Let’s spoil 868-HACK’s secret level, and talk about good secrets vs. bad secrets

Note: I'm mostly summarizing what JackMule taught me over a series of PMs. He figured out nearly all of this on his own. 868-HACK is an unapologetically opaque game. For some this is a charm, but for me, I'd rather just look everything up and start playing the "real game" straight away. Annoyingly, there currently … Continue reading Let’s spoil 868-HACK’s secret level, and talk about good secrets vs. bad secrets

Avoid Making the Player Proofread in your Strategy Games

Meet Hector. He's a powerful jerk in Fire Emblem Heroes and is mostly balanced out by his low movement speed. However, when given the Wings of Mercy ability, Hector can unexpectedly teleport across the screen and ruin your day. This is a serious game design article, but please also enjoy this low-quality meme (source): A careful … Continue reading Avoid Making the Player Proofread in your Strategy Games

Imbroglio’s Izu Mode is the way forward for deckbuilding

Deckbuilding games have a long and successful history. People love customizing their experience and trying to find the best possible deck. If you look at the most popular strategy games today, a huge portion have customization. The best, in my mind, is Imbroglio's Izu mode. As most game designers know, the "classic" MTG model has a large … Continue reading Imbroglio’s Izu Mode is the way forward for deckbuilding

Survival Games need Difficulty Levels

Survival Game: Games where the goal is to live as long as possible. Often (but not always), this involves plowing through ever increasing hordes of monsters until you eventually succumb to them. Difficulty Levels: For the purposes of this article, anything that adjusts the difficulty of the game counts. This could take the form of … Continue reading Survival Games need Difficulty Levels

Don’t mix Risk Management and Competitive Highscores

Games with Risk Management ask players to choose between low variance (or “safe, but low payout”) and high variance (or “risky, but high payout”) strategies. Single-player games with Competitive Highscores present highscore as the sole goal of the game. Most of these have an online leaderboard. Game designers combine the two on a continual basis, … Continue reading Don’t mix Risk Management and Competitive Highscores