What Makes A Good Game? The Formula Inside. Part 2

Introduction

 Well it has been some time since my first blog hit the scene and now I feel it is time to continue my work with this formula and see exactly what you all here at Giant Bomb think. Let take a look at our formula so far after covering 2 components of games the Story and the Cast.
Story that is not only epic, but able to be enjoyed multiple times+Cast that is relate-able, fun, varied, awesome, and useful+?+?+?=Good Game 
 

Part 3 The Sound

    The way a game sounds can in some cases make or break it. Hell there is an entire music genera of games because of this component. The way a game sounds effects almost every aspect of a game depending on the genera. With FPSs if you have a gun from WW2 you don't want it to sound like some Fischer Price pop gun, or if your playing a game with futuristic space guns you probably don't want the sound of a typical earth gun to fill the air with each trigger pull. When driving a modern race car you want to hear the roar of an engine not a pathetic purr. The sound that each element makes can serve to strengthen the gameplay aspect of a game (See Part 4), and to enhance the experience that the player has 
 
    Beyond the sound effects of games there is the music. From licensed soundtracks from the biggest bands in the world to classical orchestras music is everywhere in games. Sandbox games such as GTA and Saint's Row 2 as well as music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero pride themselves in having a diverse blend of music to fill out their soundtracks. Meanwhile games such as Halo and Final Fantasy rely on the musical talents of composers like Nobuo Uematsu and Martin O' Donnell to fill their respective games with wonderful music with full orchestras at their backs.  A good soundtrack for a game should be one that you enjoy listening to multiple times. While playing Persona 3 and 4 I found myself falling in love with the diverse blend of music composed by Shoji Meguro. So much so my Ipod is now filled with his work. 
 
    If we look past actual music we must not forget that sound intertwines with Part 2 of our Formula, The Cast, and how it performs. Voice acting in games that rely heavily on the cast and story help to not only drive the plot forward but help you to get to know each character. While this might not be a huge concern in games with little to no story; to games that thrive on story and cast the way a character sounds is essential. Especially if it's a main character that will be around most of the time. More and more game developers are taking more time to find talented voice actors to take up the roles for their games. Actors such as Nolan North and Keith David who both have numerous live action roles are starting to pop up in more video games. Also more actors commonly associated with anime are making the jump into the video game ring (See Vic Mignogna). Now if you find the right man or woman for the role than you can help to straighten the cast element of your formula.
 
   So if we bring our proper sound effects, strong soundtrack, and wonderful voice acting we just might have ourselves the proper components for this stage in the formula. So to avoid the formula being too long let's simplify it into this bit of data.
 
Sound that strengthens gameplay, the cast, and the overall experience 
 
Well that make part 3 done. Now stew over this and the other two parts I have up, and let me now what you think. Once this whole thing is done I might rewrite a remastered edition that has all the information I have gathered on my own, as well as what you the gaming populous has to add. So don't be afraid to leave a comment, even if its bashing what I say all you are doing is expressing your opinion. Something I have respect for. So until next time Giant Bomb community, Shine On!       
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What makes a good game? The formula inside. Part 1

 
Well I decided to write this blog not only to get a quest done (damn this addictive new feature), but also to spread my views to hopefully other like minded individuals, as well to hopefully entertain you all. Please enjoy!

Introduction

 
A good game, what defines it? Is it perfect reviews from licensed critics on big fancy websites who are paid to give their opinions on a particular game? The more independent reviews that are not as subjugated to being paid to give good scores? Or is it simply what we see and experience with a game that defines its quality? I think its obvious that its the 3rd option as I am the kind of person who has their own set opinion, but is not afraid to give someone with a differing view the time of day. I believe what makes a game "good" can be expressed in a simple formula. 
 

Part 1 The Story

 The story of a game is pretty much the purpose of the game. Without a good story it is almost impossible for the final work to be anything but decent. However to simply tell a good story is one thing, but to make the story good enough for a massive audience to want to play over and over again is key. This is especially true for games that aren't meant to be played a couple hundred times such as epic RPGs like Final Fantasy. When you play a game like that its story is almost guaranteed to be at least 40-60 hours long, and usually doesn't leave a lot of room for replay value. However should a story that is so enticing come around that not only fills that time gap , but stays so intriguing and complex that the player is almost forced to play the game again just to see more of the story, then that can cover up for almost any other fault the game might have. 
       
So simply put the component of the story in our formula is as follows: Story that is not only epic, but able to be enjoyed multiple times.
 

Part 2 The Cast

The cast of characters in a good game normally accomplishes similar goals. They are relate-able as so the player can connect with them more, they look good; this is mainly accomplished by graphics or the basic design of the character, they aren't annoying/useless so we don't want to abandon them the first chance we get (See many RPGs for examples of this), and they sound good (See Part 3 for more information). If we are going to be playing with the same cast of characters from anywhere from 8-60 hours they had better be good. From action plat-formers such as God of War with one single protagonist to epic RPGs such as Persona 3 with up to 8 party members to pick from; it all depends on the genre of the game in question. How they act throughout the story and during game play also helps to determine if this part of the formula is properly achieved. A good character is one that is not too overpower both in voice and strength ( see Lu Bu in any Dynasty Warriors game), but not too weak as to not want to use ever in the game or hear in a cut scene (See Cait Sith from FFVII). This should be applied to the entire cast. I know what your thinking, "What about characters that exist for comic relief? They can be annoying and useful at the same time!" Just remember kids not every formula is perfect and yes there are plenty of comic relief characters in games, and some can be useful. However just think about this one comic relief character in particular and I think you will see my point... Wakka....I think I'm done here.
 
Character component of the formula: Cast that is relate-able, fun, varied, awesome, and useful. 
 
Well we have made quite a bit of ground here now haven't we? However, we have only touched on 2 of the 5 components I believe are necessary for our formula to be a success. Check out my next blog post in the next few days for the rest of this discussion, and the final formula. Have something you want to add to this? By all means leave a comment below, I eagerly await what the Giant Bomb community has to add.
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