What makes a SUSTAINABLE game?


Question in mind: 
Why are some games forgotten by players even though they used to top the popular games? What makes Angry Birds so popular after so many years? What are the values of games?

What is a Game?
“One or more players make decisions through the control of game objects and resources in pursuit of a goal” 

Continuous Challenge

A good game designer gives his players continuous challenges, each of which leads to another challenge, to keep them “hooked” on playing a game. This can be done by setting clear, short-term goals appropriate to the level of the player and the context within the game. Each challenge should satisfy some kind of learning objective. For example, answering a question, identifying a sample or completing a measurement or a portion of a map could be a challenge, part of a larger game.

Interesting Storyline

This isn’t essential to every kind of game (for example, not for a scavenger hunt), especially when players are competing against each other. In that case, the excitement of the competition is likely to engage them. However, a good storyline can liven up a competition still further (look at pro wrestling!).

In various Internet forums and game-magazine columns about video and board games, a good plot or storyline is cited as essential to a good game. Oddly enough, a fantasy context makes players more motivated to succeed at a game. So instead of having students memorize types of ores, have them play as miners prospecting for minerals and needing to identify profitable sources. Rather than using games to escape from their studies, encourage students to use games to escape into their studies.


Make sure that there are many different ways to accomplish each goal. Simply plotting out a step-by-step progression through the goals can be stifling. As much as possible, let each player (or team) work out their own strategy to the endpoint while still keeping the game challenging and achieving the learning objectives.

Immediate, useful rewards.

Instead of just points towards victory, successful players (or the pieces or characters they’re in charge of) can be rewarded with new capabilities, a new part of the board to explore or even a new task. These are surprisingly motivating, as the point of the game is not just to win it, but to keep playing.

Combining Fun and Realism

Many so-called games are actually simulations without goals and challenges. Excessive realistim can also be boring. But even good games often incorporate incorrect assumptions (i.e. Sim City favors public transportation) or reward unrealistic behaviors, such as giving players too much time to make decisions (Prensky, 2002b ).

Source: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/games/goodgame.html

What are some important elements needed for a good game?

Motivation – In order to sustain, a game needs to have a motivation for the user to play constantly. The benefits for them which encourage continuous playing of that game. Whether is it social or physical benefits, there must be a sustainable value and goal for them to achieve after gaming. Think of long-term benefits like personal wellbeing instead of short-term pleasure.

Engagement of senses – most of the video games engage only visual and audio senses, tablet games also engage touch sense. There is potential in developing games which engage taste and smell.

Why is Angry Birds so popular?
(source: http://www.youmotivation.com/inspirational-articles/5-reasons-why-angry-birds-is-so-successful-6407)

1 | Simplicity – Easy to pick up

Simplicity And Easy For Beginners

The game is simple to pick up and play even for those who’ve never played it before. It does not matter your age or intelligence level because the basic concept of the game is soeasy to understand that there isn’t even a need for words to explain directions or objectives. That removes any language barriers that might otherwise cause non-English speakers to hesitate from buying the game.

The simplicity of the game means that no challenge is impossible, and that the game is beatable as long as you put in the time and effort. Simplicity helps you relax and reduce your stress because there is not too much to “think” about when playing the game.

2 | Achievement – Feeling of accomplishment and progression

Feeling Of Achievement

You always know that you are progressingbecause the levels aren’t too long nor difficult. And with each completion of a level you will know just how well you did. The best part is, for those perfectionists out there you can always achieve a better score than your previous best.

And upon beating the game, there will always be some levels where you had not unlocked the maximum 3 stars. This creates an incentive to go back and play those levels again thereby increasing the replay value of the game. Progression gives you an incentive to keep going and achievement gives you a sense of satisfaction.

3 | Satisfaction – It is highly addictive

Angry Birds Highly Addictive

The sound effects, explosions, music, gameplay, and colorful graphics are what make the game so satisfying and enjoyablefor anyone. Every green pig you destroy, every stone wall that goes crumbling down, it’s all just so exciting! ‘Angry Birds’ does not do one thing right, it does a whole bunch of things right. It is highly satisfying to know that you’ve just demolished a castle filled with little piggies inside, and you did it all with a single bird.

You are sure to release endorphins when you finally beat that one level that you’ve been stuck on for so long! Satisfaction makes you happy and happiness translates into playing the game more and more.

4 | Casual – Play for 1 minute or 1 hour

Casual Game Success

Whether you are playing the game while waiting in line or during your lunch break, it’s really up to you. Although ‘Angry Birds’ was meant primarily for the casual gamer, there are plenty of goals, objectives and personal achievements that hardcore gamers can work to attain.

Casual means that one does not need a huge time commitment before deciding whether or not he or she should turn on the turn and play. The majority of people today cater to casual games which is why ‘Angry Birds’ fits the bill perfectly.

5 | Popularity breeds more popularity

Popular Angry Birds Game

Why is it that when people do anything remotely new or interesting you have a sudden urge to do it as well or at least find out what it is they are doing? It goes back to us humans being curious creatures. We all want to know what we don’t know and figure out what hasn’t been figured out yet.

That is why when Angry Birds first came out, it created a mini-buzz around those who picked it up and played. This of course spread like wildfire, and soon enough, everyone felt like they had to have this $0.99 cent app. The hit single, Gangnam Style from Psy was a clear example of popularity breeding more popularity.

Why Angry Birds is so successful may still be a surprise to some of you but when Rovio saw an opportunity to grow their company, they did not hesitate even for a second. They seized every opportunity they were given and made ‘Angry Birds’ more than just a game. They made it into a globally recognized brand that has revolutionized the physics puzzle genre forever.

Other relevant article: http://www.mauronewmedia.com/blog/why-angry-birds-is-so-successful-a-cognitive-teardown-of-the-user-experience/

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