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Help What does my game need?
What does my game need in order to be interesting in people's eyes?
What do I need to add to my game for it to be fun?
What do I need to do so that people may be interested in joining?

I was sent a message with these three questions in it and as I started to answer I realized that (not only was I going way overboard and that I should make a thread out of it) there were much bigger answers here than I could come up with myself. So after writing out some (and I bothered @Shgeldz for some thoughts, thanks!) I'd like to see everyone else's answers to these questions as well.
*Disclaimer: I am full of useless advice that I do not promise is even remotely good, why do I get asked such things

What does my game need in order to be interesting in people's eyes?

For your game to be interesting, that really depends on each individual's tastes.
I can already feel that I'm going to go off on a rambling tangent here...There's this theory of game design called Bartle's Taxonomy, which basically states that you can categorize types of player's into four basic groups: Achievers, Explorers, Killers, and Socializers. Now I know that it might seem easy to brush off some game design principles when making a fan game because there's already somewhat of a blueprint to follow in the form of the official Game Freak/Nintendo games, but if you're asking this type of question then I think it's time to consider studying. I won't go into all the details of explaining what these types of players are right now, (Check out Extra Credits for a video about it-I'm into this series.) because what's important is realizing that players play the same games for different reasons, and are getting enjoyment in different ways. Just having an awareness of this can not only help you balance and fill out your game more, but studying how you've balanced your game should also give you ideas on what your game's real appeal is, if you aren't already aware of it.

When it comes to just making the game look good when presenting it (as in making a thread for it or something along those lines) showing off and looking organized can do a lot. For example, look at these two threads: Shoutout to the devs, @Gav and @SleepyJirachi for their excellent threads

At the time I'm writing this neither of these games have a playable demo out, but both threads are successful at getting players hyped for their respective games! Now, what do both of these threads do? Firstly, they are very clearly organized. At the top of the thread is a big logo for the game, and below that you can see each section is labelled with big graphic letters. How are those sections arranged? Starting with the world/story/characters, then moving on the game features, and finally bringing the gameplay screens last. You'll notice both threads also employ images alongside the text, which can help break up those walls of text while also giving a chance for an uninterested reader to be pulled in again.

Now what's the takeaway?
  • Make your thread organized, easy to read!
  • It's totally okay to write a lot about the game!
  • Make the thread easy to navigate with some labels!
  • Talk about all the new and different features!
  • If you have artwork, show it off!
  • Then hit them with screenshots and videos of the game itself!
  • Get excited about your game and get everyone excited with you!

What do I need to add to my game for it to be fun?

Going back to my point about Bartle's Taxonomy, "fun" is defined in different ways to different people. There isn't a simple thing that can be plugged in or added on to a game to make it fun, but you can create playstyles that appeal to different players. I'd also think about games you've played in the past; what parts were the most fun? I know it's probably easier to recall the parts you hated, but either way, try to break down why. As an example, here's something straight from my personal notes, trying to figure out what I like in terms of Pokemon's enviroment designs.
You might be able to tell I'm mostly an Explorer type of player.  Tongue

To use this, re-frame the question. "How can I make fun?" becomes "Who is this fun for?". Then apply that question to different aspects of your game. A gym where the player has to find and collect three keys before unlocking the door? Probably fun for Explorers! A side quest where the player will have to help two characters solve a personal issue? Probably fun for Socializers! Giving the player rewards every time they complete a section of their pokedex? Probably fun for Achievers! Making a series of high level trainers for the player to fight in a row? Probably fun for Killers!

What do I need to do so that people may be interested in joining?

Well I'd say to make it fun and have the game speak for itself is a great way to get people excited. That's if you have a demo of course. Go back to my points about making a nice thread as well. More specifically about selling your project as one that people should want to work on though: Highlight what makes your project unique, and show that you're actively working on it as well. I don't want to repeat myself too much since I kinda said these talking points over in my tutorial thread How to request/commission someone for your project (yay, self plug), but basically, you want to show everyone that the project is cool and different and already taking off without them. They better join fast if they want to get in on it!

If your project looks like it's not getting worked on, a lot of people are going to be turned off with the impression, "They just want someone to make the game for them" even if that's not true. Your personal attitude can factor a lot too. A dev who complains that they're not getting enough attention, or picks fights or can't take criticisms can turn people away from wanting to work with them-even if the project is amazing. But if you've got an attitude of positivity and enthusiasm, and show you're willing to work with and help others, then you as a person could end up being a bigger selling point of your project than even the game itself!
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What Does my Game Need?


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