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Unity 3D Game Development by Example by Ryan Henson Creighton

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Mechanic versus skin

One skill that may help you finish is recognizing the difference between mechanic and skin. Your game's mechanic is how it physically functions. The very best games contain a simple mechanic that's easy to learn, hard to master, and compelling enough to keep a player interested. The mechanic in Tetris is to move and rotate falling blocks into place to create one or more solid lines. The mechanic in many golf games is to simulate swinging a golf club by moving the controller's thumbstick around or tapping a button when the "Power" and "Accuracy" meters are at the right level. The mechanic in Breakout is to move a paddle back and forth to bounce a ball into a wall of fragile bricks.

A game's skin is how it looks and sounds. ...

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