If You Could Play One Game For the Rest of Your Life, What Would it Be?

You’re an online game player. Probably an expert. Actually, you’re probably an expert at a bunch of different games. And you probably enjoy playing lots of different games, especially the new ones. But, if you were to pick just one, just one game that you would have to play for the rest of your life – what would it be? Would it be an old school board game like Monopoly or Risk? Would it be Prime Suspects or Mah Jong Quest? Perhaps it would be a puzzle such as Big Kahuna Reef, or Fish Tycoon in an underwater adventure? Or maybe you’re a Texas Hold Em fan. Whatever it is, you’re probably very passionate about it. You play it a lot. But that’s how you get to be good, right? It’s also a great way to pass the time and just have some fun.

Web Games

Many people, especially those who aren’t super sophisticated when it comes to online games, are just looking for a way to pass the time. These are the folks you may see playing the slots for 8 hours at the casinos. They enjoy games, but tend to like the simple ones, without a whole lot of strategy. Online card, arcade, and puzzle games provide lots of entertainment value for many people, everyday. As a bonus, many of these types of games are free to play on the Internet. These games run in a web browser, don’t require much hardware, and work on almost any computer.

If you could play only one game for the rest of your life, would it be a web game?

Puzzle Games

These types of games are very popular. Why? Many of them are free, or have a free version. There are also a lot of these types of games out there. What are some of the better ones?

Jewel Quest: You match jewels and quest through beautiful Mayan ruins in dozens of mind-bending puzzles, while discovering hidden treasures and priceless artifacts.

Prime Suspects: In what other game could you interview suspects, solve puzzles, and find key clues? Not many. That’s what makes Prime Suspects so cool. If you have a detective-like nature, you’ll be good at this one.

Bejeweled 2: Innovative, non-violent, the classic game of gem-swapping. Sound interesting? The goal is to match gems and colors as quickly as you can. Kids and adults love this one.

If you could play only one game for the rest of your life, would it be a puzzle game?

Card Games

Card games are as hot as ever. They require skill, they’re challenging and they’re fun. Games such as Tik’s Texas Hold Em and Super Poker Stars offer players three unique advantages. They offer the thrill of playing cards in a casino, there is no risk because there’s no money involved and best of all, players can test their skills against other card sharks. Online games are often new creations, but these games are new interpretations on the classics.

If you could only play one game for the rest of you life, would it be a classic card game?

Simulation Games

By now, everyone has heard of The Sims. Simulation games have skyrocketed in popularity and for those gamers who love to create their own world, the options are endless. You can build a city, a world or an amusement park with mind boggling roller coasters. You can even go back in time and relive medieval battles. So what is the draw of these types of games?

The hook is that as the game progresses, it gets more intricate. Take Cinema Tycoon for example. Start off with a small cinema and as you manage concessions, purchases new hit movies and try to avoid “flops” you build your cinema into a true Mega-Plex. This game is fun for all ages and levels of gamers.

If you could only play one game for the rest of you life, would it be a simulation game?

Strategy Games

If you enjoy games that challenge the mind, perhaps strategy games like Risk II and Chessmaster Challenge are what you are looking for. These games require you to flex those mental mussels. Many of the classic strategy games are available to be played online. You can match wits with your intellectual counterpart in Russia and find out who truly is the Chessmaster! Sound like fun? It is.

3D graphics have brought a new level of realism to strategy games. These games throw you into the action as if you were actually there…deploy your forces, attack your foes and build your armies. Strategy games are typically designed for no more than 12 simultaneous players. Many of these games are free, or have a free version online.

If you could only play one game for the rest of you life, would it be a strategy game?

Game Show Games

You love to win; there is no question about it. Competition is in your blood. Well, then maybe you could play a game show game for the rest of your life. Maybe you want to play Family Feud, the fast-paced game based on the successful Family Feud TV game show! Beat the average score, or go head-to-head with a friend or an entire family! Maybe you are a rock & roll junkie, test your music knowledge (from the golden oldies to current top bands) with Rock & Roll JEOPARDY!

If you could only play one game for the rest of you life, would it be a game show game?

