Game Evaluation requires us to have some criteria – specific categories and characteristics of games that allow us to have a discussion with depth and complexity.


The Four O’s of Game Design

Object – What are you trying to do? What is the goal of the game? In the original Mario, the object is to save the princess. Object can be to complete a maze, amass wealth, build a society, destroy the Death Star etc. etc.

Operation – How does the game work? Are instructions clear and concise? Does everything do what it should? Is it smooth? Are there glitches? Is there a place where clarity would be make it better?

Obstacles – What obstacles does the player have to overcome to achieve the goal?

Outcome – What happens when the player wins or loses? Is it clear? Will it motivate the player to move on to the next level, replay the game, or salivate waiting for the next iteration?

Other Criteria – The WHS Game Design Club offered several significant characteristics of games.

  • Ideas and Concepts
  • Genre/Style
  • Intended Audience
  • Story/Plot
  • Graphics
  • Objects/Sprites/Assets
  • Difficulty
  • Re-playability
  • Virtual World/Environment
  • Linear/Open
  • Multiplayer
  • Dialogue
  • Characters/Character Development
  • Background/History
  • Humor
  • Butterfly Effect
  • User Interface
  • User Generated Content
  • Mods
  • Embedded Content
  • Bandwidth Demands