What Makes Up A Video Game?


Image Courtesy of EVG photos, accessed via pexels.com

When someone plays a video game, they tend to not always realize all the work and effort that goes into making it. This is because people tend to forget all the different aspects and features that may make a video game either great or not so great. Some of these different aspects may seem obvious, but others may be more forgettable than one may think.


One of the first things someone might ‘see’ in a game would be how it visually looks. This can range from the aesthetic of the game to how refined the graphics look. Visuals can be one of the main draws people have to games, as they draw their attention and just generally look cool. Unfortunately, some people may judge games too harshly based on how they look to them while ignoring the various other and, frankly, more important aspects of games. 


Gameplay, being the main thing that differentiates video games from other forms of media, is one of the most important factors in determining the quality of a game. Gameplay keeps someone invested in playing it, as things like choices/decisions, movement, or progression keeps people interested in playing more. The gameplay is also the main differentiator between genres of games, such as puzzle games, fighting games, visual novels, adventure games, FPS games, you name it. 


The music in games may play a greater role than you may think. Without music, some games may just feel empty or lifeless since it doesn’t feel right with only hearing the eerie sounds of whatever actions are taking place in-game.  A soundtrack can also be used out of playing the games, as people would like to listen to the music on their own time, so making sure the music is interesting and appeals to people is a very important part of the game design process.


Something that can determine whether a game is a hit or miss is how well it is designed. This ranges from user interfaces like menus, organization, and the controls of the game. If the controls don’t work, are too convoluted, or too confusing, it may draw people from a game. Convenience and learning controls are also important subfactors to this, as more mechanics can be introduced throughout the game, as long as they are explained properly. Focusing on menus, things should be clear, easily navigable, and not overwhelming to look at or aesthetically displeasing.


One of the most important parts of a game is how much of a challenge it can be to a player. This depends on the game, as some people would either not want to worry about games being difficult, or they may want it to be challenging so it feels rewarding when they get through a difficult challenge. This also delves into what is called a difficulty curve, or how hard a game may be as a game goes on. This is crucial to how a game is made, as a game may either be too easy throughout it and bore a player, or it may be suddenly extremely difficult and may overwhelm someone.


Frankly, to me, this is the most appealing part of a game to me. Sure, the other aspects of the game can also make me enjoy it, but the stories in games are very important to me and many others in how good it can be.  This also relates to how a game may make you feel. Whether it would be relief, fear, sadness, or joy, games that make you feel real emotions are what makes these really special.