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3 hours ago, golstat2003 said:

 

I'd be careful in trying to boil things that deal with actual human emotion down to a metric. I don't think that was the point of the thread.

 

I wasn't the one who claimed that "fun" was a metric:

 

20 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Fun is an absolutely important metric for feedback, though.  

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16 hours ago, tidge said:

 

I propose that fun be measured by the consumption of Awaken/Bounce Back/Restoration.

 

So are you saying that blasters have all the fun?

 

I'm down with that.

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Starwave  Wolfhound  Actionette  Nightlight

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I have fun when I learn something new and get to use it in action. I have fun breaking the mold, or breaking what people assume to be true. I also have fun sharing that with other people, as well as just helping people in general. I also enjoy number crunching and sharing my results with the big brains out there, who often correct my misunderstandings and mistakes, or help me think of something entirely new and often altogether entirely different and often enough better than I intended.

 

I also have fun running 3 MMs all around and hearing peoples reactions when 18 robots/demons/thugs go by them in one large mob. I also have fun doing things like popping Gangwar 3 times, then Burnout 3 times, then Gangwar 3 more times after that. Or doing something silly like have all  3 robot MMs with group fly and specialize in knock back attacks. Or power farming with 3 MMs and watch people still go "WTF??" To me, all that is fun.

 

YMMV though.

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On 7/23/2021 at 11:00 AM, roleki said:

Not to derail, but I was part of the verrry long Alpha/Beta of Fortnite, and it felt like they had done exactly what you suggested, except instead of focusing on the top two or three answers, they tried to stuff EVERY 'want' into the core game.  It was huge in places, unwieldy at times, fun in a general sense, and had the potential to be somewhat deep... but then they just shoehorned PUBG into it, and nobody even knows Save The World even exists.

 

Oh hey, it's my department!

 

Popping into this thread as a current game industry professional - specifically, a UX lab tech - to confirm @GraspingVileTerror's impression about the use of 'Fun.'  The metrics we use in the research department are engagement, retention, bounce rate.  "Fun" is something we discuss, but typically only in the sense that we as researchers are also players of our game and thus invested in enjoying our experiences with it.  The only context in which I ever hear 'Fun' bandied about unironically as if the term is supposed to have institutional weight is when designers are using Fun as a bludgeon to smash the legs out from each other's creations.  This is not to say that it's an invalid concept, mind; more that I tend to find that the way that it's implemented is 'feelsy', not analytical.

 

As for what provides me enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure, the dictionary definition of "Fun:"

  • Making suboptimal 'gimmick' builds and then optimizing within the constraints of a 'bad build' - my greatest indulgence to my hipster, 'popular thing is bad' instincts
  • Getting to see the creativity of the community on parade, like an art patron walking around a gallery
  • Roleplay, on a macro level
  • Having the opportunity to learn something new about my character that I hadn't considered prior
  • Having the opportunity to learn something new about another character
  • Having other people pay attention to me because I am a preening parakeet and without positive reaffirmation I will die
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22 hours ago, golstat2003 said:

 

I play both this game and FFXIV.

 

When I want to have fun just mindless running through mobs and living out the superhero power fantasy (especially after a long day of IT QA, where you most assuredly CANNOT do things mindlessly), I come here.

 

When I want a more modern mmo approach (where I have to move in certain ways to avoid certain bad actions --pre-moving or moving just in time or pattern versus the "yellow" markings on the floor that indicate a big bosses major attack is about to land; or do a series of actions to end an encounter faster--for instance BLM rotation to get max dps) I play FFXIV.

 

Sometimes you want the fun of complexity (FFXIV / WoW encounters). Sometimes you want the fun of simplicity. (COH / Genshin Impact)

 

EDIT: For those who don't know BLM, is Black Mage in FFXIV (arguably the job with the highest potential dps in the game), and there are certain rotations you have to get down (with appropriate level of spell speed) to maximize the dps that BLM can do. Thankfully there are no dps meters unlike WoW, so you have much room to learn without folks yelling at you when you get it wrong :p)

 

Like I said, I find learning, discovery, improving and figuring out problems to be fun.  Personally, I don't equate superhero power fantasy to "mindless" and if it starts getting mindless, I likely have to roll a more challenging character or figure out a more complex concept.  But hey, to each their own.

 

Having more mundane tasks or combat is obviously an option that I participate in too, which is why I don't mind turning down my difficulty if I'm just rolling through a story to read vs keeping the difficulty to a static setting.  FFXIV also has simplicity, btw.  Fates, normal quests, leveling up different jobs, lower level dungeons, crafting, etc.  Now if you're talking about a complex game with no chill, Blade & Soul would be my candidate.  Getting back into the muscle memory of a class is hard enough but anything that has drops worth anything requires effort to beat and you can't just mindlessly button mash and the only thing to do in that game is farm and PvP (although that scene is died down tremendously).

