I’ve talked a lot about quite a few games and broken them down, perhaps to the point of doing it too much. That’s why this week I will instead focus on a topic we recently just learned, fun. Games are supposed to be fun, obviously but fun is different for everyone. What some people consider fun might not be fun for others, it’s just human nature because we all have different opinions. And just like we all have different opinions, we all have different types of fun as well. There are many people out there trying to create “models” that try to categorize fun, in ways that Game Developers can use in order to create their game for their target audience.
One of the models we were taught has over 14 different types of fun, and to me it definitely seems pretty well done in terms of defining all these different forms of fun and differentiating them. Not every game has to have all these different kinds of fun though. But we will go over each of them and I will talk about some of the games that fit into these categories that I’ve enjoyed all my life. This is a great time to show all the different games I’ve come to like and the different kinds of fun I’ve had with them.
So then, enough of the intro, let’s get started shall we?
You hear beauty and you might immediately think, “graphics”. That’s true, but that’s definitely no the only thing. It has a lot to do with creating other aspects that will “please the senses”. That goes for sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. Sight, would obviously link to graphics. Taste… well I don’t know any video game where we taste anything BUT this can still apply to other kinds of games. Touch, right now we can’t exactly touch any games but if you think about it, most games have vibration in the controllers. When you feel an earthquake in a game for example, you feel the vibration in the controller, which helps to provide feedback and “please the sense”. Hearing is extremely important too, it’s the sounds we here, music, sound effects, ambiance, these are vital to creating beauty in a world as well.
As of now, in terms of video games, the most important senses to please (Not to mention the easiest to please given our current technology) are sight and hearing. Combining a great looking game, with beautiful graphics, style and animations, along with great engrossing, beautiful music, memorable sounds that immerse the player, can definitely be a form of fun. There are some people out there that just sit in awe at the beauty of a game in it’s opening moments and just love seeing how great a game looks.
One of Skyrim's beautiful sceneries. There is a lot of great ambiance noise to boot
I’ll give you an example how some people might have found it fun to try and get the best looking graphics. Crysis came out in 2007, and most computers couldn’t run it at full specs with a smooth framerate. People tried to upgrade to the highest quality computers to try to run it, and some even had fun trying to get to that highest possible graphics level and going at 120 fps or something or the sort.
Crysis has boasted some of the most beautiful visuals for quite some time
Others just enjoy the sights and sounds of the game, that iconic Zelda chime when you get an item as well as that glow that comes from finding the item can definitely be fun when you see them. Nintendo designed it so that when you do receive an item, it would give a sense of beauty that would please the senses. Other games it’s just the pure beauty, the realism of the graphics like Final Fantasy XIII, or perhaps the cartoony, charming style of something like Windwaker. It’s a type of fun that pleases a lot of people, though how long it can please them before they become too “used to it” will vary.
The classic Zelda chime tunes in when you get an item
For myself, I love realistic graphics but with an immersive environment. I highlighted this especially in my Final Fantasy XIII-2 blog an even posted a video about it. Another game I love for it’s environment is Skyrim, the world is so full and real and the ambience and music match is all perfectly. Great graphics aren’t everything of course, and going back to the Cell Shaded look I frequently talk about, I really like that style. It’s simple but pristine and invokes the look of comics or manga/anime, of both I enjoy. A few highlights for me include Windwaker, Skyward Sword, Tales of Vesperia, Marvel vs Capcom 3.
My video showcases the environments of Final Fantasy XIII-2
I don’t want to spend too much time on this so let’s move to the next one!
I won’t spend too long in this one because it really links to beauty a lot. Being in an immersive environment, takes you out of your world and into the game’s world. Beauty helps to invoke the immersion, and various gameplay elements such as being in first person help that as well. A world doesn’t have to be realistic of believable to be immersive. If the game provides a world that’s well done in terms of beauty, lore, and with characters you care about and form relations with, then you’re being immersed into that world.
Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic was able to draw you into the universe of Stars Wars with ease
Debates rage over immersion as well, such as third person cutscenes being much less immersive than first person cutscenes, or cutscenes you watch versus being able to participate in the cutscenes, such as via quick time event. Immersion of course varies for some, some are immersed into hearing and seeing how the characters act, immersed into their lives and how their fates play out. Others prefer the immersion of being the one to act in the game and cutscenes, not being one for hearing about others but to act. Everyone can experience immersion in different ways and I for one, can experience both of these, depending on what the game provides of course.
