Ted Price of Insomnia Games has laid down his thoughts on the foundations for making a great game. After you read what he has to say, scroll down to read what my thoughts are on the these four ideas.
1. Do one thing better than anyone else.
This is what I think is the key to innovation. A lot of times, big games have mechanics in them that are only slightly explored, leaving room open for wide-eyed, imaginative developers to expand on that concept. To put that in perspective, Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog basically got his idea from “why should you have to hold down a button to run”, and thus platforming games were taken to high speed.
2. Fun Comes First
This is a bit of tough one, since as he says, “fun is hard to define.” But I like this approach, where a game will be great if it’s fun without any fancy story or graphics helping it.
3. Define your audience
You can never appeal to everyone, because everyone has different taste in games. Sometimes, I find that when I start on game projects, that knowing who the game is for is a good way to focus ideas and streamline design processes.
4. Make it personal
Giving your game soul is definitely something that I think can’t be explained, but is still there. I feel that sometimes a game that isn’t technically the greatest, can still be fun when it looks like the developers put a lot of thought into it. This is probably why I still play Ghost Recon, even though the game infuriates me.