What makes a great game -my version

There has been allot of discussion on what makes a good game here, most centers on RPG's which I do love. But with my mention of best game in the last year, and looking at my year objectively to see what i played and what I didn't I found the following ti be true for me.

The game: World Of Tanks

Type: Free to Play Online Player Vs Player game

Description: 2 sides with 12 tanks each start on opposite sides of the map and either kill each other or sit in a flag area long enough to capture it. SIMPLE

Why its fun: What makes a game fun? I have thought about it time and time again, and really have no "do this and excel" ideas. But why is this game fun, that I can explain. First its simple to control, it uses the standard FPS keys wasd, or you can map to whatever. This is one place many games go wrong IMHO, not letting me map keys who i want. Sometimes they don't recognize all my mouse buttons, or wont let specific keys be used. ITS IMPORTANT to let your player do as he pleases with the keys/mouse/joystick and its simple to let them be remapped. Any game that misses this little detail automatically goes a notch down on my scale (and you would not believe how many do). So simple controls that are easy to use.

#1 fun
#2 easy to play and configurable by player to almost anything he wants, keyboard /mouse, joystick/game pad or ????

This game has the standard carrot on a stick method of advancement. First there are 5 types of tanks (there are Light, medium, heavy, tank destroyer ( big gun no armor), and Artillery (shot across map, slow to aim, no armor) so you have 5 different play styles. But that's not all (sound like a tv commercial?) each type of tank has up to 10 Tiers.. each getting better in some way. So there are 10 (sometimes less, sometimes more) different light tanks. AND yet more, each tank can be upgraded in several ways. And yet more, each nation (there are 4 right now with more to come) each has it own set.. So light tanks, there are probably over 50 in the game, then the upgrades mean each tank played somewhat differently .. so those 50 become 500 variations. And that's just the light tanks, then we do the other 4 types.. and you have quite a big number of changes that make each of the tanks different in some ways. Don't get me wrong, if you really want to break it down, each tank 'set" is fairly matched so that tier 1, 2 and 3 match up with any other of the same tiers. So while its 1000's of possibilities, realistically some will see it as 5-10 changes each type of tank. So in the end, you want to see how all tanks play. The fun of getting that big tank that has been killing you non stop and finding out in stock form its kinda crap, so you need to level it a bit to get it into a killing machine. And then we take into account crew training levels (each tank has crew members that can be trained or leveled by playing, the better they are the better you are.

#3 variety, give the player a reason to keep playing, keep seeing new stuff, keep changing how he plays.

The next good thing is the ability to play in short bursts. This game has a match maker (you will soon love or hate) with an average wait time from clicking the BATTLE button to loading into a game of about 15-30 seconds. the longest I have ever waited is less then 2 minutes in about 8 months of play. Once you click and start loading the game shows you a list of all tanks on both sides for about 30-45 seconds. It has a 30 second timer when most tanks are loaded that counts down to the start. More then enough time to get your bearings, talk some real short strategy (or smack talk) then the battle begins. The battles have a set 15 minute time limit, you win by then or its a draw. Matches seem to depend on the map your on. Some maps lend to wide open area's that are slow start, quick end matches. I find most battles last around 10 minutes. here is another strong point, if you start and die in the first minutes of a match you can either view the game from any other player on your sides view or LEAVE.. no penalty, no negativeness. you get your points just as if you had stayed. And if you do leave, you can hop into any tank (that inst in a battle) and play it. Effectively you can play non stop, die, pop into a new tank and new battle. This game has NO DOWNTIME, you play or you don't, its up to you.

#4 no wasted time, no downtime, no waiting till match ends to start a new one. You get to play on your own terms.

Enemies, the challenge, the reason to play besides getting new stuff, seeing new stuff. I have always found the problem with most single player games is AI. We are human so if we find enemy AA will stop in a specific doorway and look stupid if im on this box, I WILL KILL HIM that way. Enemies in single player games are only so smart, they don't learn, they are only as good as the game maker made them. And when i replay, they do the same things. HUMAN enemies who are as good as you, better then you and yes, hopefully worse then you will do stuff you never expect. They don't do the same thing over and over. They are never the same. I have to change on the fly my play style ever match. And in a team based game not only do i have to adjust to my enemies i have to adjust to my team mates styles too. The game plays NEW each time. I have about a 50% win/loss ratio and have striven to improve it and HAVE, the game stats show that with more thought and better play I am improving. I also don't want reaction time to be a part of the game where LAG and PING can come into play. While in any real time shooter its part of it. But WOT give you plenty of input, radar, team mates, aim time (guns take time to aim, cross hair on target does not promise a connecting shot, crew levels, steady, etc all play into it).

