Game Design Points .pdf
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Properties of Games – fast forward
Variety of encounter
• and more, but these are key
• What is the player supposed to do?
• Short-term goals (maybe just survive)
• Long-term goals (find the princess)
• Best games have a mix of short, medium,
• How does the player know what to do?
• Does the player know what actions are
• Does the player know the effect of actions
• The player must have options
• How many options? Are the options viable?
• The best games offer multiple appealing
options at every moment, so that the player
has difficult choices to make
Performative and Deliberative Choice
• Arcade games, sports: primarily performance
• board games, strategy games: primarily
• other computer games: somewhere between
• Suggestion for project: promote deliberation
• Does the player accumulate resources (power,
technology) further into the game?
• Computer games: gain experience, powers,
equipment; access new levels, abilities
• Traditional games: often lack progression in
• Powerful design tool for increasing
• Many choices involve resources: how to spend
gold? Should I save up iron to buy a battleship
or spend it on three destroyers?
• Resources can be tangible (crystal, gold) or
intangible (time, attention)
• What resources are available? What tradeoffs
must the player make?
Variety of Encounter
• How many different situations can arise within
• Computer games: different enemies, levels
– often variety achieved by human-scripted content
• Traditional games: different scenarios arising
– chess: different arrangements of pieces
– bridge, poker: different hands play differently
• Greater variety of encounter -> greater replay