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The People Speak: The Formula for Success

Posted on Sunday, February 27 @ 18:49:57 PST by

Sorry for The People Speak's slight delay this week. I was visiting my parents. *Sheepish look*

Last week I wrote a fairly positive-skewing piece about how great it is to be a gamer. I should have known that you negative-nancies are the wrong audience for such an opinion. Games suck! It's a terrible time to be a gamer!

Now that I've got you on my side, let's see what you, the readers, believe to be the formula for an amazing game:

Some of you, like LinksOcarina, answered my admittedly open-ended question by specifying a quality that aids a game on its way to success. "One week I may want something that is philosophical and emotional, like Mass Effect or Heavy Rain can be, another week I want to blow stuff up, like in Ikaruga," Links wrote. "So for me, the secret to success is variety to choose from, because if everything was the same it would just suck."

Others, like Longo_2_guns pointed out the distinction between success and quality. If only the two were indistinguishable! "Successful anything, games included, cater to the lowest common denominator: the casuals, in this case. However, really, these games are dime-a-dozen and forgettable. Either that, or they cash in on fandom and nostalgia, which seems to be a big selling point now," Longo wrote, illustrating my point about negative nancies.

"Great games are the opposite. They don't cater, but still manage to deliver a strong punch. How? It doesn't matter what the genre is, but it has to be flawless. Everything has to work out precisely how it's supposed to. It also has to be somewhat creative, which is why it's somewhat hard for any war game to be great, unless it's somewhat creative about it."

We'd like to hear your thoughts on Homefront's premise Longo!

Longtime lurker, first time poster SpitefulSerpent5 highlighted several elements he believes make a game great: "Fun, an immersive, world, player freedom, strong characters, polish, and personality." Despite being so succinct, SpitefulSerpent5 was sure to defer to another forum member by the end.

After Used44's comment summed great games up as "Boobs+physics," MattAY went one step further to create "Devil Fantasy Solid 15: Enter Chick Physics." Matt provided his design document as "Devil May Cry + Final Fantasy items, weapons, armour and levelling system (basically your standard RPG shizzle) + an insane amount of collectables + Metal Gear Solid-esque plot + NO Metal Gear Solid length cut scenes + all the sexy babes from Soul Calibur + a lifetime supply of cola and popcorn at the side of my gaming chair."

Thanks to everyone who spoke this week. Got a suggestion for next week's topic? Leave it in the comments or send an e-mail to If you want to be featured in The People Speak (which normally runs on Saturdays), you can register and hop into our forums. Find yourself on the front page after participating in this week's discussion: "Put yourself in the shoes of the publishers, developers, and retailer-middle-men. How much should our hobby cost? What's an appropriate pricing structure for the gaming landscape?"


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