#5 your challenge is as good or bad as your opponent, not the programmed AI. Generally in Online games the HUMAN player will improve of DIE, it forces you to adapt and do the same which is a Challenge I look for ward to. The game must challenge you, but not overwhelm you. Showing you clear improvement on the skill ladder is a big plus.

then we come to my last thing (there are many more but one has to draw the line someplace) replay ability. Do you want to play, or do you play just to finish? I find myself thinking of ways to improve my game in free moments, I feel the urge tot type all this as I really feel its a great game. I want to play it, not a week, not a month, but for MONTHS. that right there is maybe my number #1 reason but its going to be:

#6 you want to play it.

Now with all that said, WOT is not prefect in a long shot it had many cons (what game doesn't). Some tanks are BAD even upgraded, many times you will be in a wimp tank and feel you cant do ANYTHING, and a quick death will only frustrate you more. The game depends on others for you to win. That one thing can frustrate and jade you on the whole thing quite quickly. A few weeks in after the even playing field of the small tanks game way to the much more skill/tactics based larger tanks my playtime almost stopped. It IS a game where you Plataea an either give up or plod through a dull spot. Yes there are some tanks that will make you tear your hair out.

I think in the end its all about how much you want to play it. AND.. that it varies enough. This may be where this game ISN'T perfect, it has about 12 maps, which can limit its New feeling. But the maps are large enough people can use the size to make the attack different. SO keeping the same game "feeling" new is a huge asset.

I will close with saying once again, try it.


Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Hey, Clok, did you see they

Hey, Clok, did you see they have a mobile companion app now for World of Tanks for iOS called World of Tanks Assistant? That joins the Skyrim app. It's a very interesting trend indeed...

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
That's a great list, Clok.

That's a great list, Clok. That pretty much sums it up for me.

Shawn Delahunty
Shawn Delahunty's picture
Joined: 08/01/2011
Thanks for the summation Clok

World of Tanks wouldn't have normally been something that interested me, but your breakdown and summary of the high and low points has me intrigued. I will have to give it a look in the next couple of weeks, once I put a dent in my seemingly-endless TODO list.

I also like your "Basic List of What Makes A Game Good", especially #2 and #3. Not being able to configure controls drives me INSANE, especially as a programmer--I know how little work (in the grand scheme of things) it really requires to offer that kind of functionality. I loathe lazy programmers!


Joined: 01/21/2009
No go for us android users..

No go for us android users.. but i see a ton of apps .. i do find it truely amazing the stuff they do.

yes i am still pushing WoT as a good game.. it really is no differnt then MOH/COD/BF games.. its just players vs players on two sides.. but .... reaction time, ping and lag play a MUCH MUCH less part of the skill adding or subtraction form a player. ALl tanks have AIM TIME... sure you can fire a shot anytime a shell is loaded.. but unless your aim circle is small its likely it will miss. You can help this some with trainging of your crew.. but this is a REAL TIME game that rewards thinking as much as reaction time. I really love it as the dip $hits are not all over (yet, or often)... Tema killing is rare.. so rre i have seen it 5-6 times in 1000's of battles. Sure a guy sitting ana aiming will shoot you if you zoom in front of him.. bu the game has some pretty good AI and seem to know when this happens.

dang i will just go on and on on this..

and there is the KEY why i like it.. you have tanks, shells, maps and people, its the simple, yet i can see hundreds of strategies, ideas, plans, .. the game is simple yet lends to so many ways to play.

But after playing all these months ( a year now i think).. i play almost daily (every tank gets double EXP for its first win ever 24 hours!!!)
he low level tanks you start with... everybody is as even as this game will ever get.. the first 2-3 tanks in each nation are hte most eevn matched in the game.. DONT expect that later. being new means you SUCK... and you do... sorta.. the game is new, and as it changes every time you play you cant go.. well this worked I will do this next time.. the match will doubtfully go that same way again. Enjoy it.. dont worry if you get a kill..

As the game progresses you will be in that TINY tank and the other side will have a bunch of tanks that ... well can spit on you and kill you...when i saw this i was screaming Bloddy murder? WHY!!!!!! well becuase you play so many roles.. assistance, spotting, harrasing, and.. bait and target so your better tanks can kill them. A Great big tank eing all UBER chaisn your littel weak butt down.. OH SO TOUGH!!! if you keep him intersted enouhg he lets some "pick on your own size" people in behind him... you did your JOB..even if you die.

the low level tanks all have armoaur htat is strong in front weak in back.. but the big boys have "ha ha" you shot at the front of my tank? you dont do damage in front no matter how big your gun is (exageration)... but ther shiny butt is ... weak... and most are SLOW.. oh the tactics it opens up to the thinking man.

the game can frustrat to no end.. i can play 20 matchs and never win one... and you will start getting discourged...and then you will play one. you might not kill a tank.. but you will harras a big tank ( so fun!!!) and watch it die as it tries to get an easy kill out of you.. you will play arty and kill 3-4 tanks and turn the tide of battle... a few awsome game will change the whole game...

I could talk about it all day... my startegies , why other people suck at it.. why i dont ( most of the time)... and pleae read that as sarcastic.. I think im better then the average player.. but only... im in the top 48%.... :) and thats why its a great game..

AND T-59 TANK drivers SUCK!!!!!!

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