Summary

Well, what did you decide? Would your one game be Texas Hold Em or Family Feud? Would you choose to become a Cinema Tycoon or take the Chessmaster Challenge? Fortunately, you don’t have to choose, but if you know what type of games you gravitate towards, perhaps you can uncover some new games that you never knew existed!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/J._Wuebben/46723

 

The Top 5 Must Play RPGs for Every Video Game Console

The gaming market is monstrous. Right now there are six consoles, three handhelds, and the ever present PC you can buy games for. That’s 10 different ways you can get your game on, so if you’re someone who doesn’t have the ways or means to buy all 10 platforms and every halfway decent game that arrives for any of them, you’re probably wondering which way you should go to get the most bang for your buck. I’m a bit of a gamer nerd, and so for you I’ve collected the top five available games (in the stores now) for each console for each particular genre. Based on reviews, user comments, and my personal experience, these are the best ways to go.

This round: RPGs. The Japanese RPG market exploded in the 32-64 bit days, blowing out with a new game seemingly every week. You can blame Square for that one, bringing to the stores amazing game after amazing game, which immediately spurned every other company to release whatever dreck they could muster to keep you pumping money into their pockets. Nowadays there are hundreds of options out there, and the Japanese market isn’t the only one around. North American companies have their own answers to the RPG boom and now it’s a veritable flood of options. Here are the top five for each option you’ve got.

PlayStation 2 – The PlayStation brand name has been the home of quality RPGs since PS1 first roled out with Suikoden and Final Fantasy games in the mid- 90s. This list was hard because there are so many left off. Dark Cloud 2, Final Fantasy X, the Shin Megami Tensei games and many more deserve recognition, but alas these are also long as hell, so if you had more than 5, when would you ever finish them. You may notice I exclude the PS3, but I can’t really offer any PS3 RPGs for you until they’ve actually been created. We’re waiting.

1. Shadow Hearts Covenant – The Shadow Hearts series took on a serious following after this entry, one of the greatest RPG releases of the generation. It’s take on the fantasy RPG genre blended into the realms of reality, bleeding over in church and demonology lore. Taking place in the 19th Century and following the legend of a young woman and her unfortunate destiny, it can be enjoyed alone or along with it’s predecessors Koudelka and Shadow Hearts (I).

2. Disgaea – This is probably the best strategy RPG released for any console ever. Released by Atlus, a brand name that has grown in and of itself of recent years to the respectability that names like Square and Level 5 now carry with their games, Disgaea is about the young prince of hell and his quest to regain his domain after being awoken. With more than 200 hours of gameplay here, count on playing for days on days. And it’s funnier than hell. These are great characters.

3. Suikoden III – The Suikoden series is the cult series. Of course it’s slowly sliding out of cult status and into the mainstream with releases occurring every couple of years since this one. The best in the series with the possible exception of Suikoden II, Suikoden III tells the story of a huge cast of characters, all intricately entwined with one another. You play through the tale of their war, but as seen through each characters eyes. Truly epic.

4. Final Fantasy XII – The newest release, released only two weeks before the PlayStation 3’s release, this game redefines the epic scope of prior Final Fantasies, literally reaching for the stars. Each character is fully realized and a part of the action, their story an intricate part of the game. There’s no fluff here, and the rebuild of the decades old RPG formula was all for the better, working for the complete and total betterment of the game and hopefully the series.

5. DragonQuest VIII – Dragon Quest has always been huge in Japan, but only now did it find the same success here in the US. Dragon Quest VIII is the huge (extremely huge) result of Square Enix’s jump to full 3D glory in their series. The graphics are incredible, the characters hilarious and deeply involving, and the story arresting. The battles aren’t half bad either. And the usual monster catching glory is intact. A long game, it will keep you busy for days.

Gamecube (and Wii) – The Gamecube got shorted on the RPG options, much like its big brother the N64. Nintendo lost a lot of their clout with the RPG crowd when Squaresoft jumped ship in the 90s and they’re still trying to earn it back…so far to little success. But, the future looks bright, as Square Enix is finally producing games for the Big N, and Nintendo’s own work includes more forays into the RPG market. Here’s hoping for more, because the Wii is perfect for the format.

1. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – The newest Zelda adventure, Twilight Princess, is by far the best reason to own a Nintendo Wii. The game is a masterpiece on almost every level, to the point I’m almost willing to call it the greatest game ever made. We’ve heard this a lot, that this game is the greatest. That it surpasses what Ocarina accomplished 8 years ago. And as my own favorite game, it’s hard to ever put anything above Ocarina in terms of scope, depth, and innovation. No need to go into detail. Read my review of it here for more thoughts on why it’s so amazing.

2. Tales of Symphonia – The first really good RPG for the Gamecube, and still one of the only ones really. The newest entry in the hugely popular (in Japan) Tales saga, Symphonia was a huge, fun, well told game. The characters were fun, the battle system is one of the best around, and the action was fully inclusive and crafted a long game. Symphonia was the Gamecube owning RPG fan’s one saving grace.

3. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Originally released for the Dreamcast, Skies of Arcadia was given a second life on the Gamecube, again fated to anonymity due to the failure of the console. This is a great game. It tells the story of two sky pirates who must traverse the sky ocean and save the world from a shattering war and so on. You attempt throughout the game to build your pirate rank and build up your ship. It was one of Dreamcast’s must have games and the same for Gamecube. Unfortunately so few actually had it, and now it’s not exactly easy to find.

4. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – The infamous Wind Waker. Nintendo’s foray into cel shading and the horrible foray into ocean mechanics. This game is still amazing. It’s Zelda afterall, but it’s flawed on more than the basic levels. It’s hard to get around. The ocean is huge, and the game is short. But the parts you play, in between sailing around Hyrule are beautiful and incredibly fun.

5. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door – The Big N rounds out the five with another in house effort. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was a return to the Paper Mario fun they coined in the N64 days, this time around with the RPG elements the game seems to work best with. Incredibly easy yes, but fun as hell at the same time.

Xbox (and X360) – The Xbox, not surprisingly saw no Japanese development. Every game listed below was produced in English Speaking countries, mostly Canada actually. The style is noticeably different, but the quality is equally incredible. The strive for realism by Western developers can be seen in each of these entries. Although the lack of humor is equally as prescient.

1. Elderscrolls IV: Oblivion – The Xbox 360 has some serious horsepower. Not only is there room to spare, but the graphic output is insane at time, and what better way to show this off than with an Elderscrolls game. Monstrous, huge worlds in which you can freely roam wherever you want and interact with your environment. This game is huge and intense. Hundreds of hours can be spent just wandering around and completing a main quest. As for getting the rest done. Who knows how long you could spend on there.

2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Star Wars games were starting to get a bad rap for a while, until Bioware arrived with the first full fledged Star Wars RPG. Built on the click and wait action of the D&D ruleset games, KOTOR was a brilliant game that took Star Wars fans back a few thousand years to the height of the Jedi/Sith wars. It also had one of the most surprising and amazing endings in any game..ever.

3. Elderscrolls III: Morrowind – And another Elderscrolls game. This one was equally as huge as its sequel, and had just as amazing graphics for its time. Elderscrolls truly stretches the imagination in terms of open world RPG exploration and making a game that will take a long time to finish. A truly wonderful game.

4. Jade Empire – Set in a fictional ancient China, Jade Empire comes from the makers of Knights of the Old Republic, and while not nearly as large in scope or length, the game utilizes an array of different combat styles and elements that make it sheer fun to play. It’s shorter and simpler than the original games from Bioware, but they make up for it with the attention to detail and the battle system upgrades.

5. Fable – Touted as an amazing achievement in world interface, Fable turned out to be a little bit of a letdown. It was smaller, shorter, and less engaging than what was claimed, but it was still a solid, fun game to play. Starting as a bland adventurer you could become either entirely good or entirely evil through the actions committed during a quest. The characters are generic, the quests forgettable, but the options given to play through them all are still fun. The ending however leaves something to be desired, and they could have done with a few more reasons to openly explore. For a sandbox RPG, it was surprisingly linear.

Game Boy Advance – Yup, no DS games. I imagine soon, with the release of the new Pokemon game, and the surprising announcement of Dragon Quest IX coming exclusively to the DS, the RPG options there will explode, but for now your best bet in the RPG realm on handhelds is with the Game Boy Advance. Here are a few of the best.

1. Golden Sun – It’s not a masterpiece. It’s not legendary. But, it’s good solid fun, and for the size and expectations o f a handheld console it’s still pretty fun. I enjoyed it for a few reasons. First off, the gameplay is top notch. The battle system is built around a simple premise and sticks with it, but it’s still fun. The story is nothing special but it reminded me a lot of the 8-bit glory days, keeping me involved without making it impossible to keep up when I have to turn the game off every 20 minutes. Solid play and go action

2. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire – Pokemon has been around for almost 10 years now, a regular entry in the gameboy RPG market, really the only entry inn that market, and a damn good one. By the time this pair was released (the usual duplicate games with slightly different monsters in each), the same gameplay was reused a good four times and starting to get a little old, but it’s still sound gameplay, and who doesn’t like to collect as much of something as they can. I’m older yes, but I still enjoy the mindless capture and battle system of Pokemon. It’s cathartically simple.

