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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Add the spice of Fun to your Games

What is fun and how do we define it? We all know that games should be fun and we know that a game is fun when we have just played it for a minute. If we all know what is fun and what feels like it, why as a community of game developers have we often failed to produce games, which are fun to a lot of people. If everyone knows how fun games feel like, would it not be obvious for them to make it more often.

However now a days games, which are truly fun and appeal to a very huge audience are very rare and far between. The perception of fun is also very divided. Some games come across as fun to some gamers whereas the same appear boring to others.

Fun cannot be defined, as it is more of a feeling. It needs to be felt by the one who needs to experience it. So if it is a feeling how can it be generalized? It can't be. Any feeling is unique to the person and the feelings of each and every one of us are different. For every situation we are programmed to react differently. And this programming had been done as a result of our past experiences.

The feeling of fun is unique to every person and if it cannot be generalized is there no way to make something that is fun for everyone. There is a way. Make a game, which is fun to play for you. Make something that you would want to play for a long time. If you have managed to develop such a game and you love it, chances are that there would be others as well who are similar to you in their likings, who would find it interesting. Then all that you would have to do is to find them and tell them about your game. That's the only way.

This is where so many of us fail. We listen to judgments of others who tell us that we need to figure out what is fun for the market. Figuring it out would be next to impossible. It is very difficult for me to figure out if my friend would also want to see the movie that I want to see. If its so difficult to guess what my friend would like, imagine how difficult would it be to guess what million of other people whom we don't even know would like. But we know what we would like and we know how to make that, so let's make it.

No matter how great a movie, there would always be someone who doesn't like it. No matter how great a song, there would be someone who doesn't quiet enjoy it. Any art form is of second order, which means that we can only ensure that it is produced but we can't ensure that others would like it. We can put in all the effort to make a movie but we cannot make sure that people would like it. But the chances of us liking that movie, which we have produced keeping ourselves and our satisfaction in mind is much greater. That should be our approach with making games as well.

Make games that you would want to play, make games that you would love to play and then try to find as many people who are similar to you (or hope and pray that your game finds them). That’s your best shot at being successful at making games, which are truly fun to a lot of people. 

Siddharth has been playing games since forever and loves it so much so he decided to make a profession out of it. After completing his MBA, he decided to join EA to learn the ropes of the industry. A Game Producer and Game Designer by profession, while not playing games, he loves to read about them, watch movies and spend quality time with his family. His passion for writing led to the creation of this blog.

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