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Variety, Social Aspects More Important To Game Success Than Graphics, Plot 236

Posted by Soulskill
from the world-of-tweetcraft dept.
proslack writes "In a study presented at the Human-Computer Interaction conference in Cambridge, England, British researchers Beale and Bond found that plot and graphics are not critical to the success of video games; price and the inclusion of social aspects (e.g. multiplayer or chat) were found to be more important." An unfinished version of the paper (PDF) is available from the researchers' web site. They said, "One of the most unexpected findings was that gameplay was not featured as one of the most important categories to fulfill," though they acknowledge that variety and cohesion were measured separately from gameplay, which past studies have not done.
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Variety, Social Aspects More Important To Game Success Than Graphics, Plot

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  • Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidphogan74 (623610) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @10:56PM (#29409791) Homepage

    In other news fun is more important to a games success than graphics, plot.

    • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lorenlal (164133) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:21PM (#29409937)

      My favorite example of this is Castle Crashers right now.

      I'm lame, and I didn't discover it until about a month ago, but I'll be damned if it's not my favorite game right now. Flash style animation, simple mechanic, funny elements... That's all I really need.

      • by ZosX (517789)

        I sure wish they'd port that to pc. I seriously doubt I'll be getting a 360 until I find one in bin for $30.

        • I sure wish they'd port that to pc. I seriously doubt I'll be getting a 360 until I find one in bin for $30.

          100USD and I'm game. Had one in the first couple months, surprisingly DVD-ROM went out and not the RROD, now that I've been burned once I shant be burned again. So I guess to get back on topic, price also plays an important roll in gaming. For instance I still use my ATI x1800XT, draws more power then I like but I find it hard to invest in gaming tech when so few good games come out. It seems to me games eat up ever more sophisticated hardware without a justifiable return of enjoyment.

      • by citizenr (871508)
        its just a clone of Golden Axe
    • Another ridiculous study proving nothing. And an unfinished one no less.

      As the poster above said... FUN is more important.

      This just seems like a study put out by game developers to justify doing even crappier AI than we already get.

      Or of course they didn't ask any actual hardcore gamers who go back to the Atari 2600 as I'd rather spend an hour playing Maze Craze on that than most of what's released today.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tbannist (230135)

        I think they simply don't know that there are different types of people who like different types of games.

        Some people play for the shiny.
        Some people play to collect.
        Some people play to show off.
        Some people play to talk.
        Some people play to explore.
        Some people play for the plot.

        Lumping them all together will, by necessity, leave you with only the cross demographic factors like price, and some of the larger factors that cut across several groups. The show-offs, collectors and talkers all like multiplayer game

    • by Spatial (1235392)
      They aren't mutually exclusive. Good plot and graphics can make a game fun.
    • No shit.  It's hard to convince a lot of people of that, though.  I've been working on a game for the last few years with that philosophy in mind, but a lot of the kids just tune out when the graphics aren't like they expect.

      Ironically, I've actually got some pretty far out graphics in some ways, but it's just not cool in the way they expect.
      • Great product placement dude, I'll give it a try.

  • Doubt it... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Bull, as far as I am concerned:

    1) Plot
    2) Price
    3) Graphics
    .
    .
    .
    374) Social

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      You place multiplayer capabilities at #374? Seriously?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        1) Plot 2) Price 3) Graphics . . . 374) Social

        That's about right. If the core game sucks, it sucks more with a friend present and online-play can't fix it.

        • However, if the core gameplay is only "ok", playing with friends does improve it.

          More accurately, it stops a decent game getting boring after playing it through once.

      • You place multiplayer capabilities at #374? Seriously?

        Yeah, totally. Half-life, Zelda, Splinter Cell, and Super Mario Bros. would have been so much better as MMOs.

        (/me stops typing before I start to sound like Gabe. [penny-arcade.com])

        • Re:Doubt it... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by davidphogan74 (623610) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:29PM (#29410005) Homepage

          Wasn't the Half-Life mod Counter-Strike (which requires other players) pretty freaking awesome? IMO, it kind of sucked to play against bots.

          • IMO, it kind of sucked to play against bots.

            Maybe in a game that doesn't natively support them, UT sure did a heck of a job with em, IMO.

          • CS 1.6 is still heavily played, many years after CS:Source was released. The graphics certainly haven't kept up, but the tactical and social aspects made it worth playing for a long time. It probably is still worth playing, only I don't have the time to keep the skills up (not that they were fantastic to begin with).