 

I think breaking them up into complex and simple is mostly an appeasement perspective, though, because a game can still have simplistic gameplay and be extremely complex.  For example: FFXI's gameplay and flow.  CoX has complex mechanics as well, from the perspective of a newer player.  Basically, there's not really an excuse to labeling something as simplistic unless that was the goal from the outset and I don't think CoX was made to be simple or mindless.

 

But then I'm not blaming CoX for being simple or chastising it from being mindless.  I play multiple games so I don't get too cemented in familiarity.  Coming back to a game that I hadn't played in months or years can feel like a learning experience in itself which is part of my fun.

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Well. This is an interesting topic.

 

I think one thing @GraspingVileTerror has wandered near a few times in this thread is the old Skinner Box concept and it's heavy use in MMOs, to the point that many players conflate grind rewards with "fun."

 

I bring it up because I know a lot of people look to simplify a topic like this down to "I'm still playing, so it's fun."  But if you cannot break down what keeps you coming back, you run the risk of being taken advantage of, either in big, destructive ways or in a million little swindles over your lifetime to make someone's engagement stats look good.

 

I've probably linked this before, but if you find yourself feeling like "game makers* just aren't as nefarious as all of that," I would direct you to this mobile developer presentation:

 

(Warning: redside content detected)

 

Tl;dr:  we need conversations like this for more people to realize "I'm still playing so I must be having fun" is just the lie that is taught.  The more folks understand this, the better tomorrow's games can be.

 

i had intended some more literal, personal takes at this point but... I don't think it belongs in this post.

 

EDIT:*Not all game makers, obviously. I think most people in the industry likely still hold the little light of hope in their souls that what they build is for good, and beautiful.  But that hasn't stopped every major game corp from finding devs complicit in the development of these features.

Edited by Replacement
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1 hour ago, Replacement said:

I think one thing @GraspingVileTerror has wandered near a few times in this thread is the old Skinner Box concept and it's heavy use in MMOs, to the point that many players conflate grind rewards with "fun."

 

I bring it up because I know a lot of people look to simplify a topic like this down to "I'm still playing, so it's fun."  But if you cannot break down what keeps you coming back, you run the risk of being taken advantage of, either in big, destructive ways or in a million little swindles over your lifetime to make someone's engagement stats look good.

 

Assuming this is at least partly in response to one of my earlier posts, I'll say that no, this isn't the case for me; in fact it's quite backwards.  It's not that "I'm still playing therefore it must be fun," it's that "I'm still having fun, therefore I'm still playing."  I don't care for Skinner Boxes; I don't play for grind rewards (one reason why I have so little progress at the Incarnate level).  I have my own idea and knowledge of what is fun for me, I just chose not to elaborate as I think it's a futile discussion that was opened with a negative statement ("fun" is a four-letter word") that could only result in circular arguments and idea-bashing.

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On 7/25/2021 at 3:33 PM, Naraka said:

 

Like I said, I find learning, discovery, improving and figuring out problems to be fun.  Personally, I don't equate superhero power fantasy to "mindless" and if it starts getting mindless, I likely have to roll a more challenging character or figure out a more complex concept.  But hey, to each their own.

 

Having more mundane tasks or combat is obviously an option that I participate in too, which is why I don't mind turning down my difficulty if I'm just rolling through a story to read vs keeping the difficulty to a static setting.  FFXIV also has simplicity, btw.  Fates, normal quests, leveling up different jobs, lower level dungeons, crafting, etc.  Now if you're talking about a complex game with no chill, Blade & Soul would be my candidate.  Getting back into the muscle memory of a class is hard enough but anything that has drops worth anything requires effort to beat and you can't just mindlessly button mash and the only thing to do in that game is farm and PvP (although that scene is died down tremendously).

 

I think breaking them up into complex and simple is mostly an appeasement perspective, though, because a game can still have simplistic gameplay and be extremely complex.  For example: FFXI's gameplay and flow.  CoX has complex mechanics as well, from the perspective of a newer player.  Basically, there's not really an excuse to labeling something as simplistic unless that was the goal from the outset and I don't think CoX was made to be simple or mindless.

 

But then I'm not blaming CoX for being simple or chastising it from being mindless.  I play multiple games so I don't get too cemented in familiarity.  Coming back to a game that I hadn't played in months or years can feel like a learning experience in itself which is part of my fun.

 

Once again you and I are going to have to agree to disagree.

 

Saying a game is simple or can be played mindlessly is not a chastisement or insult. There are many million dollar games on the market that are just that.