Bioshock's setting and atmosphere made it an extremely immersive game
I have to say that many of the games that I enjoy for their beauty also immerse me as well. I will note some other games I didn’t mention up top though. Bioshock is definitely one of them that stand out for me, it had a beautiful, great atmosphere and it used first person as well and all the characters were interesting. The place had a real history to it and I really felt like I was in a different world during that time. It was probably one of the most immersive modern games I remember. Definitely a stand out game in terms of immersion for me.
Intellectual Problem Solving
I think this one speaks for itself, solving problems can be a form of fun for some. This very closely relates to puzzles, and so in turn relates to puzzle solving. This kind of fun applies for any games that are puzzle games for sure, so games such as Tetris and Dr.Mario would easily fit into this kind of category.
Dr. Mario, a classic puzzle solving game
However there are of course plenty of other games that use intellectual problem solving as well. There are many games that use logical decision making and problem solving to work, so any detective game such as L.A. Noire certainly use these for sure. It can even apply for RPGs where you have multiple choices and if you’re trying to follow a certain path, you have to choose what decision you would make that would lead to what you want.
L.A. Noire is a detective game and forces you to think like one
But yes, the most obvious one would be puzzle games, applying here. I will admit I am not much of a puzzle gamer. I hardly play tetris or any game similar to it. However in one of my previous blog posts, I covered Catherine and that was one of my favourite games of this year. It had a massive focus on puzzle solving and I managed to get engrossed into it. So even though I don’t enjoy all puzzle games, certain ones can appeal to me and provide fun!
The thrill of competition appeals to a lot of gamers. It’s a kind of fun that applies mostly against human opponents. Many people can get a thrill out of being able to best someone and prove that they are better. It’s a kind of thrill that you won’t get from just fighting an AI equivalent. The fact that you were able to outplay, out think, maybe even outwit an opponent, it’s a kind of superiority that leads to a feeling of satisfaction.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3, a game with a lot of competitive play
Since I play fighting games this obviously applies to me greatly. I both love and fear competition. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with fighter other people but when I do, there is a great amount of fun that can be had when you’re trying your best to outplay your opponent. Most fighting games will have this, and pretty much every multiplayer game usually will have some form of competition.
Another popular fighting game, Blazblue
Some of the fighting games I have enjoyed over the years are Blazblue, Soul Calibur, Tekken, Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom, and many others. All these fighting games have a competitive scene actually, which leads to tournaments and sponsorships. This can actually lead to being a competitive gamer in the fighting game scene. Whether turning into a competitive gamer will still have the same fun is debatable. They probably still do, in a casual match but when it’s a tournament on the line, things can be a little more stressful but it’s still possible to have fun in a tournament match (Again this depends on the person’s mindset).
In Gears of War, like any multi-player shooter out there, competition can be fierce
Of course there are plenty of competitive games that are non fighting games I play. Call of Duty, Gears of War, League of Legends, are among those I play. There are a ton of multiplayer games out there that provide competitive fun and I don’t want to go over them all!
In Mario Kart, you can compete against yourself for the best lap times
Also to note is that you can compete against yourself too, it’s not just multiplayer. Racing games where you try and beat your laptimes is a good example! I played a lot of Mario Kart back in the day and frequently tried this sort of thing! Of course you could just play against your friends in Mario Kart as well, but the point is, it's possible to compete against yourself in games too.
I went over the importance of this kind of fun in my Lan War Blog. Being able to talk and interact with others, versus interacting with the AI can be much more thrilling. You know there is another person, just like you on the otherside. They react to you realistically because they are in fact real, while AI you can exploit and such. Working with another person means you can plan together, play together or even against each other and playfully trash talk each other.
Mario Party, a staple game in terms of social interaction
This actually links back to competition, because it’s interacting with another player. You can get pride in defeating someone in competition, which is actually an extension of social interaction. Because you are reacting to defeating a real person and potentially trash talking them if you’re that sort of person.
In Left 4 Dead, it's better to play with friends than the AI (Because they steal your health packs and heal you at 50% health)
Social interaction is definitely becoming bigger in games. Many single player games try to offer multiplayer to increase the life span of games. Players interacting with another can always give a different experience because of how dynamic people can be, versus an AI with limited thinking and learning capacity. Technology will improve this but perhaps it might not be able to match interacting and playing with real people even in the future. There is something about communicating with a highly advanced machine that also creeps me out (due to movie influence where these robots would overthrow us).
