Difference between revisions of "Game Mechanics"

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=== Novelty ===
=== Novelty ===
In simple notion, an experience's initial worth can be expected to decrease as novelty wears off.
=== Mechanical Scale ===
=== Mechanical Scale ===

Revision as of 12:58, 5 January 2014

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Game Mechanics considers .. A mechanic is ..

The Player

Players are the crux of game mechanics. They are the fundamental relation between precise game mechanics with its broader subject of game design.

Responsiveness within an avenue of skill

Considering Player Development


Streamlining and Abstraction



Meta Gaming

Meta Gaming is a denotation for the gameplay experience beyond streamlined, core game mechanics. One aspect game designers can approach from focuses on which game mechanics will work together to best support a healthy, and perhaps novel platform for the meta gaming realm. It is not always the primary objective of game mechanics -- at least, not explicitly -- but for some game designers it may be the only approach they are concerned with (e.g. basis for mod communityto design a sandbox game)

The meaning of meta gaming can involve meta-mechanics, transition between mechanic-states and interopability.


In simple notion, an experience's initial worth can be expected to decrease as novelty wears off.

Mechanical Scale

Here's a thought experiment: Take the most enjoyable moment you've experienced in a game and try to create an entire new game based on only one mechanics that made this experience possible. Will it still be fun? Probably not. Why? There are many reasons, but here's an analysis regarding one of them: Mechanical scaling regards the quality in how mechanics are streamlined; in other words, how much does one particular mechanic constitute an optimally fun player experience? So, not only does this depend on how powerful a mechanic is in providing novel gameplay experiences, but also how much those novel experiences are worth to the player.

Corresponse to Interactive Media

Consider the significant mechanical differences which seem to divide 2D, 3D, real-time, turn-based and text-based games. It is critical to clearly understand how the interactive medium (2D, 3D, etc) corresponds to meta gaming.

  • In games which progressively respond to the player (turn-based, text-based etc), the input a player can provide is virtually unlimited because game mechanics are suspended into multiple channels without interopation until the current player is ready. This means even one input signal can be combined many times before the game logic generates a response.
  • In real-time games, input is limited by player skill and response time; more specifically: nimble reaction. This means any input signal is only interpreted once for a single game-logic step.
  • Human hands can press about 9 keys on the keyboard at a time, though keyboards have a greater number of combinations than just 9 keys and it's very inconvenient to press 9 at a time anyway.
  • Spatial units are important for relating game mechanics' interopability within time.
  • The area of a square is sidelength ^ 2.
    • Computer mice virtually map to a planar space.
    • Joysticks virtually map to polar coordinates, which can also be interpreted in planar space.
    • Keys and various buttons can be mapped to axes within planar space.
  • The volume of a cube is sidelength ^ 3.
    • 3D space has one order greater than 2D space in combinations possible per unit of space.
    • 3D space is one order more complex for a player to spatially comprehend than 2D space.
    • A plane can be suspended within 3 dimensions. This enables all the previous controls to be applied to 3D games as well.

These are all factors in how exactly video games are considered interactive mediums. Most importantly, these strongly affect the complexity which game mechanics both can and need to form in order to construct a system which can effectively enable entertaining gameplay.



  • Vanity elements in social, public and online games
    • Arcade high score tables
    • Costumes, special titles, unique (useless) items etc.
  • A modding community
  • Bonus stages
    • Donkey Kong Country
  • Cheats

Multiplicity and Role

Multiplicity and role are design aspects which provide a bridge between streamlined game mechanics and meta gaming.

Objects & Items

Map Features


Case Studies