Often, when making a game you start by setting a goal that the player has to achieve but how to get the player from the beginning of the game and towards that goal and most importantly how to get the player to enjoy this journey, this is where the tricky and also fun part comes into play.

GAME DESIGN

Now, when it comes to game design it’s very hard to define rules and guidelines that apply to all the games, simply because games are so different like design choices that work for a MMORPG are not going to work at all for a competitive FPS and now comes a very important point everything in game design must fit the player’s intended experience. First off, every game needs a foundation and in game design there are three main pillars that hold up this foundation player, communication and appeal.

Player

Now, this might seem obvious but understanding how to work with them is crucial really, you can start by asking yourself what is the player’s role and how does he interact with the game the player always needs to have some sort of purpose and it’s extremely important that it’s the player driving the game forward. After all, this is what distinguishes a game from other games. If the player does not have a say an effect on the game he gets bored simply completing tasks for the sake of it.

Communication

Now just as important as giving the player purpose is communicating this purpose to the player without any idea of what the goal is and how to achieve it the player will quickly start to feel powerless and become bored so try to use the environment or leave visual clues that communicate the objective of a situation.

Appeal

But, none of this actually matters without appeal which is why it’s the most important pillar in the foundation of any game. If it doesn’t appeal to the player then what’s the point but this is also the hardest part to consistently achieve because it’s solely based on a feeling of being drawn to the game and if wanting to play more and I think this can greatly vary depending on the game and even depending on the individual player for some the appeal is action paced realism with stunning graphics and heart-throbbing sound design for others the appeal lies in an interesting story or a well-thought-out puzzle.

But rather than try to make impossible claims as to how to make your game appealing I think this is a good place to stress just how important it is to start every game with the prototype to test out your ideas in a simplified format to see if the appeal is there of course if your entire game idea is based around stunning graphics and huge open world levels a simple prototype won’t help you out much.

Game Purpose / Goal

So with that you’ve now established the foundation of your game but that’s off course still a bunch of design choices you have to make for example just like it’s important to always communicate the player’s purpose it’s just as important to always guide to the main focus in other words you need to clarify what the players should concentrate on of course not all games lead the player straight from beginning to end when player comes to a set of two open doors he entered the door on his left for these so called nonlinear games, it’s just as important that you leave the player with alternate choices like going on a little side quest detour from the main storyline and when it comes to guiding player through the game something. I’ve realized is the importance of anticipation if used correctly anticipation will help prepare the player for what’s coming this could be as simple as adding a charge of animation to your enemies allowing the player to react accordingly and not feel cheated by the game.

Game Logic

Another aspect that has the tendency to get overlooked since some might consider it obvious is that the events in your game have to behave in a logical way along with living up to the players subconscious expectations of the game a system design example of this could be when shooting something bullet holes should appear otherwise it won’t live up to the players expectations obtaining the right sounds of the physical events is also very important the more sound is considered the better experience for the player that the events occurring in your game should also follow general physics, off course, some games change the rules of physics but they do so consistently and that’s pretty much all this comes down to rules are rules so once these rules have been established for a game stick to them,

However, remember that games can cheat as long as the player doesn’t notice like a lot of shooters will alter the AI to give the player some sort of hidden advantage that rewards a certain play style also it’s generally good not to make them too sophisticated just in case they feel like turning on the human race.

Now another important point is that dynamic is lost when only one change occurs at a time, this is what makes competitive games like counter-strike interesting to play again and again even though you’re always playing with the same weapons and on the same maps.

Game Progress

Just as important as having enough happening in your game it’s good to establish a natural sense of progression this means trying not to over stimulate or under stimulate the player to achieve this it’s important to think about how you layout different events in your game one way you can do this is by spreading out the moments of high concentration vary between action-packed and more laid-back sequences and keep the number of changes happening according to the current pace of this situation.

I think the perfect example of this is the tower defense genre your gameplay is spaced out naturally by alternating between waves of enemies and building new towers and on top of that many games will vary between large waves of weak enemies and small waves of strong enemies but spacing is not something that only applies to gameplay it’s equally important when talking about environment creating areas for the player to admire the graphics and expansive view in creating tidal areas to obtain a more claustrophobic feel changes the pace of the game and this in turn affects gameplay.

it’s very important that you’re aware of how much space you have in game and on screen to make sure you have the right amount of space for different scenarios this is also important if your game has AI or other players since they should be given the right amount of space so they can move around in a realistic way in fact.

So, if you take all these things into consideration you should be one step closer to designing your own game keep in mind though everything I’ve mentioned here is only guidelines and guidelines only there to steer our creativity in the right direction the rest is up to you.! So be creative!