Chapter 1. Designing Game Mechanics

Game mechanics are the rules, processes, and data at the heart of a game. They define how play progresses, what happens when, and what conditions determine victory or defeat. In this chapter, we’ll introduce five types of game mechanics and show how they’re used in some of the more common video game genres. We’ll also discuss at what stage during the game design process you should design and prototype mechanics, and we’ll describe three kinds of prototyping, addressing the strengths and weaknesses of each. By the end of the chapter, you should have a clear understanding of what game mechanics are for and how to think about designing them.

Rules Define Games

There are many different definitions of what a game ...

Get Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.