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The Not so Secrets to Success in the Game Industry (Gamasutra)

Published on : December 09, 2020
The Not so Secrets to Success in the Game Industry (Gamasutra)

 A long time ago I wrote an article for Gamasutra talking about how to spot bad games which was critiqued because people felt the list was too subjective and broad for the time. About eight years later and now over 2,000 games played from all corners of the industry, I feel it’s time to revise this topic. For today, we’re going to talk about the basic building blocks of what is not only a successful videogame for today’s market but signs that the game design truly worked.

 
Game Feel
“Game Feel” is a term to describe how a game feels in the player’s hands and represents what it’s like to actually play the game. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re designing for or your intended audience, if your game doesn’t feel right to play, people aren’t going to stick around.
 
Some of you reading this may think that complex or deep games are a positive here, and you may be surprised to know that they’re not. No videogame should be hard to control, and a confusing or poorly thought out UI is often the first red flag of an experience. A game that is simple to learn and challenging to master is always the goal of good game feel. Therefore I continue to harp on the importance of UI/UX and getting playtesters on your game. Pain points are often the antithesis of good game feel, and the big ones that often end up frustrating players come with the UI/UX. A bad control scheme can ruin a game even before someone starts to play the game.
 
For RPG or abstracted titles, game feel is also about how menus are set up, information is displayed that they need to know, and does the player feel like they know what’s happening. It’s easy to think that if your game is turn-based that you don’t need to worry so much about the UI because the player has all the time to process what’s happening. However, turn-based design really lives or dies by their UI, as that’s the player’s only window into figuring out how to play. Your game could have the deepest, most interesting game systems of any strategy game, but if the player has no idea what’s happening because of the UI, then none of it matters. read more