This one’s a little more specific and not always present in games. But then again this list isn’t solely for games anyways. Being able to laugh at something in any medium always give a delightful feeling, we all know it. People might laugh at different things but it always provides a form of pleasure and fun. Whether it’s an intellectual joke, slapstick humour, a dirty joke, etc, everyone has something they can usually laugh about.
God of War: I see no hint of comedy in Kratos
There are plenty of games that don’t have this anywhere in sight. God of War for instance, I don’t recall a single funny moment, nor should there be. The tone is serious, bloody and brutal, comedy in the game would probably have ruined it. So it’s fine for these games not to sure, but plenty of other games like to take a more light hearted tone. In Tales of Vesperia, characters like to joke or get into silly situations which come out as comedy and if you’re engrossed enough with the characters, you will enjoy these interactions. You will see the comedy in it and have fun watching it like it’s a tv show.
Tales of Vesperia - You can try to interpret what Estelle is saying
Other games try to go full out in creating a silly experience or contrast between serious moments, which easily get subverted with over the top silly moments. I know that the Disgaea series have always gone for silly in every game in the series. Though I haven’t actually played them yet. Bayonetta uses over the top, non serious moments then every now and then throwing a serious moment just to break it with a comedic one moments later. Using a combination of both serious and comedic I think proves really effective because then you won’t just be expecting comedy the whole time and becoming tired of it.
Disgaea - Truly the most serious boss of all time
Thrill of Danger
This one is harder to reproduce in games. The thrill of risk and danger, much like a daredevil would have. Basically a really obvious one is sky diving. It feels dangerous, it looks dangerous and you get a kind of thrill out of that because of all of that even though you should be safe. Your mental mindset might automatically think “Why am I falling out of a plane, how is this even safe?” even though all necessary precautions are in place for you to not die. It gives them a rush, a thrill, a sense of fun. Some people hate it, some people love it.
MW3 : That moment when you realize you're the only one left on your team
In games there are ways to do this still. In fact, I can relate this to competition. Because thrill of danger relies on the stakes being high. In a match of Call of Duty, in Search in Destroy mode where you only get one life each round, if it’s the final round, win or lose, and you’re the only one remaining on your team, then the stakes are high. Some people get this thrill of danger, because they make one tiny mistake and their team loses the whole match. They will get this thrill if they are really engrossed into the game, or this particular match is very important (such as a tournament match). The thrill coming out on top against all odds in this case can be really great for some people, I know I’ve had this in Call of Duty and various other games.
The Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator can reproduce the effects of Thrill of Danger
You can’t physically reproduce the danger in most cases, because that would be… dangerous. But it’s actually been done. There was actually something created to try and replicate a real Battlefield 3 experience. They used the game, and put paintball guns, a full 360 degree screen around you, surround sound, and everything to immerse you into the game. The paint ball guns are the focus here because they actually hurt. If you got shot in game, a paintball would shoot you and it was painful. This replicates that thrill of danger because now you’re actually afraid of getting hurt. It was definitely fun to watch and I am sure a lot of players would love to try this someday. Who knows if we will ever get this kind of device but it won’t be sold to children that’s for sure.
Some people can get a kick out of physical activity, it might make them feel good because they are getting exercise and knowing they are potentially getting healthier. They can think up whatever reason associate with the physical activity they want that can lead to that feeling of feeling good.
Wii Sports: The rise of more physical gaming
Not really common with games but it’s definitely becoming more common. The advent of a burst of physical activity games came with the introduction of the Wii. I still remember opening my Wii and playing Wii Sports right away. There was something about combining a video game with pretending to use a tennis racket that just seemed so fun. It allowed me to pretend to be a tennis player, doing the actual physical activity a tennis player might do while appearing to perform well in gameplay. It’s definitely a different experience then playing something like Mario Tennis where I have no physical activity associated.
Dance Dance Revolution : D-Pad vs Full Dancing mat = Dance Mat wins
Others see this as a gimmick though and I myself stopped playing Wii sports after a while. However there are games that have been doing this for a while though and depend entirely on this physical activity too. Games like DDR, in which I bought one of the PS2 versions, used physical activity all the time to perform “dance moves”, meaning stepping on the arrows. It’s a really simple system that could be replicated using a controller and pressing buttons but you can feel the difference between using a mat, and using a controller. It felt way more fun with the mat, the controller was much more boring. Most of the thrill came from using mat for sure.