 

I'd argue the Devs (based on comments at the time and after the game shut down) DID intend of CoH to be simple, compared to what else was out there at the time. It wasn't till the IO system that real complexity got added to the game.

 

FFXIV has many more complex encounters than this game. That's not a bad thing or indictment of COH.

 

Sometimes you want simple gameplay, or games you can come back to that you don't need to spend a lot of time relearning if you haven't played them in years. COH is simple and uncomplex enough (aka what I'd consider it fun for) that when HC went live I didn't need to spend months re-learning it. I can't say the same about FFXIV when I take long breaks and haven't played some of the raid-level encounters in weeks.

 

YMMV.

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On 7/21/2021 at 6:20 PM, GraspingVileTerror said:

So, in an effort to try and dispel that myth, and encourage thoughtful examination of the game, the community, and all that we've built around ourselves here . . . I wanted to get the ball rolling on a little frank discussion about where folks draw their personal lines on things that are "fun" and "not fun," what's enjoyable, what's engaging, what keeps them around, and then ask them to consider peeling those thoughts apart, and examine them with a fine-tooth comb (if you're up for that, at least).

 

What magazine/website/media-outlet, gaming company, or psychological testing group are you working for?

 

I'm just curious, because you come across like you are researching for something other than your own "fun" or "enjoyment".

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Past tense, @UltraAlt.  It's the sort of work I used to do, and old habits die hard, I suppose.

I think the Homecoming Team and the greater community here would benefit from more nuanced understanding of this medium as development continues.  This sort of research can be leveraged for positive and constructive results, not just lining the pockets of manipulative execs.  And since Homecoming is not-for-profit, I think it's the ideal place to demonstrate that point.

I understand the leeriness and lack of trust.  People in my position have been revealed to be partially responsible for the sorry state the larger game industry now finds itself in.  But keeping things hidden and behind closed doors only serves to further the manipulation.  Bringing everything out in the open helps to rob such methods of control of their power.

 

Granted, with things coming to light from ActiBlizz this past week, exploitative marketing isn't the worst of the shit that's kept hidden in the game industry.

I'll say this much; Ubisoft and ActiBlizz aren't the only ones that need such investigations.

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1 hour ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Granted, with things coming to light from ActiBlizz this past week, exploitative marketing isn't the worst of the shit that's kept hidden in the game industry.

I'll say this much; Ubisoft and ActiBlizz aren't the only ones that need such investigations.

 

Definitely any kind of gambling type mechanics that can be linked to real world dollars needed to be removed from games, especially if non-adults are playing them. 

Realistically, this kind of mechanic expands out to collectable card gaming and miniature gaming as well.

Gambling sells through addictive compulsive behavior.

 

People want that "ding" of success.

Always makes me think people are really wasting the "ding" enjoyment by power-leveling past it. 

And, you know, taking the fun out of the hero's journey - because the Hero's Journey is the adventure part of the story.

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2 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

People want that "ding" of success.

Always makes me think people are really wasting the "ding" enjoyment by power-leveling past it. 

And, you know, taking the fun out of the hero's journey - because the Hero's Journey is the adventure part of the story.

 

What's weird is, I somehow manage to have a good time with CoH despite not staggering through content repeatedly. 

 

Like right now, I am in the process of optimizing a Beam Rifle/TA Corruptor.  So much -Res!  Now usually on a /TA I would sell out for positional defense and take Alpha Cardiac to shore up endurance, but all that -Res baked into the build kind of screams out for higher base damage to really take advantage of the mechanics involved; that means Musculature off the bat, and you have to address the endurance issues through set bonuses.  Since +End usually doesn't come with any significant +Def, you pretty much end up running around naked but loaded for bear.

 

Unfortunate side-effect of having so much +Damage and -Res: you sort of one-shot even-con minions, but only if you let them linger around for the DoT to count them down, during which time they are free to shoot at you or whatever.  Reminder, you are now naked.  You can solve this build-wise by dropping Single Shot in favor of Cutting Beam as a low-cost minion rake, even though you'll miss having that extra ST cooldown when tackling harder targets.  

 

Point being, if I were trucking characters through content level-by-level, I am confident that I wouldn't be mucking around with the minutiae of a friggin' Beam/TA Corruptor right now because I'd still be mired in the "hero's journey" of some generic-ass Scrapper two years later.  If that's "fun" to someone, more power to them and I promise I'll not look as sideways at THEM as they do ME, but as long as I have the choice to do so, I will continue to PL my characters - damning all the dings along the way - in favor of having a stable full of dozens of oddball final builds that I have pored over incessantly to get "just so" because that's how I have a good time.