3. Final Fantasy IV – It’s technically a port, but a damn good port at that. I loved this game back in the days on the SNES and the idea to bring the 16-bit Final Fantasies to the GBA made me as happy as can be. This was a game I love to play, but feel goofy loading into my PS2 and sitting down to play. It’s a perfect bus play, and it plays just as great as in 1992. The classic tale of Cecil and the Red Knights never fails to capture my attention from start to finish. Of course, when Final Fantasy VI is released, I might have to replace this with that one, as we all know that VI is the greatest of them all.

4. Riviera: The Promised Land – Atlus has been basting the PS2 market with top notch games for three plus years now, with their fantastic strategy and alchemy RPG games. They bring Riviera to the GBA with the same pedigree, a solid RPG that plays to the GBA’s strengths as well as any. It’s essentially a screen to screen game. You don’t control you surroundings so much as go from page to page within them, but the battle system is amazing and the different options and acquirables immense. The story, like any Atlus game is the real selling point and actually got me to play through it twice.

5. Final Fantasy Tactics – The portable version of the PSone classic has sucked more time from my life than any GBA game I’ve ever played. The 300+ missions are each 30-60 minutes long and the customization options equal length. This is a long game with a lot of gameplay and a fun little story. You’re Marche, you’ve been sucked through a book into the magical land of Ivalice and now you are a knight. Go!

PlayStation Portable – When the PSP first released fanboys dreamed of amazing ports that would bring their favorite games now out of print back to life in hand held format. At least one made the leap, but for the most part RPG development on the PSP has been lackluster, and while Japan gets the Suikoden I and II pack and promises of Final Fantasies, we wait for a decent anything to play. Final Fantasy compilation anyone? Anyone at all?

1. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth – One of the most sought after games from the PSone days, Valkyrie Profile was an amazing RPG that no one played and then no one could play as it was out of print. Ranging from $100 and up on eBay, the promise of a rerelease for the PSP was a godsend for fans out there always interested but too poor to afford it. It’s a solid game at that. With rebuilt cinematics and PSP controls, this entry leads into the new PS2 game wonderfully and finally lets the rest of us play through Lenneth’s adventure.

2. Monster Hunter Freedom – Never a real big fan of the Monster Hunter games, I can still see their draw. You go and you hunt monsters. Simple as that. There’s little to hold you up, and there’s online play. It’s like Pokemon without the pesky storyline or purpose.

3. Ys: The Ark of Napishtim – A port of a port. This was originally released for the PS2 and before that the PC, and has been watered down in between. The same classic Ys gameplay is intact, overland map, onscreen battles and fun little characters in a charming, if simple story. It’s good solid fun for a portable and tells a decent story. Even if the controls are a little broken.

4. Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade – One of the launch releases with the PSP, Untold Legends is an overhead hack and slash RPG without a conscious. It doesn’t strive for amazing storyline or gameplay, just simple hack and slash glory and it does it pretty well. It was fun because it was simple, made in a very short development cycle from the time the PSP was announced. Oddly enough though, the sequel was nearly as good.

5. Tales of Eternia – Alright, technically it still hasn’t been released in America, but you can import it from Europe and play the English language version (or Japan if you speak Japanese). But, it’s a tales game, a pretty good one at that. Technically it has been released here too, as Tales of Destiny 2 in 2000. Unfortunately, it got completely ignored as the gaming world moved on to the PS2. This is a great game though and perfect for the PSP. Complete and intact are the great Tales battle system and one of the better Tales plots. Saving the world from the Great War was never quite so fun as in this one.

PC -The PC has always been a home for the more hardcore of gamers. The cost of constant upgrades and intensity of a PC game are legendary, and only the most hardcore amongst us are capable of keeping up. Accordingly, the games below match that mindset, though more than one of these games managed to break free of the limitations and become monstrous worldwide phenomena. I’m looking at you Blizzard.

1. World of Warcraft – Okay, so duh right? Well, some of you are probably palpitating over my choosing this above some other MMORPG, but too bad. Everyone plays this one, including myself and it’s just plain fun. Having spent hours of my life in this game and knowing that I can go back whenever I want without fear of being destroyed because of the MMORPG laws of survival (never leave), this is a great pick up and play game in a genre where that almost never exists. Huge, tons to do, and always fun even when you’re grinding, WoW is still the best.

2. Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn – The Baldur’s Gate games are some of the best RPGs to come out of the PC age of D&D ruleset RPGs. It’s big, it’s long, it’s fun as hell. The challenge of figuring out what to do, how to upgrade your characters and make the game the most it can be were always the number one reasons to play these. The story is pretty awesome too. Don’t forget the Dragon. That dragon is a bitch.

