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The game is Darts for the iPhone. It's OK but it's more like a simulation than anything I'd ever claim to be overtly "fun". I am looking for some ideas to spice up the gameplay. What are your thoughts?

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closed as not constructive by Tetrad May 6 '13 at 22:31

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You're being your own worst critic. Listen to your customers. One of them says to get rid of auto-aim. Maybe you want to work on compatibility issues? It seems like some people can't get it to run. –  ShrimpCrackers Jan 4 '11 at 5:09
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related: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/657/… –  Tetrad Jan 4 '11 at 5:42
    
@ShrimpCrackers: those reviews are all bogus. The auto-aim is not at all auto-aim; he just doesn't know how to aim (explained in the help menu). There has been no other reports of failure to run. I find that the first reviewers for a new version are often full of hyperbole. Anyway, any thoughts on the initial question re: fun? @tetrad: thanks, decent read there. –  z8000 Jan 4 '11 at 6:20
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"The auto-aim is not at all auto-aim; he just doesn't know how to aim (explained in the help menu)." - It's not that he doesn't know how to aim, it's that your game doesn't teach him how to aim. Maybe you need a tutorial, maybe you need to make the help menu more obvious- at any rate, it's always bad practice to blame your user for what you could fix. –  Bitgarden Jul 13 '11 at 19:35
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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Let other people play it while you watch. Consider their reactions. Ask for their comments, and listen to them - this is surprisingly difficult.

Not knowing much about your game, it's difficult to give any more specific suggestions, but here are some that may or may not apply;

  • Eye-candy is always fun. Consider television-sports game like huge transitions, replays, particles (explosions or confetti), etc
  • Various game modes may help. Invent new ones!
  • Scoring can be tweaked to make things more interesting, like chains, trying to get certain patterns, etc
  • And of course, achievements for managing to do specific things.
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Keep in mind if you're talking to them whilst they're playing you're going to affect how they play, possibly reducing their skill as they divide their concentration between gameplay and speech. –  Jonathan Hobbs Jan 4 '11 at 7:54
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Yes, it's best not to guide them at all while they're playing, as that'll show you if you have made the game less intuitive than you think. –  Jari Komppa Jan 4 '11 at 11:40
    
+1 for achievements. Badges are the reason I visit SE so often. –  anthony-arnold Jan 6 '11 at 1:15
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When I first looked at your game I immediately expected that I'd be able to hold my phone in my hand like I would a dart and make a throwing motion, in order to throw the virtual dart using the accelerometer. However, it doesn't look like you actually have that feature. I think that would be a pretty neat thing to add. Of course, not being able to see the screen when you're throwing would be something of an issue, and you might want to look into what liability you could be facing for basically encouraging people to almost throw their phones... Even so, I think it'd be a very novel and Wii-like way to play the game.

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"not being able to see the screen when you're throwing would be something of an issue". That's the crux of why I decided not to do that. It's a gimmick more than an accurate input method. –  z8000 Jul 14 '11 at 4:03
    
@z8000: I agree completely, but gimmicks worked for the Wii! –  Mitch Lindgren Jul 14 '11 at 15:21
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