Game Design Theory: Game Mechanics

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#AltDevBlog » Game Designers are all on Steroids. Game Design / Video Presentation: Game Designers around the world are addicted to performance enhancing drugs and many of them don't know it.

#AltDevBlog » Game Designers are all on Steroids

They are addicted to progression and escalation. As game designers we are often playing with human psychology and tapping into the various triggers and ticks of human behaviour; our reasons are varied. Some of us want to give the player a roller coaster ride, to make them feel, to make them pay, to get our message burned across the heart but almost all of us want them to keep on playing. What Games Are: The Win Imperative. Editor’s note: Tadhg Kelly is a veteran game designer, creator of leading game design blog What Games Are and creative director of Jawfish Games.

What Games Are: The Win Imperative

You can follow him on Twitter here. Many readers will be familiar with the idea that games and reward go together like two peas in a pod. Click a button, hear a satisfying ding. The Problem With BioShock Infinite's Combat. Except I think he is (and you are) wrong.

The Problem With BioShock Infinite's Combat

For reference I played my first run in 1999 mode. The shield is plenty useful, if you put enough points in it; it lets you sprint from cover to cover on the advance or retreat or get to supplies. Enemies don't have that much health. The Weblog The Key to Depth: Simplicity. In Gamasutra's latest feature, a postmortem of Gun Godz, Super Crate Box developer Vlambeer's first FPS, the developer explains its penchant for "minimalist game design.

The Weblog The Key to Depth: Simplicity

" As the game was developed as a bonus for Kickstarter backers of forthcoming website Venus Patrol, Vlambeer's Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman admit that they had "limited resources, as this was a free project. " However, they write, "we also believe in minimalist game design. " "The fewer rules your ruleset has, the more responsibility you can give every single one of those rules, and the easier it is to make small, incremental improvements," the pair explains. The two then shoot down a common fallacy of contemporary game development. Features - Behavioral Game Design. Every computer game is designed around the same central element: the player.

Features - Behavioral Game Design

While the hardware and software for games may change, the psychology underlying how players learn and react to the game is a constant. The study of the mind has actually come up with quite a few findings that can inform game design, but most of these have been published in scientific journals and other esoteric formats inaccessible to designers. Ironically, many of these discoveries used simple computer games as tools to explore how people learn and act under different conditions. The techniques that I'll discuss in this article generally fall under the heading of behavioral psychology. Best known for the work done on animals in the field, behavioral psychology focuses on experiments and observable actions. The lasagne theory of game design. This is the first of a series of posts about lasagne.

The lasagne theory of game design

Lasagne is one of the most inspiring things that ever came out of Italy, and thinking about it is truly food for thought (sorry, I know that joke was bad). In today's post I would like to introduce to you my lasagne theory of game design, followed next week by the lasagne theory of coding. The game design theory I would like to discuss today is probably not super original, but I think lasagne is a useful tool that can be used to analyse a game. The point here is that lasagne contains layers, just like gameplay. Can Game Mechanics Control And Influence The Player?

[In this robust masters thesis, Roger E.

Can Game Mechanics Control And Influence The Player?

Pedersen examines how video games can subliminally influence a player's actions via subtle but influential design choices.] Game budgets have escalated in recent years and yet the player experiences only a fraction of the enormous and costly work done by the game designers, artists, programmers, sound and audio specialists and many others. In a game, whether it is a AAA game with a $10,000,000 budget or an indie game with a $100,000 budget, the player may only encounter twenty to thirty percent of the gameplay, graphics and sounds (music, ambient sounds and spoken dialog). In my recent Masters' thesis from UAT, I wanted to explore how a game designer could through mechanics "influence the player through psychology such as persuasion and coercion. " Designers of interactive games present the player with challenges such as obstacles, puzzles and intelligent enemies. Narrative is not a game mechanic. I love stories.

Narrative is not a game mechanic

My chief hobby is reading. I was formally trained as a writer, not as a game designer (there wasn’t really any formal training for game design I got started, but that’s another story). I think most game stories are not very good. Triangularities in vechtspellen: een perspectief – Bashers. Josh Bycer's Blog - Great Game Design Debate: MMO Leveling Edition. The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.

Josh Bycer's Blog - Great Game Design Debate: MMO Leveling Edition

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. [Continuing my thought process on MMOs, today's debate is on leveling up. Should a game require months of playing to reach the cap, or days? As always, there are pros and cons to both sides.] What Is Skill? There’s an argument kicking round at the moment that MMOs require no skill in order to play them.

What Is Skill?

This statement is both completely correct and utterly wrong. How can a statement contradict itself? The Game Atom: The fabric of game mechanics. What is a game mechanic? There are several definitions. All of them different. As a game designer and teacher I have been frustrated with the vagueness of the term. If you are interested in the current discourse about game mechanics you may wish to check these out:Wikipedia: Game MechanicsDefining Game MechanicsGame Development Essentials: Gameplay Mechanics.

Why Our RPGs Still Need Numbers. Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 24, 2011 Luke Plunkett at Kotaku asks the question: “Why Do Our Role-Playing Games Still Need Numbers Everywhere? “ Though it’s not so much of a question as a call to get rid of such archaic relics of the past. The Snark. Puzzles and RPGs. Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 11, 2011 It felt somewhat serendipitous that I found this excellent interview with Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games – maker of commercial indie graphic adventure games – while I was in the middle of adding some more adventure-game-esque puzzles to Frayed Knights.

It provided extra fodder for thought on things I’ve been a-pondering lately, including puzzles in RPGs. Dave talks about how he stumbled into becoming an indie, and from there stumbled into becoming something of an indie publisher. Game Design Lessons: From Seconds to Hours of Gameplay. RPG Design – More on Simplifying. Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 14, 2011 I played through the first couple of levels of the first Eye of the Beholder game the other day (“research”). I’d only really played the second game in the series to completion, so it was fun to revisit the original (well, original AD&D-branded imitation of Dungeon Master, at least).

Going through a couple of levels, I was struck by the simplicity of the game. Even compared to other RPGs of the era. RPG Design: Returning to Base. Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 18, 2011 Many computer role-playing games (CRPGs) have a concept of a “home base” for the player – a safe location to return to in order to rest, heal, trade, advance, acquire and complete quests, and so forth. The actual location may change as the game advances, but these safe spots (which may literally be “save spots” in games with limited save points) get returned to again and again by PCs. While not universal (especially in modern CRPG design), I’m hard-pressed to think of another genre that commonly features this kind of mechanic. It originated, as many things CRPG, as a feature of dice-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons. Games, Rules & Immersion » #AltDevBlogADay. Exposing Social Gaming’s Hidden Lever « #AltDevBlogADay. Gold Star for You, Friend! « #AltDevBlogADay. The Holy Grail of Game Design.

Hyperbole Games.