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January 19, 2021
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Fabian Fischer's Member Blogs

Tangible and expected rewards loosely linked to performance were, among other kinds of extrinsic gratifications, found to decrease intrinsic motivation. Interestingly, these are exactly the types of rewards that games like to be especially generous with.

Having a limited amount of real-life seconds to make a move can feel strangely disconnected from the rest of the gameplay experience. However, there's a different kind of timer out there. One that's intrinsic to the game world, or in short: diegetic.

A strong focus on spatiality can lead to a large variety of interesting situations, incentivize intuitive decision-making and foster depth and emergence. This article describes a few outstanding examples of spatial gameplay design.

Match-based single-player games have an inherent efficiency advantage over more linear formats. However, this advantage is threatened by a specific design problem that frequently occurs in those kinds of games and yet is rarely talked about explicitly.

Crimson Company is a competitive card game without decks, hands and private collections. Through the introduction of "board drafting", it aims to combine the strengths of the best card battlers, while also tackling some of their central design problems.

There are games that seem deep and full of meaningful interactivity when they actually offer neither, or at least not to the level they are suggesting. Let's take a closer look at some of the tricks games use to create this "phantom depth".

Story and game. A troubled marriage full of problems and misunderstandings. But what if instead of trying to mash "great narrative" and "great system" together time and again, we actually try to cautiously and deliberately support one with the other?

A transparent game's mechanics can be grasped in their entirety. They're not hidden in black boxes, or behind giant formulas. Instead, those games generate challenge via systemic and strategic depth. What's the exact role of transparency in this context?

Modern-day AAA games rely on traditional, linear storytelling. While they are rightfully praised for their cinematic qualities, the gameplay is consequently lacking in substance and dynamics. How can games tell stories without hurting their core identity?

The discourse about video games is shaped by varying degrees of "game literacy". In private conversations this is of course fine. But when it actually comes to pushing the craft forward, we should care about talking to (and not past) each other more.