            • by Kreigaffe (765218)

              CS 1.6 is played because a lot, a LOT, of CS players did not care for the Source engine and what it did to their game. Rubber barrels, rubber barrels.

        • by WCguru42 (1268530)
          How about GoldenEye, Smash Bros, Battletoads, Mario Kart, Street Fighter, etc.
          • Battletoads with a second player was NOT better...

            Good gods...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fred_A (10934)

        You place multiplayer capabilities at #374? Seriously?

        Given the lame state of games on most servers, I don't place multiplayer very high either.

        See The More Things Change [penny-arcade.com] for an example among many...

    • by Petersko (564140) on Monday September 14, 2009 @01:18AM (#29410515)
      "Bull, as far as I am concerned:
      1) Plot
      2) Price
      3) Graphics
      ... 374) Social"


      Just give us a heads up if you intend to buy a van and a whole bunch of fertilizer.
    • by Compuser (14899)

      Well, I think I am the only weirdo here. I like mostly single-player fps games (quake 2 being all-time favorite) and of those games I like ones where there are unusual bugs which can be exploited to advance in unusual ways. I am basically a beta-tester at heart and quirky bugs is what I mostly want in a game.

  • by Myji Humoz (1535565) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:12PM (#29409875)
    The findings might be true for certain markets, but huge hits recently such as Bioshock and Mass Effect show pretty clearly that a good plot, solid setting, and good graphics are key to a blockbuster game. The study is based on reviews made by gamers, and thus tends to have a skewed sampling population. Certain segments of the market enjoy variety and social games. Other parts enjoy plot driven RPGs or gorgeous and engaging FPS games. Without doing an economic or financial analysis, judging what factors correlate most strongly to success is a rather large leap for this study.
    • It also assumes that gamers know what actually is necessary for a games success. Much of what causes a game to be a success is many times NON OBVIOUS.

      A word like "Gameplay" is too deep and nuanced and changes from game to game, just like how do you capture the "Feel", control and sense of speed in a racing game?

      Or what about the fluid battle mechanics of god of war compared to other clunkier games?

      Truth is one study is not definitive and I'd trust hardcore gamers before I trust pointificating researchers o

    • Also (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday September 14, 2009 @03:48AM (#29411057)

      Gamers often don't know what they want. Customers in general often don't know what they want. Just because someone says "This is what I want," doesn't mean you can take it at face value. They will claim to value something highly, and then put little to no value on that in actual purchasing. Basing your study on reviews is thus not a good idea.

      You can witness this in terms of people who continually cry about wanting more "quality" electronics, yest consistently purchasing the cheapest crap they can get their hands on. When you talk to them, they claim that quality and reliability are things they value highly. However their consumption habits show that isn't the case, what they value is low cost an features.

      Also it is likely that what people value depends on the kind of game. In some kinds of games, plot is unimportant. A good example would be an online shooter. Even if there was a fairly good plot, people would skip it to get to the game. The point is to get in with other people and play in a simple, non-persistent environment. However in RPGs, plot is often much more important. People play the game to experience the story. Likewise, in some RPGs multi-player might actually be a drawback. You don't want other people ruining your experience of the story.

      So I agree it is silly to look at reviews and say "This is what is important to gamers." No, that may be what they claim is important, may not be what they actually buy on. Likewise it may be important only for certain types of games.

      Social aspects are very important to my in TF2. The ability to play with others is what makes the game fun, and the ability to have lists of friends and to talk in game is very important to me enjoying it. Plot is not. I'm fine with the fact that there is no plot to speak of, I'd not bother with it if there were. I want to get in and shoot people.

      Socials aspects are not important to Mass Effect. Frankly, I want to be left alone when I play that, it is like a good book where I wish to get enveloped in the story. Plot is highly important. The biggest reason I like that game is its amazing story. I find myself very drawn to it and, like a book, wanting to finish the "good parts" when I get to them.

      Both games are good in different ways, both have received my money. Neither would be improved by trying to take what makes the other good.

      • by cowbutt (21077)

        You can witness this in terms of people who continually cry about wanting more "quality" electronics, yest consistently purchasing the cheapest crap they can get their hands on. When you talk to them, they claim that quality and reliability are things they value highly. However their consumption habits show that isn't the case, what they value is low cost an features.

        I think part of the problem is that 'low cost and features' are easy to verify; you go into the store, or look at some photos, or read some

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KDR_11k (778916)

      huge hits recently such as Bioshock and Mass Effect show pretty clearly that a good plot, solid setting, and good graphics are key to a blockbuster game.