3. Diablo II – Diablo II stole my entire summer my sophomore year of high school. This game was amazing. It took everything Diablo did and blew it up times ten. The ability to find and receive unique weapons that 1000 of your friends would never find kept you playing over and over again. And it was simple. Click, click, right click. F1. That’s it. Nothing to it. And when you finally unlocked the Cow level, then you were the true God of Diablo.

4. Elderscrolls IV: Oblivion – Many of you probably can’t even play this yet. I still can’t. I only know of it because I have a friend who upgrades his computer ever three weeks seemingly. This game is a beast of the highest order, demanding a lot from your system but delivering even more. Monstrous, huge worlds in which you can freely roam wherever you want and interact with your environment. This game is huge and intense. Hundreds of hours can be spent just wandering around and completing a main quest. As for getting the rest done. Who knows how long you could spend on there.

5. Neverwinter Nights – Another D&D ruleset game, but one of the best no less. It’s huge, monstrously huge. And tack on the expansions and you’ve got 200+ hours of action to play through. The biggest seller on this one though was the ability to craft and write your own adventures as a DM with the toolsets and host them online, ala D&D, but with graphics. The sequel doesn’t quite hold up to the original, but still carries the same weight and fun factor.

I’m a self avowed unemployed writer, working on semi-constant basis to try and overcome the need to go and work a real job. I’ve written more than 200 articles and reviews and am constantly scouring the internet for any and all excuses and methods to make myself less dependent on corporate pay days. Visit my website at TheChatfield.com [http://www.thechatfield.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anthony_Chatfield/70225

 

Online Games – Get Great Excitement

If you are doing a job which involves eight hours of work, you require some relaxation at the end of the day. You may be delighted to know that there are free online games which can actually work as a stress buster. Games offer lot of fun, specially the multi-player ones. With these games, you can compete with other people. So just connect to the internet and start playing against other players.

The online world is known for providing news and entertainment. But now a days, internet is known for offering games that are easy to access and offer entertainment and excitement. We might get several ways to make use of our leisure time but our favourite time pass will always be playing online games. Browse the internet carefully to find the best electronic games. The popularity of online gaming is increasing day by day. You can get various popular games free of cost on the internet. There are basically two kind of games: some are based on Java platforms and some are based on flash platforms.

Games have become an addictive form of activity as they provide endless entertainment. Online gaming gives you an exciting gaming experience with easy to operate games. Before playing these games, you need to download the correct plug-in for your browser for supporting the graphics. You should have a fast internet connection as games take much time to load in a slow net connection. You can find both single player games and multi-player games.

There are ‘Text Based Games’ which are simpler than Java Games and these can be played in chat rooms as well. Online Multi-player Games are also popular as they allow you to play against multiple players.Game developers are coming up with new games with new technologies in a bid to make them more exciting than ever. Internet has introduced to a variety of new generation games. These games are convenient to download and are easy to play.

They have become a medium of entertainment and they help us kill boredom. These thrilling and exciting games keep the players engrossed and make them demand for more excitement. Online Games come in diverse categories like puzzle, racing, action, adventure and sports. Most of these games are played with Flash or Shockwave. These games cater to everyone no matter he is a male, female, kid or adult.

Find numerous games based on TV shows or movies. These games are stress busters and help you to relax and relieve stress. Get fun, entertainment and amusement free of cost. The types of games available these days include:

Arcade Games: These games require some coins to be put into a gaming machine.

Action and adventure Games: These include fighting games, space adventure games and situational games. These games may come with a storyline.

Card Games: These are ever popular games which are played with cards.

Casino Games: The online casino games involve real money transactions.

Sports Games: Play sports games on the internet where you can compete against a second player or the computer itself.

Shooting Games: These games let you shoot objects in virtual scenarios.

Puzzle Games: These popular games are for people who don’t like too much violence. They are played by people of all ages and help you sharpen your mind. Puzzle games are loved by all age group people.

If you love racing, you can play games where you compete against other cars. Select one of the games and refresh your mind.

These internet games have made the gamers dreams come true. These games help them to relax after the hectic daily routine. You’ll find so many games to play that you will never get bored by playing them. The online games stores offer a fabulous range of games. One can choose his choicest game from these stores and enjoy unlimited excitement.

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Making A Great Video Game!

When making a great game there are a number of factors that need to be considered if your game is to survive in a market full of great game designs. Below are listed a few of the more important factors that need to be considered when designing a great game.

