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Rewarding players/ What is fun ?

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/28/2008

Hi! Just asking a broad question about the _fun_ in the game. For every individual I guess the answer is little different that what is fun in the game, but there propably are some common elements to the answer. I donĀ“t know if this has been discussed before but what do you think? What makes a game fun ? Or would it be easier to say what takes the fun out of it ? I might try to answer myself too but feel free to add more elements and ideas and your experiences what is fun in a board game.

1. Surprise element - turning a piece/token and seeing what it is.
2. Having a plan (strategy) and trying to achieve it in order to win something.
3. Winning something (player reward)
4. Player interaction

Emphyrio's picture
Joined: 02/10/2010
Rewarding players/ What is fun ?

That's a tough question, because there's no way to objectively quantify fun. What one person thinks is fun could be boring or frustrating to someone else. And often it's very hard to pin down just what makes a game fun even to one particular person. Nevertheless, there probably are some things which most boardgame players find fun. To your list, I would add:

- Identifying with the theme of the game
- Devising and executing a novel strategy or tactic
- Outwitting your opponents by bluffing, bidding, trading, negotiating, backstabbing, or other essentially social mechanisms
- Pulling out a victory from the jaws of defeat or despite long odds, as long as this isn't just a matter of pure luck

The best games combine many of these aspects to provide fun at multiple levels or for different types of players.

Rick-Holzgrafe's picture
Joined: 07/22/2008
Rewarding players/ What is fun ?

Something I'm not sure I've ever seen mentioned in discussions of this topic: surprise outcomes. Sometimes I call this the "pinball machine" effect. Somebody makes a move and sets off a chain reaction of events, which, when the dust has settled, are not necessarily what anyone would expect.

I know some players don't like that kind of game, finding it too chaotic. I can see their point, but sometimes I just plain enjoy watching the dominoes fall. And it can have the effect of unseating everyone's plans and making all the players scramble for new strategies, which isn't a bad thing.

Tongiaki is a great example. So is Robo Rally. Tigris and Euphrates can be that way, too. In most of these examples it is possible to predict the outcome of your moves, but it can be complex enough that miscalculations are frequent.

Joined: 07/13/2009
Rewarding players/ What is fun ?

Obviously a Reward makes things more fun, but possibly also more agressive, and cant relly be incorporated into the game, just the setting within which the game is played; eg casino, or competition.

what makes all of our [my friends and i] games fun, is the way we present all the games; including Events with humorous themes, and odd objects... like a plunger in a dungeon crawl, can add a light hearted, blatantly fun / silly aspect to the game, and makes even harsh actions against another player non-offensive [i mean, how can you really get angry at being killed by a pink rabbit with a plunger]

Randomness in a game, can suck, or it can rule, its objectional, and depends on what IS being random.

Definately scheming is great fun, makes you feel great, but heavy scheming leaves the play area a bit.. testy, and can lead to power playing competitiveness.

i dunno what else to say lol so.. rock on

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