No one can explain exactly what a game is. We only know that game likes a new world with large attraction, interesting images and exciting colors. In the modern game technology, a game designer need to have many faculties, especially, include creation skill and skills of an artist. The process of designing a game is not too complex, but there are some rules which we should know and obey – the elements of game design. Let’s find out those simple rules which create a nice game.
In order to create attraction of a game, we can not talk about the challenge – this is its core. At the same time, it make a source of inspiration for player with a game, for example, we are happy when we win, conversely, when losing we feel sad. In traditional, win-state is always the final goal, but it is not just challenge. During the game, each obstacle, each puzzle, each adversary defeated is a challenge. We tend to overcome these challenges, from micro-challenges to main challenges and the overall challenge.
a. Games without Challenges?
- A game which has not challenge will like a toy. That means players can set their own challenges in that game by themselves. It is not bad, because both Minecraft and the Sims are both fantastically popular, although those games have trend to reduce more. Another example, Ben Pitt's "You are the road" or Daniel Benmergui's "Storyteller" are online toys, they do not have win-state or lose-state, they are toy of what is possible if you want to go down this path.
- So, the challenge in a game is very important. A nice game is a game which has challenge.
b. Do Challenges Incorrectly?
- The game is too easy or too hard, the challenge in that game is bad, called “bad challenge”.A challenge must be fair with players, it means that not only setting the difficulty at a suitable level but also sure that the users can be reasonably expected to complete it.
- For instance, the card game Solitaire is the most popular computer game of all time because it is simple and has fast time, however, depending on the type of games, 79% of Solitaire's games are winnableand 21% chance that you could not win. According to characteristic of this game, we can see that “challenges” of Solitaire often feels like luck rather than skill.
Choice will reflect our skill in a game. It also make the challenge is more interesting. Almost all of players expect to make choice which affect on game, include being academic (do you want to be anarcher or a knight) or being split-second decisions in the heat of combat.
Setting choices in a game need to be politic. Since giving the fake choice can make player to feel involved, but with too many artificial choices will make your game badly affected.
a. Gameswithout Choice?
Players could feel bored with a game which has not choice. In other world,they become passive observers in this game. For example, the game of “Snake and Ladders”does not depend on skillbecause it is suitable for children, not adults, although players of all ages can play together happily.
b. Provide Incorrect Choice?
Popular mistakes which people make designing choice mechanics: include:
- No choice: Reject ability to make choice of players. The interaction will disappear when players use ability such asinvincibility or stunlocks.
- Choice does not matter: a positive where have the same outcomes, because player’s choice does not affect.
- One correct choice: The decision-making process is formal only when a choice is very so strong. In a game, player will choose a characters or cards which are strongest to dominate the Meta, such as choosing the best character in a fighting game; or when making a wizard, choosing to be an elf.
- Uniformed choice:means choices which player make do not explained.When player give choices, they should understand about those choices: why they are making choices? What long-term affects those choices? When a player starts studying the game, they do not know more about the expected outcome of each option available them. So they will be overwhelmed. They will fail to make a choice because of abundance of choices. This is a reason why a good tutorial is so useful.
Change is a necessary thing in game design. A game which has change means that has many micro challenges, such as “collect a diamon” or “kill a zombie”. For instance, in Mario, we play 1st level, 2nd level, and 3rd level and so on. We do not repeat one level more and more. That change in all of levels makes the game is more attractive.
a. Gameswithout Changes?
Change makes a game is more interesting. So if a game does not have change, the player will feel bored quickly. Let repeat example for Mario game: in Mario 1, the world is the same; but we can clearly see this in Super Mario Bros.2, the worlds are different. Though each world, this game always have change about position, color, image, as much as environment and monster.
For changing, we could not talk about Puzzle, with basic principle behind the crossword, and changing content as much as the word, Puzzle becomes more plentiful.
b. Do Changes in Wrong Way?
Changing is extremely necessary, but how should we change in order to the game is more interesting? The mobile game Flow Free with over 1,000 levels, almost of players could not complete all those levels because each level has the same the end. That makes users feel bored and they do not want to solve. The result is that game becomes trivial.
Change is very important, but it is a half of game design. We need to explore something which sure the player attend to the game in long time and can not only overcome our game immediately.
The final element of game design is Chance. In a game, player often create new skills and new strategies in order to adapt conditions in initial plan. Chance in game has many types like cards, dice, random number... Chances are created will make player feel more pleasant.
a. Gameswithout Chance?
A game without change likes a question which has the answer. It is not interesting. Chance in a game not only make you complete the objective but also make you brain storm through challenge.
b. Do Chance in Wrong Way?
Game is the direct examination for skills of players, so, it is difficult to create chance which suitable that game. According statistic, players who have low skill like the games which is affected by chance, and conversely, high skill players do not like that.
In addition, player’s choice could depend on chance. When choice becomes unimportant, players will not like that game.
In game design, we combine all 4 elements tobring our vision: game is something to challenge player, players make choice to overcome that challenge, adding chance so that players cannot sure their choice is correct. Choice makes the game’s status to change, so players always estimate their choice. When players make choice, result of game is win or lose.
This is important question. There are many people who know wrongly about game, include game production. So, before designing a game, let think about what you're aiming for. Game design is very complex, you need to your story, your music, your image, your sound and so on.