The forces that push us to play just one more turn, or level to obtain a reward can be very strong. This is what we call the compulsion loop. Look into its anatomy.
Why the reach high point system is used in most open-world games since the original Assassin’s Creed.
Game balancing is key for game design, but we often approach it from a number-driven angle which distract us from the big picture, the resulting dynamic. Read my tips on game balancing.
Which of narrative or gameplay should take the lead in video games?
Zero-Sum games is a very important concept for game systems as well as rewards, so here is my perspective on it, as well as examples on what it means for game design.
Compared to Starcraft’s very predictible systems, Warcraft 3 and its randomness always puzzled me. Here are my conclusions on how such a random game can still be fit for competitive play.
How a simple combat system was the best way to match the target audience taste on Assassin’s Creed.
About the difference between winning conditions and what players really have to do to succeed.
There’s more to Quake than pure aim. Learn about the decisional challenge of this game.
Halo’s 30 seconds of fun explained.
Discover the hidden depth of this videogame classic.
How to convey meaning through game systems.
Fun is a dangerous word to use in a creative environment.
Biology can help us differentiate between pleasure and fun.
What are the building blocks of gameplay and how to assemble them?
An actionable definition of gameplay to help understand this complex term.
Best way to learn game design is to abstract everything but game systems. This is Brian Moriarty’s approach at Worchester Polytechnic Institute.
Game theory is a field of mathematics that can help game designers with vocabulary and decision evaluation.