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Game Design School - COMMUNICATION TO THE PLAYER

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COMMUNICATION TO THE PLAYER

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After this page:
  • You understand the importance of being clear and keeping things simple
  • Instead of ignoring some of the player's, you will now focus to keep all player's you get
  • You realise how hard even the simplest things can be for the player's to understand

COMMUNICATION TO THE PLAYER

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This is a really important topic. Think of a boat with holes. Overtime your game has something that is hard to understand, it's like a new hole to the boat. If it's too big or there's too many, your boar will sink and the player will leave the game.
To avoid these prefer intuitive and clear approaches which require minimal if none explanation.

THE PLAYERS...

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The players will not do what you expect.
The players will do the wrong things.
Players are not logical and will not understand the things that are very clear to you.

NOT LIKE YOU OR TARGET GROUP?

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I often notice designers don't care about player's not in their target group or not like them.
Do you really wanna loose like 15% or 50% of your players?
With small adjustments and clarification you do a lot and keep your retention much higher! Focus on making absolute sure all the players

  • get how your game should be played and
  • what they should do and what is their goal

REWARDING & POSITIVE FEEDBACK

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  • Probably you are not giving enough positive feedback and rewards
  • Design to go way over the top
  • Then decrease from there unless you could get all that done from your team
  • Rather over-do than under-do
  • Try Peggle as a reference game and think the game without any of the rewarding!
Here's a video of Peggle and positive feedback! Rather overdo it than do nothing!

WHERE TO GIVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK

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  • When game starts: daily award, “welcome back, we missed you”
  • When level starts: roulette, free power-up, start intro animation materialising player to the level
  • During gameplay: extra coins, power-ups, enemies blow up to particles with sound, power-ups from enemies, more game currency from achievements, combo extra point with stunning sounds
  • When showing Scorecard: running counter, filling meter with medals, you were better than 40% of players, you need to destroy 5 more enemies to get this achievement
  • When in Map Screen: daily challenge, future levels behind fog of war, bonus levels, animations when unlocking a new level
  • Other situations: positive feedback texts, animation when levelling up and special screen showing all you get

WHAT'S IN THE HUD

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  • Create the HUD
  • What will you show in the HUD in different game modes ?
  • Is there energy ? Money? Time?
  • Lives ? Inventory?
  • How many digits in the score ?
  • Those too many extra zeros just don't give more value …
  • Icons for power-ups ?
  • Other elements ?
  • Do I really need all those? Drop away half
  • What are the most important and necessary for the player to see

THINK OF YOUR TUTORIAL

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Tutorial is the part of the game that teaches and guides your player to the game.

  • What is the core functionality you need to teach?
  • Drop everything else and d o not try to teach everything !
  • What is the most important thing to teach?
  • What is the primary function? Start with that!
  • Interactive tutorial ?
  • Tutorial on demand ?
  • Teach first only the minimum


TETRIS SAMPLE Tetris Game Design Examples

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What does Tetris use to clarify the game to the player?
It shows you the next piece during gameplay. This is essential for you to be able to plan even your current piece.
All shapes have different color. If you'd try this with them all having the same color, might get difficult.
The shapes are outlined even inside the shape like creating the 4 squares in the Tetris piece on the left. This helps identifying where each piece goes.


Exercise xxxTITLExxx

EXERCISE - STUNT CAR RACING

Here's a game that will be the bases for the next 3 exercises. The exercises are on a real game we worked on.
The game has following power-ups & stunt features:

  • nitro, repair tool
  • 360 (backflip), jump
  • wheelie, wreck cars
  • accelerate, brake
  • levels are with canyons, hills, jumps
  • platform: iPhone
  • 2D Side view: car goes from left to right
Remember: Game is really fast paced!


PART 1 - CONTROLS

PART 1 - CONTROLS
Above are all the features that should be in the game.
1. Create the controls based on these. Hint· not everything needs to have a control.
2. Aim to have minimal number of controls!

Game Design Schoolsolution PART 1 - CONTROLS
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