“How can you make a fun game?” is often a question many children, and even some adults, ask. “Fun” has a different meaning for different people, as do most questions in life. For some people, fun means engaging with a task that involves skill or problem-solving and having a good time. For others, fun is more intangible and self-referential – it means enjoying the task itself, without necessarily trying too hard, or making too much of an effort.
Kids frequently describe the desire for games to be work-like puzzles with multiple right answers, requiring ingenuity, skill, and a sense of effort, or even physical exertion, to solve. Adults frequently talk about the need for games to be work-like, too, but also about the need to have fun. If you’re interested in making a fun game for children or adults, here are some game design tips that can help.
Make sure that your players are having a good time. This may seem obvious, but some players become uncomfortable when they are forced to perform actions that they don’t particularly enjoy, or which do not match their expectations. Many kids and adults think that the best games have straight objective-and-action gameplay, where the player is given a set of instructions and a clearly-defined goal, and then is required to execute the given tasks within a defined period. However, when a player does not enjoy his experience, he’ll likely find another (or another, or another) game to play – and keep playing. The best games involve interaction between players and give players a reason to interact – to try to understand how other players think, to see what their minds are working on, to tell stories and solve puzzles, and so on.
When designing games, think about how players will move, jump, climb, or otherwise manipulate objects in different ways. For example, certain games may feature a platform where the player has to jump from platform to platform; others may have sliding puzzles where you have to move along a fixed path, yet others may have climbing obstacles that you have to scale by stepping on buttons or rolling over bumps in a specific path. Understanding the way that your players will move will make it easier to create the right environment for them to accomplish their goals. Remember that your players may be exploring environments that are unfamiliar to them; it’s, therefore, important to make them feel safe and secure as they move about. Think about the way that other players will move and examine the possibilities; this will help you figure out the best means of creating environments and challenges for your players.
Also, when considering the best games, you must make sure that you are balancing all your player’s needs against each other. While all players must have access to every object and feature within the game, it’s also vital that each player gets an opportunity to do something unique and new. For example, one player can choose to do nothing while another player is given an unlimited amount of time to complete as many tasks as possible. Learning what kinds of decisions to make and how much time to give other players will make it easier for you to design the most interesting gameplay and the most challenging gameplay.
Finally, you must have fun gameplay. It’s okay if your game mechanics are difficult to figure out, but fun gameplay should make it easy for players to succeed and to enjoy themselves. If you’re designing games that encourage people to cooperate and work together, then you must make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. Designing fun gameplay is a science, and a skilled game designer can get incredibly complicated while figuring out how to implement it properly.
Now that you understand how to make games that are both fun and interactive, it’s time to focus on making sure that players can enjoy them. This is the most important step in the entire process of game design. The best way to make sure that players get pleasure from playing is to make sure that the design is balanced. You should allow players to act in every stage of the game without being unfair. A good game designer can do this by ensuring that each level of the game features a mix of challenges and opportunities.
Games are fun. They bring people together and provide them with a chance to escape into another world. Use some of your party games to create this escape and to encourage your guests to remember the fun that they had at your party. When they leave, they’ll be itching to return and play again! Good party games make this possible.