Possible reference to this question, but I want specific answers pertaining to Side-scrollers.

IMO, side-scrollers can be classified as

  1. Player doesn't move, the background graphics move to fake player movement.
  2. Player moves also background moves, but background movement is dependent on the (x,y) movement of the player > I find this more appealing
  3. Player can't move, the background moves at a fast speed. Depending upon the obstacles coming along with the background the player has to perform actions like jumping, ducking, charging, etc...

I would like to know what all other things can be added to the gameplay so that the above mentioned 3 side-scroller categories can be made more addicting.Please mention the category of the side-scroller in your reply.

Edit Modified the question title to reflect what I actually want

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry but I don't understand what type of games are you referring to. Double Dragon? Super Mario? R-type? All of those feature side scrolling, but the gameplay is completely different in each case. \$\endgroup\$ – CeeJay Nov 18 '10 at 15:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with CeeJay, are we talking shmup or adventure scrollers? The ideas behind Mario are totally different than say a shump. \$\endgroup\$ – The Communist Duck Nov 18 '10 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, define "addicting" because "addicting" and "compelling" and "fun" are not all synonyms. Additionally, these all vary from person to person, so state your target audience; a game that's addicting to 10-year-olds may not fare so well with core gamers or grandmas. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Schreiber Nov 18 '10 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I highly doubt that the type of scrolling will make any game more addicting or fun... \$\endgroup\$ – bummzack Dec 19 '10 at 9:23

I've written pretty extensively about implementing "dead zones" in the camera for a side scroller (or top-down game). The dead zone is the area in the center (or sometimes off-center) of the screen where moving your character does not cause the camera to move. This can reduce motion sickness and almost always makes the game feel a little less amateurish than if you completely lock the camera onto the X-axis position of the player. One of the subtle things that can make a side scroller more playable is the value you choose for your left-side or right-side camera buffers!

For example, I made a short video demonstrating the (very narrow) dead zone in Super Mario Bros 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89TRXUm8jMI

If you want to learn the basics of implementing a dead zone, check out the article I wrote that I linked above. For an in-depth explanation of what different kinds of dead zones can make the player feel, check out Steve Swink's book Game Feel.

  • \$\begingroup\$ i may as well mark this as the answer. have to do a bit more google-ing. \$\endgroup\$ – Vishnu Jan 25 '11 at 18:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ is your "Game Feel" link dead? \$\endgroup\$ – JonWells Mar 2 '15 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The blog post seems gone. It is still accessible through the internet archive: web.archive.org/web/20120902195544/http://bostongamejams.com/… \$\endgroup\$ – rightfold Oct 29 '17 at 20:34

(If you talk about shoot'em'up)

I'll be old fashioned, I'll be not innovative but you can't do a shoot'em'up without a very well done and rewarding power up system and without epic end level bosses.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question was about camera movement, not what makes 2d games fun in general (or shmups specifically) \$\endgroup\$ – Jari Komppa Jan 25 '11 at 7:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ The title was changed AFTER I did my answer \$\endgroup\$ – Pitto Jan 28 '11 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ To downvoters: check post editing! This was the title when I answered the question: "Factors that make a side-scrolling game addicting" \$\endgroup\$ – Pitto Sep 1 '17 at 9:49

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