It should be no secret that creating a great game should be all about creating a fun game. What exactly makes something fun is debatable to say the very least as opinions on this matter vary wildly. Everyone looks for different things and taking a game from great to unforgettable takes a combination of many things. For myself, one of the things that can make a game truly unforgettable are just the little touches of whimsy and weird that they through into a game. These are things that feel like the moments of real life that elicits the response "No, I'm serious. You can't make this stuff up!" Truth is though, you can make it up but the problem is that it often can't feel force in any way shape or form. It has to be something you stumble upon on your own and it definitely feels like something not every player will experience. Perhaps one of the best and clearest examples I can think of is this guy:
The primary purpose of any game, regardless of it's use should always be to have fun. Gamification is a whole thing that would continue to move forward but even then any good game has to be fun before it's anything else or it doesn't work. Personally, I think that seeing people enjoying themselves is generally a pretty entertaining experience all all by itself. Seeing someone do something that they really enjoy, even if I don't enjoy what they're doing just tends to bring a smile to my face. It's in this spirit, that I really enjoy watching Clueless Gamer by Conan O'Brien.
Hack 'n Slash is easily one of my favorite genres out there and when done right they're nearly peerless in terms of making the player feel empowered. However, that "when done right" is a HUGE caveat to the whole experience because they're so easy to screw up. Hit boxes are something that in many other genres have at least a bit of wiggle room. Great Hack 'n Slash though really can't be quite so loose with them though. Games like Bayonetta, DmC (New and old), even The Witcher 3 are all about dodging attacks by narrow margins so you can then go on the counter attack.
May is here and The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt approaches! With finals finished up, all I have to do now is look forward to how excited I am for this game! I've been reading through the books recently and it's offering a fresh new perspective on Geralt. Even though the developers gave Geralt amnesia to allow players to shape him the way they still did a great job of keeping many of his mannerisms in tact. Truth be told amnesia is a pretty played out mechanic in games in general but it really just shows that it's not about what you use but how you use it. Old mechanics or tropes can be used to magnificent effect if you take the time to do them right. This seems to be something that gets forgotten these days even by professional game companies. New and innovative things will always be the driving force in the industry but just the game has something new in it doesn't mean that the game will be any good... even if the "new and innovative" ideas are done well. If you want to make a great game then all the pieces around it need to be great too.
Spoiler alert: creating games is a business. It's something that seems to be forgotten sometimes but something you should keep in mind none the less. The reason is because you need to keep in mind that you're creating games for other people and not just yourself. Ideally it should be for both yourself and others but that isn't always the case. In any case, as you make games you will inevitably get feedback from your players. This is a great thing because great games can only be built with great feedback. Some of this feedback won't necessarily be useful for that particular title because it's simply too much to implement. Other times these are simple bug fixes or even larger ones that needs to be addressed immediately. Whatever they may happen to be bringing up, it's always at least worth listening too. Particularly when they're a little unorthodox.