      And Wii Fit shows quite the opposite...

    • Exactly (Score:2, Interesting)

      by readthemall (1531267)
      This smells like a fictional excuse: see, our customers want more online gaming, we will stop selling games on disks, everything will be online, everyone will be happy.

      While game makers might like the idea, I don't. Give me just games which I can play whenever I want without needing Internet connection. And don't worry, in the rare cases when I want to play online I'll do it, just don't try killing the offline gaming.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I don't think "good graphics" is all about how many lil' triangles you can cram into Krato's left nipple. It's more about having a consistent and interesting art style. I still think Beyond Good & Evil is one of the most beautiful games ever made, even though it was made on PS2 quite a while ago.

  • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:13PM (#29409887)

    This may be true for the teeny-boppers who've probably never played a game with a real plot and great game play. Most modern console games have pretty similar graphics and tend to have the same lack of plot or original thought - so yes, I'd believe that being able to chat with friends would be "important" to them because it allows them to be distracted from how boring the game is.

    However, with older gamers, it is normally universal that plot and game play come before graphics and most of us couldn't give a rats ass if you can chat with your friends in-game. We already have a great way to chat with friends while playing if we need to - it's called a phone.

    • by martas (1439879)
      what is this phone you speak of? does it have a character limit per message?
    • 'social aspects' matter greatly to me insofar as i enjoy games w/ a local multiplayer component, if not the whole point of the game. I like a good rip through a beautifully rendered and well written fps campaign as much as the next guy, but wii sports and rockband make up at least 90% of my gaming hours.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Draek (916851)

      Older, but only sightly. Too old, and you may realize we already have a way to get a good plot, and they're called "books". No, all it matters to me is gameplay and yes, the "social aspect" you deride so much. Give me a fun game, and an easy way to find others who play it, and I'm all set.

      That's why my favorite RPG is Guild Wars, the plot may be an endless stream of cliches and the graphics may not be anywhere near as good as those of Mass Effect or the latest Final Fantasy, but the battle system is fun as

      • Except that in books, nothing ever changes. In a well written RPG, the outcome and the way things play out over the course of the game is affected by your choices.

        If you want to do something mind-numbingly repetitive and dull while talking to other people, I suggest either work or playing sports. With work you'll at least make money and with sports you'll at least get exercise.

        • by Draek (916851)

          Except that in books, nothing ever changes. In a well written RPG, the outcome and the way things play out over the course of the game is affected by your choices.

          No more than in a Choose Your Own Adventure book, unless it's a roleplaying session with other humans (hence, 'social aspect').

          • Except choose your own adventure books break the illusion with "if you choose X, go to page Y". In an RPG, it's seamless. On an RPG that allows modding (which just about every RPG these days does) you can add in all sorts of sub-plots or expand on things you didn't feel were fleshed out enough. Try doing that with a book or a movie.
            • by tepples (727027)

              On an RPG that allows modding (which just about every RPG these days does)

              Kingdom Hearts does not. Final Fantasy does not. Dragon Quest does not. In fact, as far as I know, most popular RPGs for consoles do not.

        • by Ragzouken (943900)

          Try interactive fiction.

      • by malkavian (9512)

        Definitely with you on the Guild Wars choice; I think it's one of the thing that manages to satisfy most of the people most of the time.. There's the story mode (which is the bit that has me awaiting the next release; graphics be damned, it's fun going through those stories!), which is like reading a book.. Then there's the jump in with everything already there for the PvP aspect.. You can group for the social aspect, or use 'heroes' and henchmen to solo (which I do a lot of the time), or a mix thereof..

    • by jandersen (462034)

      I think perhaps you are not aware that the majority of gameplayers are, in fact, not chronic players. Playing computer games is no longer the reserve of the all-out nerd, it has long been mainstream, and that means it has to appeal to people who may play every day, but only for a relatively short time; the very same people who enjoy their soap operas and sports shows along with nattering with their friends. Ordinary people, in other words. And just like most people don't really want to read heavy and deep b

  • by graft (556969) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:19PM (#29409923) Homepage
    Well, I suppose this is marginally interesting, but poor methodology really makes this paper mean very little for me. For example, check out this brilliant passage:

    These results did not reflect our expectations, as they put a lot more importance on gameplay and environment in relation to other categories than we had expected. We suspected the complexity of the categories was causing this,with some categories encompassing far more criteria than others, making them far more likely to be mentioned than others with relatively few criteria. In a rough attempt to overcome this, the count was divided by the number of criteria for each category.