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Some 50ss: Burner Account (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Dr. Unconventional (Ill/Dark Ctrl) | Lawn Boy (Plant/Nat Ctrl) | Magma Lad (Fire/Kin Ctrl) | Metcalf (Grav/Kin Ctrl) | IcyBM (Ice/Trap Ctrl) | Jim With The Weather (Ice/Storm Ctrl) | Dr. Jonas (Mind/Poison Ctrl) | Coldwire (Elec/Cold Ctrl) | Pyrotoxin (Fire/Poison Ctrl) | Nature Jack (Earth/Poison Ctrl) | Voltswagen (Dark/EA Ctrl) | Time Vampire (Grav/Time Ctrl) | Tootboy (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Polarrhoid (Ice/TA Ctrl) | LoLEnEn (En/En Blast) | Draw (Rad/Rad Def) | Destroyo (Bots/Trap MM) | Con Carne (Rad/Bio Brute) | Senor Smoke (Rad/Fire Brute) | Something Else (TW/Bio Scrap) | Thermador (Rad/Fire Brute) | Electrovox (EA/Son Def) Danzigawatt (Demons/EA MM) | Costumed Adventurer (Fire/EA Ctrl) | Obscured Face Guy (Dark/Storm Ctrl) | Ohm Gott (EA/Dark Def) | Full Recharge (Fire/Storm Ctrl) Spacegrass (Fire/Nat Ctrl) Embarrassing Wetness (Water/EA Corr) Weather Permitting (Ill/Storm Ctrl) Herr Fryer (Fire/Traps Ctrl) Rainiac (Grav/Storm Ctrl) Stokes (Fire/TA Ctrl) Dismembrandt (DB/Bio Scrap) Multidudes (Ill/Traps Ctrl) Meshuggenaut (Inv/RM tank) Miss October (Fire/Dark Ctrl) Spastic Colonial (Elec/Dark Ctrl) Heroic Pyromaniac (Fire/En Blast) Gigantic Robot (TW/Fire Brute| and there's more where THAT came from

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  • 3 weeks later

I would argue that ‘fun’ is not a feeling, but rather an intention.

 

Some things we do for survival, some out of obligation, or a multitude of other reasons, and some things we do ‘just for fun’.


The feelings we have while doing things ‘for fun’ can be extremely varied.

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On 7/21/2021 at 11:20 PM, GraspingVileTerror said:

there seem to be some players who post in such a way as to suggest that there is:
"One True Fun"
and nothing else.
 
So, in an effort to try and dispel that myth, and encourage thoughtful examination of the game, the community, and all that we've built around ourselves here . . . I wanted to get the ball rolling on a little frank discussion about where folks draw their personal lines on things that are "fun" and "not fun," what's enjoyable, what's engaging, what keeps them around, and then ask them to consider peeling those thoughts apart, and examine them with a fine-tooth comb (if you're up for that, at least).
 

Interesting topic. I have to query the premise a little, though.

If there's not "one true fun", and we all find different things fun, does that mean that the game should appeal to everybody? For starters, it's a specific genre - so we've immediately turned off a section of people.

 

On a less antagonistic note, I'd say that in order to find out what direction to focus, you're probably looking at creating a Venn diagram of what various people find fun (within this audience - i.e. not everybody) and then aiming to create a aspect of gaming that is in the most cross-over sections. 

 

I suspect you'll end up with vague concepts such as "progression", "stories" and "feeling powerful".

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This is a great topic! 

 

My thoughts on what has been said:

 

Fun, as a metric, is not directly measurable.  But is used for measurement.  An example:

Ask players if then are having fun.  The answer is definitely measurable.  Just don't ask them to define what fun is - it is different and ambiguous for each person.

 

Merrriam/Webster's definition of Fun: what provides amusement or enjoyment

 

Merrriam/Webster's definition of Amusement: a means of amusing or entertaining

 

Merrriam/Webster's definition of Enjoyment: the action or state of enjoying

 

The definition of fun leads to 2 circular definitions.  Sorry folks - not gonna find a definition of fun in a dictionary.  These emotion words are going to defy words - they are defined by how they make you feel.

 

Here's another thought:

I enjoy eating dinner.

I don't call it fun.

The words are related, but not the same.

Which is all besides the point.

 

Per GVT: "I wanted to get the ball rolling on a little frank discussion about where folks draw their personal lines on things that are "fun" and "not fun," what's enjoyable, what's engaging, what keeps them around, and then ask them to consider peeling those thoughts apart, and examine them with a fine-tooth comb (if you're up for that, at least)."

 

Tell us what YOU find as fun, enjoyable, not fun, etc.  And worry NOT about what other people say

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