How to Design the Mechanics of Your Gamestar Mechanic Game
The mechanics of a game on Gamestar Mechanic are important because they define the actions you take as a player — from simple actions, such as jumping and collecting points, to procedural ones, such as solving puzzles and racing to complete a level in time. Mechanics are central to the communication between designer and player — the way the game works depends on the actions the player needs to take.
Mechanics can be as simple or complex as you want, from running and jumping to solving a logic puzzle. Many complex games use multiple mechanics that are connected. For example, the mechanics can cause players to frag enemies within a time limit or complete multiple levels in which the only transportation is a dangerous elevator.
Usually, all mechanics are in orbit around a single core mechanic, which the player applies more than all others. For example, the core mechanic of a racing game is almost always the player’s speed and agility, while the core mechanic of a level of locks and keys would probably be the puzzle-solving mechanic.
Mechanics are often the most difficult element for designers to implement in their games, because you not only have to provide possible actions to your players, but also give them challenges that call upon these actions.
To give a fundamental example, suppose you give an avatar the ability to jump — you want to make the player jump across gaps just challenging enough to make the jumping mechanic interesting, or add a timer if you think the average player’s method isn’t urgent enough.
To get the full value out of your mechanics, you should practice playing games to understand the ways a player can be challenged. Simple mechanics such as shooting can be used in different ways, from battles to puzzles to games that test the player’s reflexes. After you have a solid understanding of Gamestar Mechanic games, you may want to design games that showcase your own, unique take on a mechanic.
Academic or leisurely pursuits often inspire new ideas for game mechanics. If you’re stuck, you can always combine in an interesting way some mechanics that you already know.