Game Design: Mechanics

By 25/10/2017Game Design

Now listening to: my baby girl gurgle

This is all very theoretical and abstract. The space presented to the player is rarely the space in which the designer develops, yada yada yada… I don’t care too much for abstract thought and theoretical jerking. I get it. It’s easier to visualize the core of the game when you strip away the bells and whistles. Got it, thanks, next.

Time, however, is important. In marketing, as in comedy…

… timing is everything.

There’s something about the machine state, which makes me think about Ghost in the Shell. There’s something more about secrets, fuck if I remember, I read that bit months ago. I didn’t even write anything down. I was in such an emotional and psychological funk that I just trudged through these pieces. I’m sure that if I had been in my current mood, those paragraphs would’ve been found ladden with meaning and insight. Oh well, moving on.

Gameplay is decision making. Wow, brilliant. Yes, it is. Moving on. There’s a small annotation about the difference between tactics (raw action) and strategy (higher-level decisions). There’s something about emergent gameplay, heard the whole gaming community masturbate to that term furiously decades ago. Not much there. There’s a bracket stating that a tactic requires a verb to be considered one. That’s actually pretty clever to be sure you’re properly dimensioning them.

There’s a half-baked idea to implement elemental motes on a game I’m working on with a couple of people. It’s a horrible, slap chop piece of design, but maybe it can fix a problem we’re having.

Ah, goals! Finally! Paydirt, baby!

A goal is concrete, achievable and rewarding. You use skills to make it happen.

Holy. Shit. I was in such a bad funk that I literally forgot to jot down two lenses into my notebook. That job was fucking killing me. Well, glad that’s over. Too bad, though, cause this looks really interesting. I’ll have to revisit these chapters later. There’s a few lines about probability. I remember finding that refresher a treat.

I really like the part about players choosing between the low-powered but reliable Magic Missile and the high-powered but unreliable Lightning Bolt. A live example of this can often be found in competitive Pokemon. Most competitive players will shun the extremely powerful but fickle Hydro Pump water attack in favor of the more moderate but also more reliable Surf.

Balance is not just about raw power. It’s more like a recipe. You know when it’s just right.

#26 Functional Space

#27 Time

#28 State Machine

#29 Secrets

#30 Emergence

#31 Action

#32 Rules

#33 Goals

#34 Skill

#35 Expected Value

#36 Chance

#37 Fairness

#38 Challenge

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