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(12/7/2002) How in the world do you program fun into your game? Our list of five-star fun factor games will show you how it's done.
Fun factor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But fun factor isn't an accident. QB programmers don't just cross their fingers hoping their next QB game is going to be fun, and if you're looking to increase your Fun Factor score in V Planet there are some logical steps you can take to fulfill that task, even though fun factor isn't really an exact science.
Tip #1: Multi-player Rocks
Whether by alternating players or by having them play simultaneously, nothing beats the interaction you can have in a multi-player when it comes to making unique, enjoyable experiences out of a QB game. Wetspot 2 and Super Sumo Wrestling, both two-player simultaneous games, are two of the few QB games that take advantage of a two-player simultaneous mode.
Tip #2: A Little Humor Goes A Long Way
Sometimes, the straightforward "town-dungeon-town" formula can make a game dull. Ped Xing's Quest and Wandering Hamster are great examples of a five-star fun factor game that combines solid, entertaining level layout with humurous dialog, sprinkled lightly so that the game is a lot more comfortable and fun to play. The key to making humor work is realizing that it's an element to make the game better, not something that should be the focus of the game. Game heroes who crack a joke every sentence get old very fast.
Tip #3: Sex and Violence Does Sell
One of the more dubious choices for a perfect fun factor score is the QB game "Johnny's Sex Adventures, Part 2", which is mainly a very easy game that focuses a lot on mature sex scenes. As long as it isn't gimmicky, in good taste, and isn't used to mask shallow or tired gameplay (BMX XXX), adding sex, violence, or any other element that attracts a particular demographic can work in making your game more fun (think Dead or Alive 3).
Tip #4: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Clone 'Em
Maybe it's not the best way to pick up originality points, but sometimes trying to make a QB clone of a very fun videogame can be an exciting adventure in self-discovery. In Kevin Wellwood's clone of Commander Keen, every little detail of the original PC game is meticulously recreated. And with early DOS programs and abandonware losing compatibility with modern PCs, it's a great way to keep those PC classics going strong.
Article Written by Vance Velez, Editor
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