    In other words: "We didn't like the result we got, so we massaged the data until we got something we liked, and called that our method."

    • by Quothz (683368) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:44PM (#29410091) Journal

      In other words: "We didn't like the result we got, so we massaged the data until we got something we liked, and called that our method."

      You said just about all there is to be said. They changed their method to make the results match their hypothesis. They acknowledge poor methodology in their data collection, so even the original results are suspect. The only place this paper ought've been published is in a landfill. Beale and Bond should go back to 101-level courses, and the headline of this story should be "Don't Publish Research With Obvious Flaws".

  • by mikael (484) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:21PM (#29409939)

    One of the first multiplayer games we played was 'grid' [imageshack.us] by Peter S. Langston - it came with a USENIX archive tape. The game itself was an ASCII rendering of 'grid war' in first person perspective, but it supported inter-player communication. Other mainframe multi-user-dungeon games [wikipedia.org] were also popular as they also had the multi-player capability.

  • From TFA; "We have started to address this by undertaking a grounded theoretical analysis of reviews garnered from games, both good and bad, to distil from these common features that characterize good and bad games. A good game is cohesive, varied, has good user interaction and offers some form of social interaction"

    Look there are good movies with car chases, a rouge cop and one liners, and there are bad movies with such things. Any kind of list of 'qualities' is useless because it's not what it has it

    • by Orne (144925)

      Here's a reference to "the 36 plots [rpglibrary.org]" that are common to almost every drama ever written, translated to the context of paper-based RPGs.

      You are exactly right, in that is is how you use the plot device, not what the plot device is... which should be more apparent given how small the set of plot devices really is.

  • Conclusion (Score:5, Funny)

    by pi4 (1635957) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:36PM (#29410043)
    The best selling video game of 2009 is............... facebook?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wakingrufus (904726)
      ^ Onion article in the making.
    • Yeah I had to keep adding in random strangers as friends to get benefits in the Facebook games like Farmville, Knighthood, Battlestations, Mafia, etc before I decided to quit doing that. Then I found out Facebook doesn't like it when you drop a large group of your 'friends' and ban you for it. We used to be able to add in many friends, add them in the games, and then drop them and they'd still be in the games.

      Thing is if people only added in their "real friends" to these Facebook games they'd only have like

  • Quake, anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HisMother (413313) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:37PM (#29410047)
    Quake had no plot, at least not one that made any sense or was original in any way. It was the multiplayer which made it such an incredibly successful phenomenon. Folks these days might forget what the old days before the Intertubes were really like; being able to blow your friends up for the first time was just awesome.
    • So are you saying that perhaps innovation could top plot? For something like quake, I'm not sure I could base my love for it on the social aspects.

      • I base my love for FPSs on the adrenaline rush aspects. AI can't provide that rush. Only when I know I'm playing against other people do I find it interesting.
    • by sorak (246725)

      Quake had no plot, at least not one that made any sense or was original in any way. It was the multiplayer which made it such an incredibly successful phenomenon. Folks these days might forget what the old days before the Intertubes were really like; being able to blow your friends up for the first time was just awesome.

      Sure quake had a plot. B.J. Blaskowitz had just escaped Nazi Germany, killed all the demons in hell, lost his pet bunny, and then ended up in space.

    • Quake had :

      Good enough graphics (Not the best but good enough)

      Great gameplay, mainly because the engine did not get in the way (you did not have to jump up steps) there were no artificial restrictions due to engine limitations

      Extensibility, there were new levels available, and complete mods, this made it last beyond the initial first completion ...

      Multiplayer, simply added more interest, you could learn the bots, but cannot learn all the possible opponents ....

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by twosmokes (704364)

        Perhaps my memory is failing me, but what had better graphics than Quake when it was released?

  • by xepel (1573443) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:42PM (#29410075)
    I feel like in an ideal world, this could certainly be correct. Everyone likes a fun, social game, right?

    Except this isn't always the case.

    As seen in another recent posting, you tend to get pushed to the 'indie' section of gaming if you don't have the visuals that people want. People like looking at pretty screen-candy, and game makers know to indulge people in this. You can certainly have good games without amazing visuals, but they won't ever be mainstream.

    Most people love their graphics, even if they'll then claim 'gameplay' is important on some survey.
    • "Most people love their graphics, even if they'll then claim 'gameplay' is important on some survey"

      Graphics is a part of gameplay. They are not seperate, hence we call them VIDEO games and not "games mechanics that can't be seen", a game mechanic that is, control, animation systems and visual feedback are all tied together. You can't divorce them from one another in many games without losing something.

