Game Design 101
Game Design, the first think the comes to your head when your going to make a game. As a Game Designer on the Roblox Platform I’ve assisted my clients since 2015 in developing concepts for their projects. Anyone can design a game ultimately, but this 101 guide will give you some tips on how to make that process easier.
During the process of designing a game you must cover the following aspects no matter what, Game Mechanics, Gameplay Feasibility & Gameplay Reward. Now let me be clear, their are around 200 different design aspects in the Game Design industry, the three I’ve listed are the ones I believe will help you create a successful & enjoyable game on the Roblox Platform.
The Game Design Process is arguably the most important part of producing a game, so this post is purposed to help you get the basics right.
Core Gameplay Mechanics
So you’ve started the process of designing a game. What should you do first? Before anything you must decide what a player is ultimately responsible for doing in your game. This means its time for you to design the mechanics behind your gameplay. This phase of the Game Design process will ultimately decide whether your game fails or succeeds.
To understand success you must first understand failure, so how can you detect signs that the design of your Gameplay Mechanic is flawed? Well firstly ask yourself if you would play this game, and if after playing it around four times you’d get bored or keep on playing, ask yourself if one part of your game is not engaging and leaves the player bored, if you detect these in your game restart from scratch, and go back to the drawing board. Yet, lets say you have a game thats constantly engaging, is diverse & stimulating and can be updated easily, then you have a succesful Gameplay Mechanic.
The goal your attempting to reach during the Game Mechanic Design period is to design a fun, interesting and captivating core mechanic around your game. An extremely simplified example of this is an Obby, ultimately the player is doing the same task repetitively, but the game remains fun to play due to the fact that new sections with higher difficulties are presented to the player as he/she progress’s through the course.
Once you have your Core Gameplay Mechanics figured out its time to move onto the next phase.
Your game needs to be easy to learn, thats a simple fact. If you want to be able to target a wide audience that will consistently play your game you need an easy to learn game. A player should spend more time having fun instead of learning, in fact most people who are playing a game on the Roblox Platform are there to have fun, not learn (I’m aware of great projects such as Lua Learning, and this post should not discredit them) .
Doomspire Brickbattle is a perfect example of an easy to play game, the single objective is to destroy the opposing teams tower. You don’t need to read a rulebook or see a tutorial to understand this when you join the game, you just naturally come to the realization that this is the objective of the game.
Now how do you put this example to work in more complex games, its easy. Allow your players to dedicate more and more time to your game so that they develop new abilities within the gameplay, allow the further complexities of the game naturally expose themselves to the player overtime, this will allow for longer play time, and more captivated players within your game.
Now let me leave a disclaimer, you want your game to have enough depth so that your players don’t get bored of it after five minutes of gameplay. An easy to learn game, doesn’t mean your game should have a lacky design that has no depth to it. Your game should be easy to learn, but fun to play.
In-Game Reward Complexities
Humans have a complexity reaction to reward, meaning humans most of the time won’t do something if it doesn’t carry a reward. This is why games with scoring systems, in-game economies, in-game cosmetics and developed login reward systems, preform highly better then simple objective based victory games.
Rewards you can offer your players can be as simple as a rank on a scoreboard, to a developed in game economy to upgrade their gear or cosmetics, this furthermore leads into game monetization but we’ll be saving that for another post of the 101 series.
Simply put, you want to excite your players about coming back, and you want them to feel that they’ll get something in return for doing so.
I hope this resource is helpful to all of you, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Game Design but it’ll hopefully help creators or contract game designers out. As said on all of my posts in the 101 series, all this information comes from my own personal experience and research. I hope you found this resource post helpful, and if you have any comments, questions or concerns leave a reply and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading