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How to make a video game that is exciting to play

Making a good video game requires more than just creating a dungeon with lots of creatures.  They used to be simple enough that a single goal of making it through the game alive was enough to keep a player engaged and happy. Today’s video game players require much more challenge and complexity. This article explains some of the basic concepts that will help you make games that are much more fun to play.

People love to collect and accumulate things. This is true in real life and it is true in video games. Give your player lots of options to get things and to save them. This applies not just to weapons but to all manner of things from clothing to furniture. Players love to look through their inventories and review all of the things they have.

Foreshadowing is a technique that writers have been using since the very first work of fiction was written. It is a technique for giving hints about things to come and it works well in video games.  The most common technique for foreshadowing in a game is a change in environment as a new and greater challenge is approached.  Make the scenery and music in your game more dramatic as the player gets closer to a big challenge. This will be a subconscious indicator that something big is coming up. This technique also works well with bigger and more powerful weapons. If you make bigger weapons available to a player you are foreshadowing the fact that he is probably going to need them.

Few things are as rewarding to a player as the use of wits or ingenuity to solve a problem. Enable your players to have some ingenuity and give them lots of options to solve problems.  Make things a challenge in terms of what they have to think about and give them the resources needed to accomplish the tasks you set for them. This kind of challenge is most often presented to the player as a quest and quests are a very successful tool for making a game interesting and exciting.

One of the most important things to think about in terms of playability is the psychology of reward.  And it is important to think outside the box when it comes to rewards. They are not just gold pieces. They come in many different shapes and forms.  A few examples of rewards are money, weapons, tools, objects, access to new areas, short videos, musical background pieces, or even badges, ribbons and ranks. To keep your player happy keep the rewards coming in small doses and let him know ahead of time about the rewards he can attain.

As a player acclimates to a game he is going to get a feel for the play and the standards that you use.  This acclimation can actually be detrimental to enjoyment. To overcome this you have to increase the rewards and the complexity of the game. This way the player is always challenged.

There are two important things you should do when thinking about how to make your video game more fun. First you should step back from it and think about it as if you were a player and not the creator of the game. But this will only get you so far; after all, you know all of the challenges, tasksScience Articles, rewards and secrets in the game. This perspective will stunt your ability to really judge how fun the game is. The second thing you should do is get other people to play your game or the portions of it that you have completed. While they are doing this you should simply observe them and never help them with anything at all. By simply observing (and taking notes) you will get a real impression of how the game is played by an anonymous player. And you get a good look at how fun it is and what things you need to work on.  

You can make your video games more exciting  If you just sit back and analyze what makes a game exciting. It is always more than just big and scary creatures.  There is a whole psychology that you can apply.

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