Video: Swipe Rite - Crafting Reigns' elegant game mechanics
Nerial's 2016 mobile game Reigns is pitched by its developers as "Tinder meets Game of Thrones." It was a big success last year, in part because its deceptively simple interface gave players a window into a complex, challenging, and often surreal narrative.
At GDC 2017, Nerial dev Francois Alliot spoke at length about the development and writing of the "year by year" strategy game. He opened up about how the team gave themselves a set of constraints defined by the gameplay they were exploring and the tone they wanted to give to the game, but also how bifurcation and wandering were essential to designing the mechanics and content of Reigns throughout the 6 months of its production.
Alliot believes that this sort of approach, although apparently messy and unstructured, is very powerful, especially for indies. He suggests the game industry is at the point where game development could almost be considered as accessible as writing, because the tools are less of an obstacle, and explained in his talk how creators can use the same skills as novelists or poets: work by constant iteration on a design that evolves through the process of creating it.
It was a great talk, and you can now watch it for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel!
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