Game Design Theory Level 4 – Advanced Game Mechanics and HUD / GUI Elements

Course 404 Section 1 Summary – Game Mechanics:

– Design mechanics, hazards and props that work with your enemies and complement them.

– Good game design is like music – it has a rhythm that players can feel. A natural-feeling flow.

– Re-use mechanics with new features to create a variety of challenges.

– Games should be challenging, not excessively difficult.

– No rocks over the player’s head: Don’t punish your players with harsh consequences for losing.

The goal is to keep players playing but also to make losing matter to the player. Do it with visceral effects.

– Be creative – try not to resort to simple crates and “Whack-a-mole” gameplay. Spice it up.

– Don’t make puzzles so cryptic and complex that people can’t use logic, knowledge or skill to solve it.

– Don’t make a “mouse-trap” style solution to your puzzles. Player vs Puzzle not Player vs Designer.

– A puzzle is a challenge that has a solution / right answer. Keep puzzle games short and simple unless it’s a dedicated puzzle game.

– Show them the door and THEN send them after the key. Always preview the objective.


– Give players opportunities to catch their breath by providing plenty of checkpoints.

Level 4 Section 1 Quiz