      The video aspect of a game has always mattered. It's not that graphics DONT matter, it's that graphics

  • by nifboy (659817) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:43PM (#29410085)
    I'd like to see a more thorough investigation with this method. The paper says they used 33 reviews from Gamespot UK to collect the data, and while I don't disagree with its findings (Gotta have good controls, bad plot doesn't matter), I wouldn't turn Table 5 (categories by importance) into a Game Design Bible. Then again, the paper does say "This paper is primarily intended to inspire further work in the field."
  • don't forget (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bigmaddog (184845) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:46PM (#29410099)

    Video games are now mainstream, just another Hollywood, and what we can learn from movies and apply to our preferred entertainment is that unmitigated mediocrity is no obstacle to making money. How many cookie cutter romantic comedies come out each year? There's no innovation, no surprises, but they keep making them so the money's coming from somewhere. OMG, he travels through time, but he still loves her and she loves him back? Shit bitch, no way! How about generic action movies? Three Transporters, Two Cranked's and Death Race, and I'm sure they're making Death Race 2 right now... in case we forget Jason Statham is awesome. The examples go on. If these movies are making money somehow that means there's enough people out there who are buying, for who those movies offer enough. And yay, look out, the same is true for games. We're measuring different things here, and we even have a study for some reason, but it's no surprise that the average person's demands are for something that's "good enough" in a few basic areas.

  • Nowhere in the paper could I find the various games they used in this study. Would be a nice addition. As someone said above, Multi-User Dungeons (MUD's) back in the late 80's/early 90's were highly addictive, and I would say that the social interaction definitely had a large part in the 'flow', and enjoyment. Many of us would just stay connected to the world, even when not at play, idle, and able to chat with the people we befriended within. The clan or gang structure, also a social aspect, also made f
  • idle gossip (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mindbrane (1548037) on Monday September 14, 2009 @12:05AM (#29410175) Journal

    The PBS special, titled "The Brain's Big Bang", suggested gossip accounts for 2/3 of our speech activity. The episode went on to offer the now widely touted conjecture that social networking may have been one of the prime movers behind development of our comparatively big brains. Idle conjecture can take it to a simpler, more fundamental level. Apoptosis or programmed cell death is thought to be initiated by lack of inter cellular communication. Cells programme themselves to die when they no longer receive communications requiring them to live. It's easy to extrapolate from those findings to an individual's need to socially interact.

    • by mike2R (721965)

      Cells programme themselves to die when they no longer receive communications requiring them to live. It's easy to extrapolate from those findings to an individual's need to socially interact.

      Er no, really really no.

      You can't infer any such thing between two such radically different systems. And since there are plenty of multi-cellular organisms which are completely solitary, it is trivial to completely disprove the idea.

  • by sqrt(2) (786011)

    I've spent hours and hours playing Hearts of Iron 2. Can't play HoI3 because the graphics engine is too bloated and won't run on my laptop. I like the depth they added, but in this case increasing graphical quality actually makes the game unplayable. And I'm not alone, a lot of people complained about the system reqs.

  • Poor terminology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by S3D (745318) on Monday September 14, 2009 @01:09AM (#29410463)
    Authors of TFA defined "Variety" as "non-linearity, choice, dynamic combat, varied AI, emergent tactic". That is what's usually called "Gameplay". What they are calling "Gameplay" - "Engaging, fair, balanced, innovative..." is mostly a pile of marketspeak.
  • DOS based games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ratsalbnoiro>> on Monday September 14, 2009 @01:10AM (#29410469) Homepage Journal

    I got old MS-DOS formatted floppy disks that have my old DOS games on it. I am finding new use with them via DOSBox [dosbox.com].

    Modern games, mostly Windows based DirectX memory eating and bloated but full of 3D graphics and surround sound audio aren't as good to play as the old DOS games. The old DOS games had a limited memory system and most were written in assembly or C and had to fit in under 12M of RAM using XMS or EMS etc RAM that extended over the 640K of DOS. They didn't have gigabyte hard drives back then and had to fit games on 120M hard drives or lower. They only had 640x480 VGA graphics and Sound Blaster 16 Pro audio.

    How many remember Syndicate, XCOM, Dune II, Master of Orion 1 and 2, Master of Magic, Bard's Tale (EGA graphics and no sound card support but the Bard's Tale Construction set fixed that with VGA and Sound Blaster support), and other classic DOS games?