There are different forms of love, but we are not just talking about romantic love here. We are talking about admiration and appreciation for someone in general as well. We know love is all around the world and people can get a thrill out of experiencing love of any sort. Many people enjoy the appreciation and praise of others, and they get that pleasure out of it. Some also like actually being in love too, (obviously) but in terms of game reasons, some players can actually love a virtual character to extreme lengths and enjoy that feeling. Others enjoy the story of love and seeing the characters interact in a romantic fashion.
Street Fighter 4 : Winning against a skilled opponent can get you the appreciation of others
In terms of appreciation of others, this applies to a ton of games, in fact you could say every game features this sort of love. You could get praised for beating an extremely difficult game such as Battle toads on the SNES. You could get praised for performing an extreme feat in a game that seems impossible to others such as performing an insane combo in a fighting game like Street Fighter. It could be praise for beating someone who seems superior to you in any form of competitive game. There are all sorts of variations of this kind of praise but the point is that you will get that rush from feeling the praise. You will feel happy and from receiving it and many people strive to earn this kind of praise in games.
Final Fantasy XIII : Investing your care into the fates of Lightning and the others
NOTE: This doesn't mean you're madly in love with them, but you do care about them and their fate. Being in love with a character depends on your immersion to the game and also obviously the mindset of the person. Some people would never say they would love a character like this, some aren’t capable of loving a character like that simply because they are virtual. But for those that do, they can feel some attachment to them and a thrill of being able to interact with them. They could love their personality, looks, or all of the above, but just interacting with them or seeing their reactions in game can cause a sort of fun. This can especially apply if you are controlling a character falling in love with said character, which will now get into.
Even Metal Gear Solid 3 had a love story
Others get the thrill of seeing a love story, and we know this is present in tons of games, especially RPGs. Our main hero falls in love with a heroine over the course of a journey, or the prince going to rescue a princess, typical stuff we usually see. Uncharted, Tales series, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, blah blah, too much to cover. We all know some people love , love stories and others dislike them and for those that love them, they get a feeling of fun.
I covered this sort of thing back in one of my previous blog posts, but this is definitely a major form of fun I love. Create things that didn’t exist or perhaps even customization can apply to this form of fun, but fun it is and it is for many people. There is a reason Minecraft has become so popular, because of creation. It can also stem to modifications as well, mods of many Half Life Games (notably Gary’s Mod) allow so much customization. The creation of these mods as well are a form of creation, people can get a thrill out of making these too.
Minecraft : Creations limited only to your imagination
There is a lot to cover in creation, so let’s get through this quick. Creation from scratch in a sand box world, Minecraft currently exudes this. It’s pretty much creating any kind of environment you want right now. There are countless videos where people have recreated popular environments or characters, such as a giant 8-bit Mario, or even portraits. You can pretty much create anything you want in this game.
Soul Calibur V : Creation of Resident Evil's Wesker
Customization, is a minor version of creation, more toned down. This also fits with modifications. Basically changing existing assets in ways to appeal to you. Soul Calibur has a good character customization system, and players are able to make characters or edit existing ones with various outfits, hair, body sizes, etc. There is something about this that just allows you to show your creativity and people enjoy expressing themselves.
Lord of the Rings : Battle for Middle Earth 2 - Note there are 3 Saurons...
Modifications more specifically can modify the game in terms of gameplay and aesthetics. There is something fun about using a modification that changes the graphics or gameplay of the game. I myself made a few modifications myself. I used to make a few in Lord of the Rings Battle for Middle Earth, where I made the hero units super strong so that they seemed as awesome as they did in the movies. I also downloaded many mods that changed the gameplay because I loved seeing 10x more units on screen battling it out at once, or seeing new units and heroes in play.
Creation involves the fun of creativity and expression and modification also involves the thrill of change as well.
This one is in human nature too. Many people just like getting more powerful, it’s evolutionary. The strongest survive and the weak perish sort of thing. Some people just get a kick out of getting more powerful, and just dwarfing every possible opponent. Quick Note: This also goes with the whole flow theory, due to the fact that if you get too powerful it could get boring.
Final Fantasy VII : Getting the Ultima Weapon (Most powerful weapon in the game) for Cloud is going for power!
