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Help Need in Search of the Holy Game!

2009-03-30 10:07:22 by SirRealism

Dear Readers,

I am conducting a research to find out how import certain aspects of a game are. I am doing this by slowly creating a simple game for which I will upload (per version) two different versions (jep, a version of a version) for every new concept. The first will have the new concept and the second one won't. I will ask people to play one of them (chosen at random) and then grade it on how much they enjoyed playing it. They are allowed to play them both, but only to rate the first one they played! In the end I'll be capable of seeing how much better a game becomes after having this new concept implemented, by comparing the different ratings they got. The more ratings I have the more accurate my research will be! About once a week I will upload a new version (with 2 different version) for a new subject. The game I'll be using is called The Vineologist and here's a link to it's page:
The Vineologist
(this page will also give some more information on the research).

The first subject has been "Gameplay Versus Art", but it is more about how important art is. Because gameplay is a standard requirement for games and cannot really be tested, or at least not in the way I'm doing it. Here's the link for the first subject:
Gameplay Versus Art

The Seccond subject is about Instructions and how important they are for making people understand a game. Although my game is really simple and doesn't really need instructions I have still made 2 different versions. One with text explanation and one with drawn explanation. Of course there is also a placebo (a plain version) to calculate the difference. Until now the results are quite astonishing, being that the explanation actually makes the game better, and that the drawn explanation (being not really explaining) make the game better then the clear and understandable text one! The link to this subject's article is this:
The Importance of Instructions

So the main idea is that you read the article and then, at random, choose 1 of the 2 (or 3) links. Then you should play that game and rate it on how much you enjoyed playing it. You are allowed to play the others but not to rate them!

To see all the article about my 'Search for the Holy Game' look here:
Have fun reading and playing the different versions!

Kind Regards,

~Sir Realism

Ps. Please tell me what you think of this research and what subjects might be interesting to talk about in the future! ;)


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2009-03-30 10:54:35


SirRealism responds:



2009-03-30 11:34:10

Sounds interesting.

Might keep eye out for it.

SirRealism responds:

Please do, please do...


2009-03-30 12:30:32

Sounds like this is gonna be a pretty epic game, cos if it isn't thats a lot of pointless fuss. Will it involve hentai?

SirRealism responds:

Inappropriate, Inappropriate, Yeaaahhh!
Shit Fuck!
"How's your ass?"
"Better than Ann Frank"
Inappropriate, Inappropriate, Yeaaahhh!
Shit Fuck! rR8e0sFnk&feature=channel_page


2009-03-30 12:40:59

that's an awesome experiment

SirRealism responds:

Why thank you! ^^


2009-03-30 15:00:54

These things have already been figured out and it's called game design.

This experiment is like taking a good stew and making a bunch of other stews with only one ingredient and tasting each one as if it makes a difference. The important thing is that the final stew tastes great; you can't just make a stew with only potatoes and expect yourself to learn anything about the complete stew and why it tastes good.

In a good game, everything makes a difference. There's no shame or mystique in realizing that sparkles and effects make an experience more satisfying. When it comes down to it, the medium we're used to using in most games is a visual medium, so it only makes sense that satisfying (NOT "GOOD") visuals will contribute to a satisfying experience.

A game experience is all based on what a player values. In some cases, a game experience is nothing more than a distraction, arguably nothing can be obtained from it. No monetary gain, no intellectual gain, it's just a mindless foray. So if a player likes looking at pretty graphics and their efforts yield pretty graphics, it will be satisfying to put in the effort.

There are tons of ways to reward a player, some better than others in my opinion, but when it comes down to it, the reward is what drives the player. A reward of knowing you solved a difficult puzzle, the reward of having sparkles and sunshine appear when you beat a stage, down to the simple reward of that satisfying explosion when you destroy an enemy. Everything is important to the play experience, you can't just single out one or the other. I agree there are different ways to go about doing things, ways to simplify graphics or whatever, but it will dramatically change the play experience from version to version. So essentially, from what I can see, your experiment is simply comparing different versions of a single game with no application to any other game design. You will learn nothing from this except which version of this particular game people will like best. And even then, what have you accomplished, this game sucks no matter what version you play.

