Facebook Files: What Every Game Needs



This week in Facebook Files, we’re discussing essential features that every game needs to have, whether it’s to make it more accessible, more convenient, more fun, or to help add value to the product.


Anton wrote:


While discussing Xenoblade on SE the other day, I got the idea of discussing the things that every good game needs. Things that are not just convenient, but things that should be essential in every game.


For instance, the ability to save anywhere. I’m a little surprised that more game don’t have this option. I suppose that the size of the save files would be pretty substantial in some games, but I do feel that it would be worth it. Being able to save a game anywhere would also be essential to those who are extremely busy and have to limit the amount of time they play each day.


Another feature I think all games need is the ‘Square Button’ feature that was present in Persona 4. It was really awesome to simply be able to push a button and select where you wanted to go on the map. If you had to move from point A to G, you could simply go straight to point G without having to move through points B to F. Talk about awesome.


So, what are some other awesome game features that you think every game should hold? How would/does it improve your gaming experience?


Steven wrote:


I think that New Game + is something almost every game should have. Of course, most games do have that feature nowadays but not all of them. In addition to this, I think that something similar to the Grade system from the Tales series should be implemented into the New Game + modes. It’s a cool feature that rewards you for honing your gameplay skills and allows you to spend your earned points on different options and modes to be used in the New Game +.


Ishaan wrote:


My vote is going to go for the ability to pause cutscenes. It’s so annoying to have someone call you up or ring the doorbell or ask you for a favour in the middle of a long cutscene because you know you’ve more or less missed your chance to watch it. Even if the game features a theatre mode where you can rewatch cutscenes, you aren’t watching it in context, so it makes less of an impact.


Also, for racing games: A “Retry” option. This bothers the hell out of me when I’m playing through a tournament in, say, wipEout Pure. I understand not screwing up is supposed to be part of the challenge, but there’s nothing that prevents developers from implementing some sort of penalty system (like docking off a single point) for each time you retry a tournament race. It’s so annoying having to quit, go back to the main menu and then restart all over again, especially with loading times.


What features would you like to see more of in your games? Fire away!

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.