There are a ton of games where this applies, and RPGs are well known for this. If you decide to “grind” your characters to level up, or go searching for the most powerful weapons around, you do this because you want to get powerful, you want to be able to blow up the boss. Sometimes it’s just so you can completely destroy the boss very easily, other times it’s just to be able to become powerful enough to match up to the boss.
Age of Empires II : Without proper tactics than the largest army will win
In other games, you want to become more powerful just so you can destroy your opponent. Strategy games such as Age of Empires, normally if you have the largest army and you go into battle against someone, if you have the same kinds of units, you’re going to win. Only tactics could defeat the larger army. You strive to become more powerful because you know you want to win.
I know I am one of the people that enjoys getting power in a game. There is that sense of empowerment that just seems so thrilling. But depending on the game sometimes it’s not appropriate to get power. Going back to Flow Theory like above, getting too much power can mean games become too easy and if they become too easy they can become boring. Like I said, everyone is different though and some people don’t care if it’s too easy. The build of power is simply enough fun for them that it subverts the fact it’s easy. I am not one of those people though, I like getting power but I like having a challenge still.
We all know what discovery is. Many people get that thrill out of exploring all the land, uncovering all it’s secrets, learning new and interesting things. This includes, new tools, enemies, environments, etc. Wanting to do new things also leads to this, as well as learning new abilities that will allow you to explore eve more or discovering abilities to help you in battle. Also to note this links with Power, because discovery could link to the need to want to discover the most powerful items possible to earn for your characters.
Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask : In any Zelda game, these will be all around the world for you to find!
There are lots of worlds that are filled to the brim with secrets that just beg to be explored. They were built with discovery in mind and one of the most famous franchises for this is the Legend of Zelda. Every world has tons of secrets, hidden heart pieces, new items, treasures, unique enemies, sidequests, etc. I know my brother is a person who loves discovery and finding all these items, I believe he enjoys that thrill of discovery. There is a certain satisfaction when you look in every corner of a level and suddenly see you found a hidden heart piece. This applies to any form of new items you might encounter.
Metroid Fusion : Discovering items in a Metroid game is half the experience. Take that away and much of the fun is gone.
I will personally admit I am not as much a discovery fanatic as some, at least not in the exploration sense. Of course I love discovery new gameplay elements, abilities, weapons, environments, of course everyone does. But I won’t always look in every nook and cranny of a level because I can be lazy at times, I want to get into the action. But when a discovery presents itself I still enjoy it, but if I discover something by accident by looking around, I guess the feeling is even greater (depending on the nature of the item provided, if it sucks then I just feel worse sometimes). But in any case, I believe this form of fun is actually one of those that are most important for games. Every game has some sense of discovery to it, at least providing new interesting things, otherwise if there is nothing to really discover about a game, that means you know everything about the game right away. In some cases, if the game is simple, you get into it right away, if it’s something like say Metroid, then that just… no.
Advancement and Completion
Everyone knows nowadays there are trophies on the PS3 and Xbox 360 achievements. The reason these were made is because people loved achieving something and so the companies tried to capatalize on this by making points that really have no value but for some people seem to exude some great feeling of pride. There can be pride of achieving something and bragging to your friends, or achieving it simply for your own satisfaction and there is also these achievements points that are proof that you accomplished something but sometimes they are meaningless (more on that later).
Gears of War : The Final Boss could be hard for all the wrong reasons
That was just talking about completion, regarding advancement then we are talking about progression in a game. People don’t typically like getting stuck in a portion of the game, some even rage and throw their controllers at walls. There is a reason games in general are easier these days, to cater to everyone, to allow everyone advancement. There is more fun to be had in advancing through your game than being stuck at a hard part for quite some time. For example : If you were playing Gears of War, would you rather keep doing this stupidly hard boss over and over that’s practically impossible, or be able to have some challenge but after a few tries be able to get past him? This is debatable because this goes between the fun of challenge versus the fun of advancement. This will depend on the player! As long as the challenge is reasonable!
Final Fantasy XIII : Beating the game meant you could no longer experience the story the same way. (And if you restarted the intro is ridiculously long)
Advancement leads to completion, which in term leads to achievement of some task. Completing a game or task or some sort leads to a satisfaction which can vary on it’s difficulty. In general people can love completing something but it can actually be the opposite in some cases too. It means if someone completes an RPG, they can never experience the story the same way they had in their first run through. Sure there can be new game +, but the story is forever spoiled and that could have been the hook to keep them playing. They could now have no interest in the game even with good game mechanics, if they were solely hooked on the story or the new game + sucks.
