What makes a good motivating game?

posted by on 11th November 2011, at 12:25am

Hola Everyone, I’m back this month to talk about something a little different from my other articles. Recently I’ve been having troubles getting motivated to play all the games I own in my steam library, so I thought I would make this article all about what makes a game motivating to play more than the normal 5-10 hours most games give to you.

I guess before I start I should say what kind of things make a game want me to come back. Now I know most people aren’t like this, but substitute in what you like about a game here, and then read on. I like games that have a large following and is a place I can talk, or at least be around, other people who are intelligent. RuneScape is a good example of this now that the bots are gone. Those people want to play the game and make it fun for other people if you get into a good conversation with them. Team Fortress 2 is also a good example of a game that is memorable for a couple of reasons. Just the style of game is one of the biggest things that a lot of other games have tried to mirror, hoping to get a memorable game. Also the act of teamwork is a big part of what make Team Fortress 2 a really big game. The other part for me that makes a memorable game is one of those “did that really just happen” moments. One of the big ones for me is the ending of the While Guthix Sleeps quest (not going to go past that in case people don’t want a spoiler to the game). Now those are my motivators, but I know you have your own, so just think about those when you get bored of something.

Now getting away from what motivates me, games add in subtle things that bring you back in. Updates are things that can bring people back to playing if they see it adds something new to the game. When free trade (while at first I thought it was awful) was something that brought more motivation for me to play RuneScape. Big communities also help if making a game a real success. Call of Duty and Battlefield have HUGE communities and those games are still going strong (Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 which was just released when I’m typing this article is the series 8th game!) and I don’t think they are going to slow down any time soon. Those small little things make those games so popular and add to the motivation someone might have towards playing that game are a certain point.

Overall, motivation makes a game enjoyable. RuneScape is fun because you set goals for yourself to complete. It makes you want to get that goal because you know you’ll feel much better once you get it done. Other games like Battlefield and Call of Duty give you better weapons at higher levels, and you know this because all the higher level player are killing you faster than you can with your lower level guns. Now while you may feel like you’ll never get there, the motivation of getting there just makes you want to get there, despite the frustration and time that it will take. Team Fortress 2 is a little different. The motivation there is just getting the best score in that game, while having the best items. Team Fortress 2 is just winning the map. There is no ranking after the game is done. There are no levels to think of, it’s just playing the game and having fun. Those simple things are enough to make anyone want to play, and then continue to play for years after. They make the game fun and can even give small gaming companies Huge success because people want to continue to play the game, which in this case I’m talking about MineCraft. MineCraft became a huge success because it was just a simple game where you can do whatever you mind can imagine it to do. Just because of the big the array of thing you can do, Mojang has become a global phenomenon.

Motivation to play a game is what Game developers strive for. They want to find that right formula for the game so that the fans continue to give feedback about their game and continue to make their game a success, one that is memorable to make them want to play it more. This is all I have for now, see you next time. Tim Out!

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