A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational by Anna Anthropy, Naomi Clark

By Anna Anthropy, Naomi Clark

Video games have frequently taken a valuable function in pop culture; in truth, agencies are even trying to 'gamify' conventional company approaches. even if, our language for knowing, discussing, and designing video games has remained primitive - and this has made it tougher to create nice video games or intelligently assessment them. this article fills this hole, delivering a whole shared framework for knowing and comparing video game layout - as creators, as gamers, as scholars, as online game decision-makers.


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14 CHAPTER 2 VERBS AND OBJECTS Rules Games are made of rules. Surround stones of the opposite color with stones of your own color to capture it. Complete a line of blocks to make it disappear. Reduce the opponent’s health to zero to eliminate her. It’s the interplay of these rules, the interactions between them, that creates an experience for our players. As game creators, we want to design the rules that will make for the strongest experience. We want to design rules that have relationships to each other.

As with verbs, we get a lot of utility over choosing the right ones and should try to avoid introducing ones that will be underdeveloped because their uses overlap too much with that of other objects. One color of clay blocks would be too little. I could use them as pacing, but not to set up interesting choices about where to dig. Two would let me set up choices, but not ones that link into each other very well. Because there are only two colors, two diverging paths can’t touch. Four colors—at least in the limited space that I’ve given the game, for the sake of it being fast— don’t give me very many options that I can’t achieve with the three colors I already have.

6 for an example. 6 Possibilities in Tombed with one, two, three, or four colors. Note how the difference between two and three colors adds more possibilities than the difference between three and four colors.. Did you ever do that exercise where you try to color in a map of a bunch of different regions without having any regions of the same color touch, using as few colors as possible? Four, it turns out, is the maximum amount that we would need. ”) But if you look at any completed map—for example, a map of the United States, using four colors—you’ll notice the fourth color appears infrequently, only in very hairy combinatorial situations.

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