What repels you from trying a game when reading a description?


#22

I think the descriptions I tend to gloss over are the ones that are absent of specific characters or stories to ground me. In other words, summaries are too general, broad, or focus solely on the game’s setting and not on its actual plot.

For example:

Explore an alien world in which gambling is as high-stakes as it gets!

Have an adventure in a steampunk environment where Einstein is your mentor and Nazi Germany never happened!

Dive into a lush Asian-inspired landscape with a glittering court and secrets to uncover!

Journey across a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with mutants and scavengers!

While all of these are okay-enough summaries on their own, they’re not enough to hook me. I need to know who I’ll be playing and what I’ll actually be doing in the story before I’m interested. Am I the younger sister of the Asian-inspired court’s emperor? What is Einstein mentoring me in? What is my purpose for journeying across a post-apocalyptic landscape?!

If I don’t know the purpose, conflict, context, or major players of a story, I won’t be playing it. I think lots of games–especially those focusing on open-world exploration–focus on this aspect when writing their summaries, but I find them to bland and empty without a specific “plot” to focus on.

Oops, it looks like I’m the exact opposite of you! :joy: The more specific it is, the more I’m interested!


#23

Yes! I am much more interested in who I get to be than where I get to be.


#24

Let me start it by stating that out of all game genres I prefer RPGs the most.

Now a few stuff what would make me lose interest the moment I read it in the description: online-only, multiplayer, PvP, protagonist genderlocked to male.

Also it annoys me a lot when even tho the game let’s me choose the protagonists gender it still favors male players with stuff like giving more/and maybe better written ROs to players who choose to play the male protagonist. Why wouldn’t female players deserve the same quality? Not cool to make some of the players feel like they were just an after thought. And the same goes for games in which gay romances or just simply a queer NPC is written in a noticably more hamfisted way than other parts of the game.


#25

When I see the word “online connectivity” required, I will automatically not buy the game or try it out. There’s one exception though which was Ragnarok Mobile since this formed part of my childhood and my siblings plays this.

Recently, a male protagonist only games. I think I have come to the point in my life that I would like to play as my RL gender. I do appreciate the older video games for introducing me to this hobby but I’m a bit burnout from being a male protagonist in all the games I played. That’s why the DA series hook me in almost immediately. I love fantasy setting, romance and character customization or I still love playing BokuMono games/Stardew Valley or I got into the FE series because of Awakening and Fates. There are some exception though like Professor Layton and the Ace Attorney series.

Another are sports games. I love watching basketball but playing them in a video game not so much.

So far, these are the reasons some games repels me.


#26

If it’s described more as a game than a story, or as a sandbox/adventure “game”, I’m out, just not interested.

As for regular games, nothing, except maybe battle-royale… never liked the genre.


#27

Hmm, for me, it would depend on what the genre is.

The only visual novels that I will read are the ones with gameplay/simulation elements in them rather than a flat linear story with a couple of dialogue options here and there. Not necessarily that the story of those VN’s would be bad, I just can’t pay attention or get invested in it if I don’t feel like I contribute anything to the flow of the story


#28

As a veteran reader of fanfiction, nothing turns me off faster than “lol im bad at summaries haha” or the equivalent. Zero summary, zero genre description, or just a list of “ROs” and game mechanics… Not interested.

To phrase this more positively/constructively: I need the writer to understand what kind of story they’re trying to tell. Here are the three things that I need before I’ll consider reading on:

  1. A sense of who the character is.
  2. A sense of where and when the story is taking place.
  3. Most importantly, a sense of what the character wants and why.

#29

The things I do look for: a good plot, good characters, and preferably sufficient player agency in affecting the plot. Generally if the description cannot promise me any of the above then I immediately lose interest.

Too many ROs is a warning flag for me. It is usually (but not always) a sign that none of the characters will be particularly deep and memorable, or that the non-romantic interactions will be lacking.

Excessive focus on customization of our appearance/species/powers/etc are irritating. Unless they have a deep impact on the plot, I simply do not care. And if this is the main attraction of this game, then I’m gone.

Usually stay away from absurd comedy, teenager settings, or dungeon diving.

Locking of any part of the protagonist’s identity is fine, as long as the choices afterwards are my own.


#30

That’s a really good point. If an author says “I’m not good at summaries” or “I’m too lazy to create one haha,” my faith and interest in their writing ability also usually plummets, because the summary (even a short and simple one) should be an easier part of the story to write!


#31

Agree! Even if the writer doesn’t feel confident in their writing yet the readers don’t know that. I want to be convinced to play a game/read a story so I think it’s okay to boast a bit in your summary :slight_smile:


#32

Well, it’s not so much that I think it’s easy, as that not having a concise summary is often a sign that the story is unripe or disorganized.


#33

I don’t think thats fair about the Summary . Writing that INTRO about your story , when putting the link up…already ATE ALL YOUR ENERGY and by now you are spent…is really really really really…hard for some peoples . It’s more intimate , it put you on the spot…like a classroom full of peoples and they are all waiting for you to screw up BIG time! so they can go home finally .