Game Graphics:

It is a common misconception that the best games are based on the best graphics. While having great graphics, this factor alone will not make a great game when other factors are not up to standards that match the graphics. However, having said this, it is fair to say that when combined with other equally important game design factors, great graphics can certainly give a game an advantage over other games with lower quality graphics. A few examples of this are the graphics rich worlds of such games as Halo, Myst, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Star Wars, and this is just a few of many games that might be considered to have great graphics. So it is safe to assume that one factor that is vital towards a good game, but that needs to be combined with other equally important factors, id for the game to have great graphics.

Gameplay:

This factor is also a very important game design factor as it covers the point of playing the game, the goal that is to be achieved and the possible interactions between elements of the game such as objects or Non Playable Characters. While a game must have a decent gameplay and storyline, again this fact will not make a great game by itself. When mixed with great graphics however, these two factors will give a game an edge above the competition. Gameplay can be either a simple process or a very complex process and still make a great game, as we can see when we compare the game ‘Tetris’ to the game “Final Fantasy”. Both games were smash hits that have so far remained in many peoples list of great games. Gameplay in itself has many facets that contribute towards the entire Gameplay factor, that we will not explore here, but to name a few, a game designer would consider such things as, Storyline, alternative choices, natural physics, player interaction, etc etc. So again, we can see that this factor alone will not necessarily make a great game but will definitely contribute towards a great game when combined with other important game design factors.

Game Sound:

The Game Sound factor in game design is pretty much on par with Game Graphics. The quality of sound in a game can help determine a good game or not. Examples of this can be found in some of the earliest classics, when we think about games like Zelda or the ancient Atari game called Frogger. Many of us can think of an old game that we can still clearly remember the game music to, granted some were anooying, but most were catchy and addictive. Then coming forward in game history we get to games that rely heavily on the game sound experience, such as games like Silent Hill or F.E.A.R. These games would not be nearly as good as they currently are if they had lesser quality sound. And so again we see another important factor that needs to be added to a game to make it a great game.

Re Playability:

This factor of game design has advanced dramatically over the years of game design, as the goals and aims of our games have become more and more advanced and in depth. To illustrate this point I will take you back again in game history to the old classic ‘Tetris’. This game, and others in this category, were designed so that you play and set a record for that game, and then you play again and try to better that record. Whether it be higher points, longer time surviving, further progress through the game, or another type of score increase, ultimately your only end goal is to beat the score that has been set as best score. Then in later game history we began to see more advanced Re Playability in game designs with the concept of strategy games, where a player makes a decision that then decides how the game shall continue from that point onwards. Some of the great games of today’s gaming history that illustrate advanced Re Playability models are such games as LOTR, where once you have played the game as a good guy, you can then replay all the levels as a bad guy, as is similarly found in the Star Wars games and many other games in this genre, Another type of Re Playability is also found in some of the newer Star Wars games and a popular game named ‘Deus Ex – Invisible War’, where the choices made by the player determine the direction that the storyline will take, meaning that every time you play it you have options of making different choices that don’t result in death all the time but instead reshape the way the story unfolds to the player. This game factor is indeed another very important factor to be combined to make a great game.

Additional Factors:

A few other small issues that can make a game a great game that may also be combined with the above factors are listed here. First of all, there is Character development. As you progress further through the game, your opponents need to get more and more challenging. As the opponents are getting slowly stronger it is a natural conclusion that you want your character to grow with your opponents. The better games seem to give you many different areas of your character that you may swap out or reconfigure or upgrade, etc etc, to further enhance your characters capabilities. This allows a player to mould their character into a more personalised character, someone that the player can connect with on some level.

Another consideration when trying to design a great game is the skill level required to play the game. For a long time, people, usually from the older generations who never grew up alongside computers, tend to say that they do not like a particular game because there are too many buttons and it is too complicated. This thought occurs at many different levels for different players and is a factor that should be considered by the designer of any game. The interface between user and game is very important.

As well as this, the designer might like to think also about how hard the overall game interface is to master and also the game itself. In a game such as monopoly the advantageous factor is luck, in that even a child may be the winner of monopoly if their luck holds out, while a game like checkers, for example requires skill and planning or tactics. So what skills are needed to complete the game is also a considerably important factor towards a great game.

