in Game Design, game design articles

How to actually design a game is impossible to define on a large scale. The type of game being created has a big impact on the game design.

Trade offs

Tradeoffs creates risk and hence strategy in a game. Most games have some strategy in them. Tradeoffs need to be easy for the user to understand. The more tradeoffs in a game, the more strategy will be involved. Generally when designing a game, if a trade off is easy to understand, it should be added.


Interactivity with the environment is also very important. When a person sees a door, they want to be able to go into it. When a person sees a rock they want to be able to move it. If you don’t plan on allowing the user to interact with an item, it may be best to not include the item, unless the item is part of the background image or in an unreachable area.

Learning curve

Every game has a learning curve that goes with it. There are different types of learning curves. Most games get progressively harder. Some have random difficulty as their learning curve. Some have a combination of these for their learning curve. Some games stay the same difficulty throughout. Most important is that it is not too easy or too hard. The following guidelines can be used to pick a learning curve. Games without progression don’t have any new abilities, but the player is able to progress in his mastery of the skills that are present in the game. Games where you learn things, gain new abilities, and progress should have a progressive learning curve. If the game doesn’t have progression and it is a multiplayer game where you are against an opponent, there should be levels that are about the same difficulty. Most other games that don’t involve progression should have random difficulties.


A game should start out simple, and then if there is time more complicated features can be added. A game shouldn’t be about adding as many features as possible; rather, it should be about mastering a few features.

Less Common Game Mechanics

There are many other forms of game mechanics. Only a few mechanics should be focused on when developing a game. Below are game mechanics that the Gamnification Wiki lists. Achievements, Altruism, Analysis, Anticipation, Balance, Challenge, Chance, Character, Cheating, Choices, Collector, Community, Competition, Control, Cooperation, Curiosity, Data, Dazzle, Discovery, Economy, Engagement Curve, Envy, Fairness, Feedback, Fun, Global, Goals, Grinding, Influence, Imagination, Instantaneous, Invisibility, Leveling Curve, Longevity, Mini Games, Meta Games, Micro-Transactions, Playtesting, Progression, Punishment, Quests, Rewards, Risk, Rules, Self-Expression, Skill, Skill / Chance Balance, Status, Social Interactions, Story, Surprise, Time, Unlockables, User Experience, Vanity, Virality, Virtual Goods, Zen,

Personality types

The Bartle test is a test that puts people into one of the following personality types: explorer, socializer, killer or achiever. Explorers like to find secrets. Socializers like to interact with others. Killers like competition. Achievers like to gain rewards. Care should be taken to choose game mechanics that respond to the personality type(s) that a game targets.

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