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7. Design Rules

1. The Player Journey

  • Onboarding
    • Getting the player into the game as quickly and easily as possible
  • Scaffolding
    • Avoid some complexity that can get the player stuck (player is lost and does not know what to do)
  • Pathways to mastery
    • To reach a point of achievement and accomplishment for the player

Example: Plants vs. Zombies

    • Direct guides (verbal and highlighted) to help new players know what to do
    • Express feedback to tell players they have done well
    • Limited options to reduce complexity at the beginner’s level and allow players to understand the game-play
    • Limited monsters similarily to reduce complexity and allow players to understand the game-play
    • Impossible to fail at the beginner level

2. Balance

  • Games cannot be too difficult or easy
  • Games cannot have too much or too little options
  • There must be a sense of competition and that any player can win (unbiased)
  • Balance is needed at every stage of the game (the game must be constantly in balance)

Example: Monopoly

    • If one property is priced too highly and anyone who own the property will be a whole lot better, the game will not be fun for those who don’t own the property and the players may just quit playing
    • When you pass Go, you get $200. This helps balance the economy in the game-play so that players will not run out of money too quickly

3. Create an Experience

  • Creating an integrated experience for the players

Example: Turntable

    • The interface gives the user a whole new experience of simply listening to music
    • Users can see the DJs and other users on the interface, simulating a club scenario
    • Users can rate the music that is currently playing on the metered interface and the music will be given a score

Unfortunately Turntable.fm is restricted only to the United States due to licensing constraints

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