TMNT: Turtles in Time - Still fun to play even though you beat the game once. Rinse and repeat feeling of advancement and accomplishment.
In other cases relief and great pride can follow after a difficult game/final boss. This goes for arcade games, such as TMNT : Turtles in Time. Finally beat the Shredder, it was hard, difficult, took a lot of quarters but it’s done and now I feel accomplished. We can also replay the game again and it could be different due to diferent players and the fact that arcade games are typically built in ways that are easily replayable. Go through advancement to completion again, rinse and repeat.
One thing I want to point out is achievement systems and points in PS3 and Xbox. The points are somewhat meaningless because some of the achivements are just down right lazy or they actually don’t provide any real sort of achievement. For example King Kong : the Game, back when the new King Kong movie came out. Beat the game, 1000/1000 points and don’t do any sort of exploration. Do I feel accomplished? Did I really earn all those points? Heck no, it kind of undervalues those points in my opinion. Granted I DID beat the game, but it was not thing special, it was easy. Same for when they do achievements like “Start game” or “Go into training mode” or things that are just honestly things you would normally do and not to mention very easily and fast. How is this an achievement? Sure some people will get a kick out it, they like the points but for me I’ve not really cared too much about the points anymore, due to this reason. The only time I feel like I earned it is when there is an actually legitimately hard achievement to earn worth a lot of points. Then it feels special. Everyone’s different, this is my take on achievement points.
Application of a Skill
Possibly one of the most important types of fun in terms of games, skill is the reason we strive to play games, more specifically, improving that skill too. Skill mastery is a key to keeping players hooked and also providing fun. Think about it, if we have a game that’s all luck, sure it can be fun but over time it may just get boring because are we really putting any input? A combination of both would probably work better.
Every fighting game will have characters with different hit boxes and distances that their attacks can reach
All sorts of video games require different skill, and this can also apply the intellectual problem solving type of fun from earlier. Every game has different mechanics, even fighting games on a 2D plane all have different mechanics and dynamics that will make them each different. For example Marvel vs Capcom 3 is 3 on 3, with easy to get hyper meter and able to perform insane, very lengthy combos, while Blazblue, which has many combos, is 1 on 1, different uses of hyper meter, different character attributes (in terms of reach, distance, speed, air dashes, etc), and whole bunch of other differences in terms of overall game speed as well. This goes for any other genre too, First Person Shooter, Strategy, all games will have differences despite having a similar core.
Uncharted: Many core lessons you learn playing an shooting game can apply to any shooters
But each game, though with different mechanics and dynamics will have a similar mindset of play. So fighting games goes for mindgames, anticipation and counter of opponents moves, mastery of your own moves in terms of application, distance, reach of your attacks, invincibility, etc. You have to learn each game but you can still think in similar ways of games in the same genre. Shooters apply application of your accuracy, use of cover, mastery of weapons and sometimes team tactics depending on the nature of the game. If you play Call of Duty and Gears of War, though they are quite different, you are still aiming your guy and trying to flank at times, just in different ways.
Street Fighter X Tekken looks the same as Street Fighter 4 but plays quite a bit differently overall
This means that there are tons of different games to master different skills. So if you go to Street Fighter 4 then to Street Fighter X Tekken, you can’t just go in an be a master right away. It would take away the fun if you were immediately as good. You learn new things due to the different nature of the game and master the differences in the game while using your experience with the similarities as a base.
Super Smash Bros : This may be difficult the first time playing, but it gets a lot easier
Important to note is to look at the flow theory again, skill level vs challenge. Make sure that mastery of skill doesn’t make the game too easy and not having enough skill doesn’t make it too hard. Granted this can’t always be helped but usually it can take a while for one to gain mastery of a skill such that it would make the game too easy. For example, in Smash brothers, mastering the game made the AI way too easy, but now you have a mastery of skill to challenge real opponents too. You can have even more fun challenging players at your skill level. This is how competitive games can keep striving, because players can always get better and challenge each other rather than fighting just a static AI.
That was longer than I expected, a lot longer… but anyways what to take away from this, (assuming much of this was skimmed because its so friggen long) is that there are all sorts of different fun but not everyone likes each of these different forms. Depending on the mindset, people can love or hate different forms and some forms can even contradict each other or complement each other. This is by no means THE set of types of fun but it’s definitely a solid, interesting model. Okay enough talking I am tired.