Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Player Accessible Mechanics)

One of the biggest pitfalls a game can come up with is creating an environment in which the player feels overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that they can or must do throughout the course of play; whether it’s a 600-page rulebook for a tabletop game that forces every roll through four different complications or a video game which requires players to adapt to a variety of different control schemes on the fly, it’s important to look at the mechanics of a game from the perspective of intelligent design decisions. Continue reading “Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Player Accessible Mechanics)”

Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Setting)

A game’s setting has come to mean a number of things to gamers; in tabletop roleplaying it’s usually used to describe the surrounding world and the cast, and it means similar things in video games. However, when working on a game you must work two-fold on your setting; creating both an implied and explicit setting, in order to reach the best mixture of freedom of choice and engaging experiences that create emotionally and psychologically appealing games. Continue reading “Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Setting)”

Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Presentation)

Presentation is a major part of how we perceive the games that we play, and as a designer it is critical to understand how the game is being presented to the player from a holistic perspective. This article will touch on the basics of presentation from both the tabletop and video game perspectives.

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Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Intro, Difficulty and Complexity)

There are seven core tenets of game design that are equally applicable to both tabletop and video game creation. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be writing on all of these, which are:

  1. Difficulty and Complexity
  2. Presentation
  3. Setting
  4. Player Accessible Mechanics
  5. Player Inaccessible Mechanics
  6. Player Role
  7. Market Continue reading “Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Intro, Difficulty and Complexity)”

Game Design: Free-To-Pay Games and Microtransactions

I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about what I think about free-to-play games, especially since I’m one of the few people I know who is willing to actually spend money on them. Admittedly, I come from the perspective of someone who grew up playing shareware games, so when I see a free-to-play game I consider them through much the same criteria, but here’s what I look at and the things that worry me about some modern free-to-play titles.

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Game Design: Simple Complexity

I’ve never played The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall before, but the other day I downloaded and got it set up in DOSBox. One of the things I noticed is how much more stuff there was in Daggerfall than there was in Morrowind, but how little my unfamiliarity with Daggerfall hurt me in terms of how I made up my characters and how I jumped into the game with relatively little guidance.

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[ARCHIVE] Game Design: Bastion and Storytelling

I’ve been in the process of moving over stuff from my old site to this blog, so here’s an old blog post that I wrote in January 2012 about Bastion. It’s a little bit dated, but still cogent to the game industry in general.

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