As I wrap up game design month, there are still a lot of observations I want to write about. (Next month’s theme is pretty strict, so I won’t be deviating [probably] from it much.) One thing I keep noticing about decisions to make in game design is (a) how many spectrums (axes) on which you can measure the “success” of your game there are, and (b) the two polar “opposites” on those spectra, and how they are both super important.
Some spectra of game design:
- Flavor vs. Mechanics (“gameiness”)
- Solitary Play vs. Group Play (“communityness”)
- Short Games vs.Long Games / Light Games vs. Involved Games (“depth of involvement”)
- Highly Variant vs. Highly Skill-Based
In a way, a lot of these are the “enfranchisement” spectrum – on one end are players who just pick up your game and play it once, or infrequently, and on the other side are people who play it all the time, talk about it all the time, etc. The lighter you are on this spectrum, the more accessible your game will be and the wider your potential audience. The heavier you are on this spectrum, the more depth of gameplay that might represent, and/or the more dedicated your community will be to supporting your game.