What is important in an game for you?

I was reading an article about Doom game, and an disagreement on the producers Tom Hall x John Carmack that made Tom to leave Id software at the time.
Tom wanted the game to have more realist and history, and Carmack rejected saying that what is important is the play-ability.
It was a long time a go, at the time, history and realism was not so important as today, and it seems the new players profile has changed a bit, and as well the new developers way to think about it.
So I wander, what is more important in an game, what do you guys think about ?
Realism ? History ? Concept ? Originality ? Play-ability ? Something else ?

I really like chocolate a lot. Most people I know like it a lot but I really like dark chocolate… not too dark but pretty dark.

My son cannot stand chocolate. He will not eat anything with chocolate in it. He doesn’t even eat things with brown candy sprinkles “just in case”.

Neither of us are wrong.

For me, Doom was fun but Dark Forces was totally superior in every way (look up the ancient history). I had just as many friends who felt Doom was way better.

Neither of us were wrong.

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Witch Dark Forces are you referring ? The Star Wars Dark Forces 1 from Lucas Arts I think ?
If so, I did liked it as well, indeed more then doom, the environment, music, puzzles, etc, it was so much more immersive game, its a pity Lucas stops to produce such good games like this one. I remembered an phase in the snow that really makes you fell there in an cold environment.
Thinking about it, I just miss the Immersion in the list, but its very important indeed.
Of course it would depend from game to game, but I think that really good games sticks in your memory forever, and make you want to play it even years after nobody plays it anymore, like in this examples.
I would vote for gameplay and Imersion, but I cant decide yet on witch thought :slight_smile:

I am going to be more broad with my response since I like a lot of game genres but not too many games for each genre. After playing videogames for almost three decades of my life and thinking about that question as well, I think I found the answer.

To me, what is important in a game is that it should stay with you after you quit.

Sometimes when you stop playing, you keep thinking about the game. It could be the story, the game world, the feeling of being a badass, that character you love / hate, etc. You keep thinking about the game and you cannot wait to have some free time to go back or a desire to experience some more.

Figure out who your target audience is and then play test play test play test.

No reason to write Doom if your target audience would prefer Dark Forces… or vice versa.

I mean, I know you asked us what our opinion was but I just don’t see it as particularly useful other than random facts like our favorite food or favorite color.

I always likes to hear opinions.
I dont know, I think today there is an lack of good imagination for good games in the world, of course we are only indies with out money and team to make big games, but its always good to hear ideas, opinions. After all, I think we are all players as well, or was in the past.
@bloodwalker You said something interesting, you know, an good movie has this same effect, but it has no gameplay…
It makes me think about it , that gameplay is not so important as I thought …

Gameplay is important. It’s what makes the difference between a game and a movie possible. That difference is the player.

A movie gives you an impact that lasts, but you are merely an outsider. The gameplay in a game makes you the “ringleader”, the architect of how the game unfolds, in a game things happen because you, as the player, make them happen.


For me, gameplay is the most important thing in a game. Most other things could be neglected or even dropped. An example: There’s a game named flow. It isn’t a game with overwhelming graphics or infinitely possibilities, but as soon as you are into it, you can’t stop playing. Take Minecraft, I think it isn’t sold that much for beeing the best-looking ore most-realistic game outside. In my opinion it’s the flexibility of this game and the possibility to add user created content which made it a top-seller.

…for me, fun factor is key element (related to specific game genre)…very nice graphics, does play certain role, but , far as i can tell, its not something what will keep me playing game…plenty of games new days, looks very nice, but not really fun to play…

Yes, but what is gameplay x immersion ? I mean, what is the definition for you guys ?
For me, gameplay is what makes the game challenges you, immersion is how deep you feel in the game environment.
For example, chess is an game with no immersion but good gameplay.
Those examples from @Tankwart for me has good immersion but low gameplay, I mean, flow is an game very very relaxing but easy to play, if I remember well you even cant die in this game, but its very immersive, you really feel to be there.
Minecraft as well, I mean, its an very easy game to play when playing offline, your only challenge is to buid an house and hide on it at night, but its also very immersive because you have such big world out there with so much things to do.
Online games are another type of game that has very big immersion, just because you play with other players, it makes it more realistic, more immersive, but almost every online game I played are even bored if played alone…

One thing : fluidity. No matter the game, the gender, the era it was develop in or anything the most important part I belive is how fluid things goes in every aspect. The graphic side, the gameplay side, the story side etc. Its usely not the ammount or the quality that matter, its how well everythings connect together. It don’t mean it will appeal to everyone, but a game that don’t fell fluid will be bad for everyone.


Game mechanics or story, not necessarily both imo. Either can carry a game (e.g. Minecraft, Final Fantasy 7) I think a lot of the big developers are so far off what they need to do its unreal. I couldnt believe it when I heard the new Tomb Raider had a budget of $100 million - wtf??

I have no problem playing a game with bad graphics if there is something else to carry it, but not vice versa. That “The order 18-whatever” and “Rise” or something were examples, looked like complete crap to play. Tried the order and I couldn’t contain myself after 5 minutes.

Also love games rich in atmosphere, like Stalker shadow of chernobyl. I think atmosphere can really set apart a first person shooter since there are so many of them.

Did anyone play The Stanley Parable? I guess just something that you can appreciate for its quality works.

If your game does not make fun/ is unplayable everything else is not important.

For example I have some games with realy great grafics or story, but they are just broken from a gameplay side, so I loose fun.

In my own game I pretty much go a simulation way, however if I notice something overly complicated, or confusing, I always stop and think:
What does it offer gameplay wise?
Is there a similar system that offers the same gameplay choices, but with less friction for the player?

Then there are however a few systems, that directly generate their fun from the friction, like dwarf fortress, ss13, arma3 and similar.

So it really matters what you try to archive, and if you do not depend on game development for a living, just go with what you want yourself :slight_smile:

I would add that broken game mechanics ruin any game, but its the easier problem for the developer to fix ( or broke ).
I think its fun to notice that almost every success online game that fail after some years, just fail because the devs decide to change the mechanics and broke it, I saw it happens with age online, and it seems its happening with eve online…
Now, story I dont think its so important, I havent seen any games with long and complex story on games lately , the last one and the more complex I remember is the elder scrolls ( all ), but almost everyone that plays this games dont know the story anyway …

That depends on the type of games you like to play. Ever since Telltale Games started the “easy to play, story rich decision making games” with their Walking Dead adaption, they quite successfully threw other games of this type on the market followed by Square Enix who published Life Is Strange.
So there is a market for story driven games that are light on mechanics (and I for one, loved all those games).

For the discussion about what makes a game great and enjoyable, I can only recommend the “Extra Credits” youtube channel. They talk a lot about this topic and do a great job explaining the things you need to consider when designing a game…