On Game Design

Elegance & Engagement

Posted by in Game Design

Extra Credits recently aired a great episode about depth and complexity in games. If you haven’t watched it yet, go do so. At the end of the video, the host made the statement that most designers hold elegance in design up as the Holy Grail of their craft (mostly true) when they should instead focus on player engagement. In this article, I hope to explain why these two concepts are in reality one and the same. I believe that elegance supports and protects the engagement level of the game. I argue that elegant…read more

Mechanical Dissonance and setting player expectations

Posted by in Game Design

One of the most important parts of a game designer’s job is to help the player understand exactly what the game expects them to do. To properly enact their will upon the game through its mechanics, the player has to know what goal they are trying to achieve and how. If your mechanics are giving opposing messages to the player, it can lead to a lot of confusion and unsatisfying feedback. No one wants to feel like they’re playing a game wrong. I’ve been playing a decent amount of Hitman:…read more


Posted by in Game Design

I’ve been thinking of starting this blog for a long time, but was hesitant for a number of reasons. I’m not a grizzled vet (having only been in the industry for 5 years), nor have I birthed a piece of perfectly-balanced design wizardry. So why bother? I decided to start this blog because I think about game design a lot. A whole lot. Pretty much all the time. It’s my passion, and I’m incredibly lucky I get to do it professionally. I started this blog because I want an excuse…read more