Some peoples can write it , and some peoples have a hard time writing it . It doesnt mean they are lazy or don’t care or that work isn’t worth a look…after all…WRITING isn’t easy or a ‘everyone can write…easy peacy’ kinda of thing .

I mean…wouldn’t you agree ? cose that kind of thing…can be …well…used for others thing . Like say someone use flowery words in their summary…I could think the story is utterly boring and filled with snob talk…

which isnt fair…always give a story a chance . if you can…


#34

That’s a fair point, @E_RedMark, and I admire your magnanimity towards writers! Hazel and you are right that it’s not easy, but since this is a thread about descriptions that make you skip a game–or rather, judgment calls you make when encountering a description–I’d say that having no intro is up there for me. It’s definitely hard to “pitch” your game in a concise, interesting, and engaging way, but if there’s no pitch at all, it’s difficult to want to spend the time to read it when there are other games out there that do try to grab you with a summary of what they’re about. So I definitely think stories/games lacking descriptions at all are at a severe disadvantage to games that have one, even if it’s “bad” or boring–though you’re right that it’s not always easy to write one!


#35

well I think recommanding and encouraging someone to write it…finding out why they didn’t write one…is better then writing that person off .

I also read alot of fanfic :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: and alot of peoples don’t put summary on those…some do , but many don’t . cose they don’t know how to write one…or they are afraid it come off corny…or whatever . So I read it and see for myself .


#36

I have very short attention span; so if the description cannot provide me with some ideas on how the story goes or at the very least, cannot peak my interest, I won’t bother continue. So anything too broad and too vague won’t interest me.

However in some situation I would still give a try, but if after few pages I still couldn’t get any ideas (or cannot imagine the story since I’m quite visual) or I ended up skimming and lost focus, I’ll drop it right away.

I think it’s nice if author applies the basic 5W+1H in description so we can get some ideas on what to expect in the story.


#37

I hate it when a game seems overly political, like I don’t mind if it’s a game ABOUT politics, one game in this site based around being facist or communist and that was heaps of fun.

The ones I don’t like are the preachy ones, and I tend to be able to tell if that’s gonna happen from looking over a summary, I have been wrong before though.

I also hate it it when a games summary has bad grammar, this is referring to COGs, since it’s a massive red flag for me when the summary has spelling errors, and I’ll be embarking on a two hour novel experience that assumemably also has bad grammar.

And since I saw the opposite opinion I feel like placing this here, since fun :slight_smile:

An immediate turn off for me is when a game that is based in a certain time period or tries to act/look realistic has clear historical inaccuracies, if they clarify it’s historical fantasy I don’t mind but otherwise I get triggered as hell. I like things nice and accurate.


#38

In a CoG style game, genderlocked to male make me pass the game without even finishing to read the description.

I have no more the patience to step into the shoes of a guy, already done too many times in videogames. I can’t anymore get into the blank slate anime guy in jrpgs either (even liking the genre), expecially if silent and with a harem of girls.
Is what stopped me from playng Persona 4 and 5, and Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel, when I loved both Persona 3 P and Trails in the Sky.
Playng as a girl and having the game treating her as a guy, with girls trowing theselves at her and the guys not recognizing she is a girl, no guys to romance, or not interesting ones, or painfully obviously genderswapped ones and basically every sign that the game was thought as a male protagonist fantasy is terribly annoyng and off putting.

I have no problems with well written male protagonists in linear games, because those don’t require me to roleplay or get into a guy shoes. I’m a passive spectator, like I’m reading a book or watching a movie.

Too much importance to stats and micromanaging is offputting too for me. I mostly play for characters and story, so having to pay too much attention to statistics take away the pleasure to read and roleplayng.

multiplayer and too hard difficulty, are my other “not interested” signal in a game.

As a personal taste thing I’m not much into “everyday” settings. If there is no mystery, or crime, or out of the ordinary stuff, I feel bored.


#39

This is what I hate…

MC: “Hello, I’m Main Character.”

RO: “Hello, I am Romanceable Character #11–”

DO YOU WANT TO MARRY HER?!?!?!

*Choice
#Yes
#No


#40

That last is a big one for me, even in games that are only loosely historical (e.g. medieval fantasy settings). Sometimes it’s all too clear that someone’s basing their game off of very shallow pop history. Common symptoms: all-powerful medieval kings, religious leaders (typically Catholic Church pastiches) with inexplicable hatred for all science in general, large empires with no political complexity beyond “it’s an empire”, continents that have somehow gone centuries without any changes to the map (much less culture, technology, demographics, internal politics, etc).

I can play such games, but it’s a bit of a hurdle to get, and tends to result in a forgettable setting.


#41

Yes yes.

I can live with that stuff at times, like maybe they had to make shit up to have a plot or make the gameplay interesting, but what really grinds my gears super hard is when people rewrite history for whatever reason and claim it’s accurate, that stuff makes me pop blood vessels.

So yeah, I feel you boss.