Another important factor to consider when making a good game is the duration of each level within the game, or of the game itself. Although a good game might take a very long time to complete, generally the stages are not spaced to far apart. Game Saves are an important factor when thinking about this. Does the game allow the user to save regularly at the players will, or does the player have to get to a strategic location to use a Game Save. Also how far apart and what position each Game Save is at is also a very important factor. Nobody likes to work their way through a stage for half an hour, to be then faced by a massive battle that ultimately has the save game point on the other end of the battle. This will frustrate your player when they die in the battle and the previous save game is all the way back at the start of the level.

Finally and to conclude this article on good game design. One of the most important factors and one that on some merits can be at least or more than 50% of your games success, is originality. Players get excited when they are faced with new systems. Not only do they wonder whether they can master this system and complete the goal of the game, but also, if it is a good system that in some way seems to be advantageous over other systems on the market, will always hook a player. An example of opposing systems can be seen in first person shooter games where the focus was primarily on the shooter as seen from a third person view or a first person view. This seemed to be the most dominant system for shooter games, until the emergence of games such as Swat and Full Spectrum Warrior. In Swat the system makes a change in that if you were to open a door in the game you have options on the way you can open that door. You may walk up and open it yourself, you may order team members to move forward and open it. You can also open the door using different techniques such as breach and bang, meaning to open the door and toss in a grenade before moving in to clear the room. In Full Spectrum Warrior we see the system change again in that your four man team now has to move around the area by way of making tactical formations around objects. These are just two great variants of Unique Systems.

In summary, a good game does not seem to be defined by any one single factor as seen above, but instead, seems to rely upon the successful combination of successful design factor. The few listed above are by no means all the factors that need to be thought about when making a great game, however, they are certainly some of the more prominent factors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Allan_Street/206703

 

History of Video Games – The First Video Game Ever Made?

As an avid retro-gamer, for quite a long time I’ve been particularly interested in the history of video games. To be more specific, a subject that I am very passionate about is “Which was the first video game ever made?”… So, I started an exhaustive investigation on this subject (and making this article the first one in a series of articles that will cover in detail all video gaming history).

The question was: Which was the first video game ever made?

The answer: Well, as a lot of things in life, there is no easy answer to that question. It depends on your own definition of the term “video game”. For example: When you talk about “the first video game”, do you mean the first video game that was commercially-made, or the first console game, or maybe the first digitally programmed game? Because of this, I made a list of 4-5 video games that in one way or another were the beginners of the video gaming industry. You will notice that the first video games were not created with the idea of getting any profit from them (back in those decades there was no Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Sega, Atari, or any other video game company around). In fact, the sole idea of a “video game” or an electronic device which was only made for “playing games and having fun” was above the imagination of over 99% of the population back in those days. But thanks to this small group of geniuses who walked the first steps into the video gaming revolution, we are able to enjoy many hours of fun and entertainment today (keeping aside the creation of millions of jobs during the past 4 or 5 decades). Without further ado, here I present the “first video game nominees”:

1940s: Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device

This is considered (with official documentation) as the first electronic game device ever made. It was created by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann. The game was assembled in the 1940s and submitted for an US Patent in January 1947. The patent was granted December 1948, which also makes it the first electronic game device to ever receive a patent (US Patent 2,455,992). As described in the patent, it was an analog circuit device with an array of knobs used to move a dot that appeared in the cathode ray tube display. This game was inspired by how missiles appeared in WWII radars, and the object of the game was simply controlling a “missile” in order to hit a target. In the 1940s it was extremely difficult (for not saying impossible) to show graphics in a Cathode Ray Tube display. Because of this, only the actual “missile” appeared on the display. The target and any other graphics were showed on screen overlays manually placed on the display screen. It’s been said by many that Atari’s famous video game “Missile Command” was created after this gaming device.

1951: NIMROD

NIMROD was the name of a digital computer device from the 50s decade. The creators of this computer were the engineers of an UK-based company under the name Ferranti, with the idea of displaying the device at the 1951 Festival of Britain (and later it was also showed in Berlin).

NIM is a two-player numerical game of strategy, which is believed to come originally from the ancient China. The rules of NIM are easy: There are a certain number of groups (or “heaps”), and each group contains a certain number of objects (a common starting array of NIM is 3 heaps containing 3, 4, and 5 objects respectively). Each player take turns removing objects from the heaps, but all removed objects must be from a single heap and at least one object is removed. The player to take the last object from the last heap loses, however there is a variation of the game where the player to take the last object of the last heap wins.

