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One Goal To Rule Them All

With the World Cup ongoing, have you ever stopped to wonder why this game is so popular throughout the world?

David Lin, Blogger

June 25, 2014

4 Min Read

Soccer is a game where the opposing team and yours chase the ball in an attempt to determine who can get the better score. The game itself consists of only a really simple goal/objective - getting as much goals as possible.

Anyone can definitely understand that. Even if you speak different languages, you will know what to do when the ball is at your feet. But what has that got to do with making games?

If you are a game designer or developer, then I'm sure that you have had this feeling of maybe adding too many features to a game. Sometimes when you think of a feature that you are excited about, you just want to add it to your game.

Doesn't this remind you of a term that we are all familiar with? That's right - feature creep. I am not sure if you have had this guilty feeling of doing so but I sure have.

As it is an RPG, there were indeed many things that you could do within the world of my previous game, Small Chronicles. You could level up your characters, earn more gold/rubies from defeating monsters and also unlock new stages and equipment.

On top of that, the main objective for each stage was to defeat all the monsters. However, I have even added bonus stage objectives that would appear randomly. It definitely felt like I was adding an element of surprise to the game, kind of like an event that appears randomly.

While it might seem interesting, I have since learnt that it also raises the entry barrier for the larger gaming audience. On top of that, sometimes you just might not be in the mood to think too much when playing a game.

But what's wrong with adding more features? Nothing. However, when you are doing so, do you ask yourself if it's really necessary to do so? And that brings me to my next point - simplicity.

From what I have learnt from crafting my previous games, the simpler your game is, the easier it is for people to understand and pick it up (think back about what I mentioned above about soccer). Now imagine if the game that you are playing has only a single goal - for you to get a score as high as you possibly can.

Notice the stark difference in complexity? Introducing Folo Hearts, a really simple pixel adventure story, where you have to help Hearts evade the green spikes.

To make things even simpler, all you have to do is just to tap anywhere once to evade. There aren't any special menus that you have to bring up as with Small Chronicles.

To further emphasize on the single goal of getting a higher score, Folo Hearts also shows you your score when its game over.

Notice that the font size of your score is larger than the rest of the stuff shown here? That's because the focus of the entire game is on a single goal - getting that high score.

You might argue that the two games are of totally different genres. And you are right to do so. However, even games of different genres can have objectives or goals that are easy to understand. 

Take chess as an example. The game consists of various pieces that your opponent and you can move on the board in an attempt to win the game. But what is the main goal over here?

While each chess piece has its own unique rules and move pattern, the main and only goal of a game of chess is to capture/defeat the opponent's king piece. It is as simple as that. That is also one of the reasons why chess is another game that is popular throughout the world.

If you are still not convinced about games with single goals, try making one. And if you want to try your hands on Folo Hearts, it will be available on both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store this coming July 3rd. You can also follow me on Twitter (@WhiteSponge) for the actual announcement on the day itself.

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