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Game Design School - WHERE YOUR DESIGN FAILS

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WHERE YOUR DESIGN FAILS

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After this page:
  • You are aware of the most common failures with a game concept
  • You know how to avoid the common mistakes

THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS IN CONCEPTS

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It's funny. You would think most people would have a full playable game in their concept with a goal. And a challenge.

But, no, these are often missing.

And "Fun", "Good visuals", "Theme" or "Good gameplay" don't create a unique game.

NO GAME

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  • How the game actually works is not clear
  • There is no goal or challenge
  • You can play the game in only one way and result will always be the same
  • If you play the level again, it will be pretty much the same
  • You repeat basic action over and over again, the game gets repetitive really quickly

FOCUS IS LOST

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  • In the worst case, there's actually two games in the game
  • The game has way too many features, some are even in contradiction
  • The designer has lost which items work together and which not

NOTHING UNIQUE

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  • We've seen this game already
  • I find this the most serious.
  • I personally really always demand this and push for this.
  • The designer has done the market research probably - in the worst case there's already a game with the same name
  • Why would we do a game that has already been done?

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

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Here's a recipe that works often:
1) Something new + something old
Have something new and something old in the game idea. See here more details, the Tetris + Scrabble is a sample of this.

2) Include theme + mechanics + variation
We don't really work much with our idea to see how far it extends or bends. I recommend this highly. There is numerous part and exercises here to improve on that. You can utilise the theme from here and learn the core of your game from here.

3) Insert Wow and unique factor!
Your idea should have something mind-blowing in it :D You can get help on that here!

HOW ANGRY BIRDS DID IT

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  • Fun core gameplay
  • Easy to understand - you can take any screenshot of the game and people will probably know what to do in the game
  • Rewarding & Satisfying
  • Fun sounds
  • Very universal
  • Limited text & Strong visual message
  • Very clear and motivating background setting
  • Level ending timing, Short term memory managing. Read more about these here.

WRITE HELP TEXTS

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  • Test writing help texts to a part of your game
  • See if they become too long and complex
  • Do you have a lot of dependencies making it hard to explain things?
  • If so, your game is too complex - simplify it - cut down features!