Come Back Mechanics

In order to keep engagement in a game, there should always be an opportunity for players remaining in the game to win.  There are few things more frustrating than knowing with certainty you have no chance to win a game, but being forced to continue playing.  Having...

Depth

The human brain loves looking for ways to optimize. One of the joys of playing games is exploring the decision space and finding ways to improve your strategy. Once an optimal strategy is found, however, the brain will stop being stimulated by a problem and become...

Novelty

Novelty is a challenging concept to address in game design.  There is one sense in which novelty is critically important for games and another in which it is merely nice to have.  Lets take a look at both meanings and their relevance in game design. Novelty as a...

Excitement

A bead of sweat forms on your brow. Your breath quickens. You’ve been playing solid poker for hours. You have a good hand and have been raising while others just called. Suddenly, the chip leader sitting to your right raises all in. You think you have them beat, but...

Elegance

The goal of a game designer is very similar to that of a sculptor- chip away at all the excess until only elegant beauty remains. Here are 5 simple rules to make your designs more elegant. 1. Have as few rules as possible.   The pleasure that comes from seeing a...