Friday, April 17, 2015

My Personal Game Design Rules

Hey all,

So recently I've been talking with my friends about what makes a good game. I've had to repeat, many times, my personal rules when I design games that I feel makes a great game.

I'll gloss over them here:

Coherence / Following the rules: The game must be coherent and consistent, game objects / characters must obey the rules that the game designer sets early on in the experience, no exceptions.

Do or Show, Don't Tell: The game must show the player or make the player use mechanics of the game in order for the player to understand them. Allow the player to learn mechanics in a safe environment with minimal punishment so that the game can introduce challenges while feeling "fair".

Exercise the Brain: Learning is fun, variety is learning. Multiplayer games are great at this. A good game teaches everything it has to offer before the player stops playing. The more rigidly constructed your game is, the more limited it will be.

Content is king: Neat particle effects does not make a great game. "Keep the great, trash the okay". A game with 10 hours of great content that the player will remember with 20 hours of padding is a 10 hour game.

Player Choice Matters: Let decisions have weight, don't leave decisions up to the player that ultimately mean nothing, that's not fun.

That's really it, not that complicated. Before you ask, I don't like Heavy Rain very much, it's a movie. The above is subject to interpretation, and by no means a law, just the rules I follow. If you disagree that's fine, let me know, maybe I overlooked something!


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