Chapter 5. Machinations

In the previous chapter, we showed how a game’s internal economy is one important aspect of its mechanics. We used diagrams to visualize economic structures and their effects. In this chapter, we introduce the Machinations framework, or visual language, to formalize this perspective on game mechanics. Machinations was devised by Joris Dormans to help designers and students of game design create, document, simulate, and test the internal economy of a game. At the core of this framework are Machinations diagrams, a way of representing the internal economy of a game visually. The advantage of Machinations diagrams is that they have a clearly defined syntax. This lets you use Machinations diagrams to record and communicate ...

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