NIMROD used a lights panel as a display and was planned and made with the unique purpose of playing the game of NIM, which makes it the first digital computer device to be specifically created for playing a game (however the main idea was showing and illustrating how a digital computer works, rather than to entertain and have fun with it). Because it doesn’t have “raster video equipment” as a display (a TV set, monitor, etc.) it is not considered by many people as a real “video game” (an electronic game, yes… a video game, no…). But once again, it really depends on your point of view when you talk about a “video game”.

1952: OXO (“Noughts and Crosses”)

This was a digital version of “Tic-Tac-Toe”, created for an EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) computer. It was designed by Alexander S. Douglas from the University of Cambridge, and one more time it was not made for entertainment, it was part of his PhD Thesis on “Interactions between human and computer”.

The rules of the game are those of a regular Tic-Tac-Toe game, player against the computer (no 2-player option was available). The input method was a rotary dial (like the ones in old telephones). The output was showed in a 35×16-pixel cathode-ray tube display. This game was never very popular because the EDSAC computer was only available at the University of Cambridge, so there was no way to install it and play it anywhere else (until many years later when an EDSAC emulator was created available, and by that time many other excellent video games where available as well…).

1958: Tennis for Two

“Tennis for Two” was created by William Higinbotham, a physicist working at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. This game was made as a way of entertainment, so laboratory visitors had something funny to do during their wait on “visitors day” (finally!… a video game that was created “just for fun”…) . The game was pretty well designed for its era: the ball behavior was modified by several factors like gravity, wind velocity, position and angle of contact, etc.; you had to avoid the net as in real tennis, and many other things. The video game hardware included two “joysticks” (two controllers with a rotational knob and a push button each) connected to an analog console, and an oscilloscope as a display.

“Tennis for Two” is considered by many the first video game ever created. But once again, many others differ from that idea stating that “it was a computer game, not a video game” or “the output display was an oscilloscope, not a “raster” video display… so it does not qualify as a video game”. But well… you can’t please everyone…

It is also rumored that “Tennis for Two” was the inspiration for Atari’s mega hit “Pong”, but this rumor has always been strongly denied… for obvious reasons.

1961: Spacewar!

“Spacewar!” video game was created by Stephen Russell, with the help of J. Martin Graetz, Peter Samson, Alan Kotok, Wayne Witanen and Dan Edwards from MIT. By the 1960s, MIT was “the right choice” if you wanted to do computer research and development. So this half a dozen of innovative guys took advantage of a brand-new computer was ordered and expected to arrive campus very soon (a DEC PDP-1) and started thinking about what kind of hardware testing programs would be made. When they found out that a “Precision CRT Display” would be installed to the system, they instantly decided that “some sort of visual/interactive game” would be the demonstration software of choice for the PDP-1. And after some discussion, it was soon decided to be a space battle game or something similar. After this decision, all other ideas came out pretty quick: like rules of the game, designing concepts, programming ideas, and so forth.

So after about 200 man/hours of work, the first version of the game was at last ready to be tested. The game consisted of two spaceships (affectively named by players “pencil” and “wedge”) shooting missiles at each other with a star in the middle of the display (which “pulls” both spaceships because of its gravitational force). A set of control switches was used to control each spaceship (for rotation, speed, missiles, and “hyperspace”). Each spaceship have a limited amount of fuel and weapons, and the hyperspace option was like a “panic button”, in case there is no other way out (it could either “save you or break you”).

The computer game was an instant success between MIT students and programmers, and soon they started making their own changes to the game program (like real star charts for background, star/no star option, background disable option, angular momentum option, among others). The game code was ported to many other computer platforms (since the game required a video display, a hard to find option in 1960s systems, it was mostly ported to newer/cheaper DEC systems like the PDP-10 and PDP-11).

Spacewar! is not only considered by many as the first “real” video game (since this game does have a video display), but it also have been proved to be the true predecessor of the original arcade game, as well as being the inspiration of many other video games, consoles, and even video gaming companies (can you say “Atari”?…). But that’s another story, arcade games as well as console video games were written in a different page of the history of video games (so stay tuned for future articles on these subjects).

So here they are, the “First Video Game” nominees. Which one do you think is the first video game ever made?… If you ask me, I think all these games were revolutionary for its era, and should be credited as a whole as the beginners of the video gaming revolution. Instead of looking for which one was the first video game, what is really important is that they were created, period. As the creator of “Spacewar!”, Stephen Rusell, once said: “If I hadn’t done it, someone would have done something equally exciting or even better in the next six months. I just happened to get there first”.

Ian Blake is a freelance writer/blogger from Planet Earth, Solar System. You may read similar articles at his History of Video Games Blog at –> http://www.retro-videogames.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ian_Blake/246123