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What makes a game, good?

What makes a good video game?



Read the following articles and pay careful attention to the details and elements they describe as being part of a good game. Do you agree with these? Is there anything they are missing?

"The perfect video game is not the one that has the best story, the best graphics or the best gameplay. These are only attributes that can enhance the overall experience. That's right, the experience is what makes the perfect game." 

A good game designer gives his players continuous challenges, each of which leads to another challenge, to keep them "hooked" on playing a game. This can be done by setting clear, short-term goals appropriate to the level of the player and the context within the game.

Games are a matter of taste! The perceived value of a game depends greatly on the individual preferences of those who play it. Some players prefer games of luck; others prefer games of tactics; still others enjoy communicating with fellow players.

Whether a video game is about shooting guns, flying planes, jumping over mushrooms, solving puzzles or rotating falling blocks, the game is a series of choices for the player. A good video game presents a series of interesting choices for the player to make. Should the game's choices be uninteresting—should they barely be choices at all—then the game is bad.

Have you ever wondered what makes a board game fun? If you stop and think about it, it is a fairly complicated subject, especially considering how many different types of board games are out there and the preferences of players themselves.  

While board games share many ideas with video games, they are played in a very different way, and often use very different game mechanics. Designing for board games brings about different challenges than designing for video games, but the skills can be applied universally to make all of your games better.

Complete this assignment using Google Docs or Microsoft Word
  1. Make a list of your top 3 (video, board, or card) games of all time.
  2. Describe what makes these games good using some of the ideas highlighted in the articles above. (min. 1 paragraphs per game, min. 3 paragraphs total). When using ideas from an article, please hyperlink the article into the word you are using (see example below).
  3. Find and embed a photo from each game in beside the text.

Make a list of your top 2 most hated games.
Using the same criteria as above, describe why these games are so bad.

Total expectation - aprox. 2 pages written, double spaced (not including pictures)

Marking   /60 points total

  5 10 1520
 Criteria You did not meet the criteria of the assignment. You somewhat met the criteria of the assignment You mostly met the criteria of the assignment You met the criteria exactly
 Reading You demonstrate little evidence of having read or understood the articles You demonstrate some evidence of having read the articles You demonstrate good evidence of having read the articles You demonstrate excellent evidence of reading and understanding the articles
 Effort You put insufficient effort into your assignment You put minimal effort into your assignment You put acceptable effort into you assignment You put very good effort into your assignment


NHL '94

NHL '94 was an iconic hockey video game made by Electronic Arts. Although it was available on both Nintendo and Sega systems, most people would agree, the Sega version was the best because it was faster. At the time, the game had great graphics and a high degree of continuous challenge as you made your way through the playoff rounds. There was plenty of tricks and cheats built-in to the game that made it fun and added an element of surprise to each game. The game was also very fast with very low waiting times. This allowed you to just pick it up and play without wasting time learning the storyline or waiting for the game to load. Being able to choose from hundreds of different hockey players also added a huge degree of flexibility to the game as each player had different strengths and weaknesses. It was a great head to head game for two players or for solo players. It was a game that still holds up to this day and is admired as a great game of its era.