Things to remember next time
Written by miechu   
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 15:45

I've found this article to be very interesting. Some things written there are obvious to game developers with any experience (like Why do the houses containing pigs shake ever so slightly at the beginning of each game play sequence? - eee... physics? ;)). But there are some very good points as well. I'm putting together below list to not forget it (I'm too lazy to read that long article again ;)).

  • Response time - indeed sometimes it's desired to give player a chance (or even force him) to look at results of his/her action. In mean time brain tries to figure what to do to perform better - making it more engaging, which is desired! Faster is not always better.
  • Short-term memory is a thing to play with and take advantage of
  • Adding complexity over time - it takes some tweaking when to introduce new elements in the game. Sounds obvious but still, worth keeping in mind.
  • Fast "reload level" option, easily accessible.
  • Visual and audio feedback to any player action - another obvious thing, nevertheless crucial.

So I've finally took some time and downloaded free versions of Angry Birds. BTW, yeah, versions, there are like three of them! Anyway, all have the same mechanics described in the article so who cares. I haven't played Angry Birds before since it's a gameplay concept that has been around for at least three years and I've already wasted enough time playing one of many flash implementations of it.

Anyway, I've played it and tried to pay attention to all that stuff mentioned in the article and my notes. General conclusion is: it's a well executed robust design, which in most cases evolved while iterating implementation until it felt right (disclaimer: it's my personal opinion ;)). And that's the way it's being done in 'da biz', so no rocket science there. "All" it takes is good idea (they've taken someone else's, proved idea) and a skilled team (programmers, artists and a sound guy) to do everything "just right".

So again, my main conclusion form this and other success stories from AppStore (with exceptions) is that a game needs to be polished, consistent and fun. These three values together with lots of marketing guarantee a success. There, I've just formulated a success recipe! ;)


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