Spice it Up!

We have the rules, now it’s time to spice up that gameplay with some game dynamics!

 

Rules can be cold and bland, so lets’s add a little warmth to your game. Let’s spice up that gameplay and think cleverly about how the game players actually play the game rather than simply following the instructions blindly from beginning to end. It’s human nature to want to push the limits, bend the rules, and find inventive ways to achieve a goal, and these are all part of what is known as the game dynamics. Now, that’s not to rules are bad or boring in any way, quite the opposite, rules are super important as they provide the structure of your game. In some games the rules can be the most enjoyable part, such as in Charades, where the rule to not speak is the key to the game’s enjoyment.

The rules dictate the strict boundaries of what you are permitted to do, whereas the dynamics are all the little intricacies that happen around these rules. These dynamics can be built into the gameplay, such as trading property in Monopoly, which creates a fun dynamic between players as the barter and trade cards in order to win the game. Some dynamics can occur completely organically, such as the ‘rocket jump’, a technique whereby players can jump great distances in first-person shooter games by firing a rocket at the floor whilst jumping. This is an example of players exploiting game mechanics (rules) to achieve a goal not directly built into the game structure.

While we can’t envision every single possible way players will interact with the game, we can at least bake in some features to ensure that the game is dynamic enough to be engaging, fun, and varied, without containing any major ‘bugs’ in the form of loopholes that can effectively break the game or cause an imbalance that ruins the gameplay.

Naturally, some game dynamics will require affect the mechanics and aesthetics of your game. A good game requires a perfect balance between mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics so we recommend completing all three quests in parallel, as each change will have a knock on effect.

Your task for this quest is simple. Create a series of storyboards that show the different ways your players can interact with your game. This will demonstrate the various game dynamics at play. For example, how different roles within the game work, how they can use different rules to their advantage, or ways they might interpret the rules to succeed in the game or affect another player’s progress.

It’s up to you how you create you storyboard. You can be as straight forward or creative as you like, but here are some example methods you can use:

  • Draw it – Just like in the film industry, you can create sketches of the gameplay / character interaction and caption them accordingly.
  • Write it – You can create a blog posts, or posts, detailing the various nuances of gameplay, explaining how and why players can play your game.
  • Record it – If you’d like to create videos to demonstrate your game mechanics they go for it! It’s really up to you, whatever suits your game or skills best.

Once you have created your storyboards, share them with the GC community using the #GCdynamics hashtag.

Learning Resources

WhatGamesAre.com – Game Dynamics and Loops

A great game dynamic is at the heart of most successful video games because it structures the individual actions that the player takes, and the reactions of the game (the loop) into something more significant

Critical Gaming Network – Game Design 101

A series of detailed blog posts on how mechanics play together dynamically.

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Humane Design – Games Must Be Good to Their Players

Games do not dictate our behaviour, but they do affect us. The Extra Credits team talk about humane design, and we thought sticking this resource in the middle of the design mission would be a nice place for it! :)

To play a game well, you need to know how it works! Game design thinking will help us to inject fun in problem solving. As part of the Game Changers community, we will go through the missions and quests towards understanding the secret to game design and the relevance in learning. And most of all, we will have fun and gain new skills in the process.

Game Design Thinking
Sylvester Arnab, GC Team

Say hello to the group and share your thoughts and what your skills are. You never know when you might want to trade knowledge and skills to make your games better! We believe in learning together and from each other, so jump in!

Community
Kate Green, GC Team
The Game Changers programme is all about being open and sharing your ideas with the wider community, read our Open Guidelines for suggestions of great platforms you can use to share your work!
Open Platforms
Alex Masters, GC Team