On another note, you're testing whether or not a tutorial will improve the game experience and I say, well, that's like saying which is better, apples or oranges, when there's an entire world filled with other fruits, and even more other foods. Arguably one of the most important elements of game design is teaching the player. Not necessarily "how to play," but just teaching in general. A textual tutorial or a visual tutorial is just two of an infinite number of possibilities to teach the player how to play specifically, each with their own unique properties, applications, and feelings of satisfaction. You play a game like Mega Man X that was perfectly designed to teach you how to play via a series of carefully planned out enemies and pitfalls with absolutely NO 4th wall breaking on-screen tutorial, and you start to understand what it means to really design a game for a player. Sure, it's easy to explain something to someone, but to feel like you've learned something through your own efforts and figured out things because you are who you are, that's a way more satisfying experience in my opinion.

In conclusion I think this experiment is a nice effort but it is not accomplishing what you hope to accomplish. I think you could learn more about what you're experimenting with by studying GOOD games and why they are "good."

(Updated ) SirRealism responds:

(Great) Egoraptor,

After reading your comment for first time I could only gasp. But after reading it second time reality hit me like brick. I can't do anything else but to agree with you. few days ago I was SO convinced that my experiment/research was going to be awesome and useful and great! But you instantly changed my mind into believing it was useless, it had been fun, but it was useless none less.
Still, this research has left me with couple of things of value. I have gotten, for one, your explanation on physical exercise design.
I also learned that (this might not seem really awesome, but I just hadn't realized it completely before) that age, gender, background and IQ of people who play my games influences how much they enjoy them. Especially age seems to be important (duhu...). This means that I should adjust, not only my games, but also the presentation of my games to most appeal to the people who play my games.
I have also learned about doing research (mostly how NOT to). And I have learned that games are lot more like art then I thought before.
games have everything to do with computers, especially the development of games. Therefore I have started to see it as something scientific, something explainable and researchable. Of course you can still go and explain things or do research, but you will find that it will improve your games a lot less then you'd hoped. There is much more to game making then only understanding the theory. Making (good) games requires feeling. feeling for what people like, what they enjoying wasting their time on. Just like cooking or making music. No matter how great your recipe is you can still totally screw it up because you lack that 'feeling'. And no matter how hard you practice on your musical instrument, you'll never be better then me...


So, giant amount of thanks to you Sir Egoraptor, you have shown me light (not one of those energy saving light bulb kinds of light, but lot of warmer kind of light).
One last request: Can I use your explanation in my newest blog post?

Yours truly,

~Sir Realism


2009-03-30 16:05:27

I found version 1.1 of The Vineologist to be more enjoyable than version 1.2.
Both graphics and gameplay are important.

The graphics can be used to draw your attention towards important aspects of the game. The timer in V1.1 was made more graphically pleasing, and drew my attention to it instantaneously, reducing my confusion and delay time. The text boxes in V1.1 were circular and the ones in V1.2 were square.
When you see a circle with text, you automatically think of dialogue, which pulls your eyes to it. When we see squares with text we generally dismiss them as unimportant little tips.

Using graphics wisely can actually enhance the gameplay mechanics, not just look pretty.


2009-03-30 17:03:41

"Sir Realism"... Ah, gotta love that name of yours... A genius find in the english language, that.


2009-03-30 17:23:57

Eh, I would suggest having a basic game that actually has more to it.

I am not very intrigued by this "Follow instructions and You win in 5 seconds!" game.

If you started with something that could be expanded immensely throughout your studies you would learn much more and have a more play-worthy finished product.


2009-03-31 09:07:39

Egoraptor is a bitch


2009-03-31 18:25:32

I know.