    I heard a rumor that the classic DOS games are coming back via online services for $5 each because modern games don't have that enjoyability that the old 1990's DOS games had, plus people are learning how to run old games via DOSBOX or emulators that run DOS operating systems. The online services allows a DOSBox type DOS emulator/environment to run the DOS video game in it.

    Almost every gaming company is trying to get the best graphics and sound effects, and it seems like they followed the Doom first person shooter model too closely with variations and modifications to it and forgot to make it entertaining and mean something via those social aspects of it. Not just chatting with other players, but the social aspects of going up against a computer controlled AI opponent(s). One of the few modern games that does that is Civilization IV, but it is basically the same game since Civilization II (or the original Civilization for DOS and the SNES) with more graphics and sounds added to it with movies and animation and then some bonus features but still plays the same as the original pretty much. Send settlers to build cities, take your civilization from the stone age to modern times without an enemy civilization taking yours out and develop technology for stronger military units and improvements to cities and world wonders. But in order to bring it to video game console units they had to dumb it down to Civilization Revolutions.

    People want a game that is challenging, but they can set the level of difficulty. Sometimes the turns based game is better than the first person shooter realtime game that eats up lots of RAM and hard drive space for all of the animation and sound. Think of Tetris and other innovative games that did something different from all of the rest, and didn't need the animation graphics and sound effects to win over gamers. Just have an easy to use interface that doesn't require a user manual to be read in order to play it. Some of the best video games the player just clicked the start button and then just joined in the game learning as they went along. Which is what saved games are for, if you mess up, load a saved game before you messed up so you can avoid it.

    • by Gorath99 (746654)

      But in order to bring it to video game console units they had to dumb it down to Civilization Revolutions.

      Interesting that you should say that. I like Revolutions (DS) precisely because it reminds me of Civ II. (Still the best one in my book. Though Call to Power also has a strong claim to that title.) III and IV added a lot of features, but I find that most of those detract from the core gameplay. Revolutions DS feels like it took Civ II, added the best elements of III and IV (cultural influence and great persons), and ran with it.

      Sorry for all the parentheses. Hope you like LISP. ;-)

  • Define success. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by feepness (543479) on Monday September 14, 2009 @01:18AM (#29410509) Homepage
    Is McDonald's the most successful restaurant?

    Perhaps fiscally.

    But not in my book.
  • if you put a bunch of people in a room together and ask them to play a game, that's called a lan party.

    If there's no multiplay aka (social aspects) then it would be pretty boring pretty quick.

    Games were always plot and gameplay driven. Then the japanese started making random gameplay simulators and the graphics were a toddler feast and people who had no attention span anyway started playing them and thought they were fun because those people lacked the higher brain function to realize that performing a mun

  • This conclusions of this study don't apply to me at all: I'm not human, at least not precisely the same variety of Homo sp. that these researchers put under the microscope. I prefer to avoid games with social components, particularly those that are multiplayer but even those solo games that include elements like diplomacy and spying. Truth be told, I prefer games that have endless replayability (*without* other human players), total immersion, and a focus on non-abstract strategy and complexity (extra bon

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LBU.Zorro (585180)

      Interesting - so you're posting on a social website about the fact that you don't like social games?

      Seems odd, maybe it's just me but anyone who really didn't like to interact probably wouldn't be posting on slashdot.. I mean if slashdot isn't a social site what is? Isn't 99% of the content user generated, the vast bulk of it effectively a giant chat room? As in almost 100% social?

      I suspect that the issue you have with games isn't the social side, although you're decided it is, I suspect there's something e

  • The most important aspect of games is good AI, and world design/mechanics.

  • According to that study, IRC is the perfect game. Which obviously is wrong, because it is not a game at all. (Not even multiplayer notepad.)
    Those "games" miss some essential elements of what's the definition of a game.
    There is neither something to play with (except maybe other humans), nor are there defined goals. And there's especially no basic fun creating mechanism in it.

    Also, graphics and plot are way too emphasized in TFS.
    In reality, graphics are part of what is called "aesthetics". Something that also

    • Plot gets you interested in playing the game ....

      Graphics/Sound/interface/engine let you suspend disbelief, and succeed well if they don't get in the way (a bad interface, or engine makes the gameplay annoying)

      The mechanics have to engage you in order for you to continue playing

      The social aspects will extend the gameplay because people are not bots and act in ways the you never expect ....

      Some of the older games I still play are purely down to an engine and interface that do not annoy/get in the way, and en

  • Therefore, socially networked games write their own plot by way of contributions by the players. The games are essentially chat rooms with awesome graphics.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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