yan80 View Post
Hi there. I'm at the very beginning stages of designing an iphone game. I've not done it before and have myself this challenge for 2010.

I want to a game that has an educational element to it, but something that's fairly simple to make. As it's my first game, I don't want to become overwhelmed.

Anyway, on top of this I want it to be successful and although i've got my own pretty solid ideas about what makes a good game, i'm interested to hear other people's thoughts. So....

What makes a really great iphone game for you?

That's it. Feel free to suggest anything you like from functionality to concept. All feedback is appreciated.
easy, make a game, market it to youngsters and having a simple gimic like:

Audible sound of the letter "A" then the child has to drag one of 5 wooden looking blocks with letters on it into a hole. Once they get the right one, it says "right!" or something like that. You could even go so far as to have pre-defined words in the game like "APPLE" and have the toddler/child drag each block until it spells the word.

Go develop it!

all I'm saying, is since it's your first, start small, get it done, and then move on to more complex ideas. Otherwise you'll be stuck in development forever and will more than likely have to give up.

Artist | Designer
@PixelDogmeat
01-04-2010, 06:00 PM
#6
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 8
That's a great idea and that's exactly the kind of simplicity I do need to go for. Though I do find myself 'adding' to my game ideas until before I know it, there is a mountain to face.

I shall follow the rules of K.I.S.S. at all times.
01-04-2010, 07:06 PM
#7
a good game for me is: (in no particular order)
1) easy to pick up
2) playable at any time
3) super fun
4) creative/unique (unless it's a match three, which I just have a certain penchant for, but at least I know I'm not alone...)
5) doesn't have annoying things in it like obstacles/monsters/puzzles that take forever to get through/figure out.
6) looks pretty

good luck in your venture!

working with my partner Psionic, to promote his game: Running with Scissors:Pre-season. Excited to learn, share and help.
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01-04-2010, 10:07 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 344
I think great iPhone games are ones that don't require 100% of your attention all the time. ie. Turn-based games instead of real-time games. I love being able to look away from a game and not lose, or to be interrupted by a phone call and be able to resume right where I left off.
01-04-2010, 10:59 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
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Besides online leaderboard, a long list of achievements would also keep players keep coming back to try and unlock the achievements

And sometimes a funny but unnessary gimmick would improve players' attitude on the game.
For example, does anyone have ever notice the credit page of Minisquadron? I love their introductions which makes me smile when I first viewing the credit page
01-05-2010, 10:42 AM
#10
yup, definitely achievements make you coming back for more. How long did people spend playing peggle i wonder? Jeebus!

working with my partner Psionic, to promote his game: Running with Scissors:Pre-season. Excited to learn, share and help.
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