Industry veterans and GameDev.tv’s Rick Davidson & Tim Ruswick* get together to discuss what makes a game remarkable and offer great suggestions on how to make your game remarkable.
There are many games that are similar to each other, the goal is to make your game remarkable so that it stands out from the rest and people remember it.
(*Rick has more than 14 years experience in the game dev industry, working on IP's that include Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat. He's done it all, from Game Designer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer to GameDev.tv's very own Instructor extraordinaire. Tim Ruswick is a successful YouTuber and indie dev, who's created more than 30 games in the last 5 years (wow!), and joined GameDev.tv as our marketing monster).
Listen to the whole chat here: https://youtu.be/KQhqcsJ5sQE
Our 'AHA' moments
- Make your game unique
- Draw or make mockups of aesthetics during pre-production
- Watch a recording of your game to help discover where you need to improve the game
- Include unexpected moments in your games
What Makes A Remarkable Game? (2:35 - 5:43)
A game that stands out is what makes it remarkable, if it’s similar to other games in the genre people will just assume it’s another clone. If you find your game is similar to others, find ways to make it unique. Ideas include aesthetics, sound design, music, programming techniques, animation and player feedback.
An example of a game that really stands out in its genre is Darkest Dungeon, aesthetically and sound wise it's completely different to anything else. Uniqueness will make your game stand out from the crowd.
When To Think About Remarkability? (8:10 - 10:49)
For Tim, the process of thinking about remarkability changed over time. At the beginning he would look at it towards the end of the project, which would then cause him extra work trying to figure out what to improve, change or remove. Watching a video of your gameplay helps you identify this.
Now, Tim thinks about it earlier and includes it during the pre-production process. He thinks about how to make it different, fascinating and how it can draw people in. Drawing sketches or creating doctored images can help you get a good idea of how the aesthetics in your game will look. This helps with the production process.
Improve Your Game With People's Reactions (18:01 - 20:13)
Sometimes you’ll show people the character in your game and their reaction isn’t what you were expecting. If this is the case, add something remarkable to your character. This could be the character being able to double jump, deploy a jetpack upon double jumping or having sparkling trails that follow the jump direction. Unexpected things like this could make people go from “Hmm” to “WOW”.
Other ways to make a character more remarkable is changing the player behaviour with pickups. Each pickup could make the player run 5% faster, then try stacking the pickups so the player could end up running 50% faster than usual. This will increase the speed and challenge of the game, and players will notice the remarkability in this.
We hope these tips help you find ways to make your game remarkable and stand out in its genre.
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Until next time, happy dev'ing!