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Game Design

Nick Pruehs edited this page Jan 17, 2015 · 8 revisions

Just as every game designer, I want Pinned Down to provide the best possible game experience for everybody. Here, I'm going to use Jesse Schell's lenses to answer crucial questions and to support all design decisions I make.

Lens #1: Essential Experience

  • Puzzling Out Plans
    • Essential: anticipation, feeling of tactical manoeuvring
    • In Similar Games: seed phase in Star Trek CCG
    • In Pinned Down: deckbuilding, choosing starting starships and characters
  • Testing Your Deck
    • Essential: getting something "for free" feels good, feels like gaining an advantage
    • In Similar Games: play for free, download in Star Trek CCG
    • In Pinned Down: play from your draw deck, reduce threat
  • Revealing Enemy Plans
    • Essential: feeling smart
    • In Similar Games: scanning dilemmas in Star Trek CCG
    • In Pinned Down: peeking at enemy attack deck
  • Overcoming Opposition
    • Essential: tackling and mastering challenges feels great
    • In Similar Games: solving dilemmas in Star Trek CCG
    • In Pinned Down: nullifying attack effects, winning ship battles
  • Scoring Points
    • Essential: getting anything always feels good
    • In Similar Games: solving missions, scoring objectives in Star Trek CCG
    • In Pinned Down: increasing distance, scoring points
  • Be A Starship Captain
    • Essential: feeling of tactical manoeuvring, imagining space fights
    • In Similar Games: tactic cards in Star Trek CCG
    • In Pinned Down: assigning ships, playing fight effects and shouting their names

Lens #2: Surprise

  • Drawing Cards
  • Enemy Attacks
  • Location Options
  • Damage From Ship Battles

Lens #5: Endogenous Value

  • Cards are valuable to the player
  • Promo Cards are more valuable than regular cards
  • Earning new cards feeds player motivation to play the game (apart from wanting to try them out)

Lens #6: Problem Solving

  • Problem: Finding optimal assignment, resolving fights without taking damage
  • New Problems: Created by shuffling decks, adding new cards (for both players and/or enemies)

Lens #7: Elemental Tetrad

  • Aesthetics: Common card backgrounds, well-known card design approaches
  • Story: Lore of each card
  • Mechanics: Card game mechanics like drawing cards and shuffling decks
  • Technology: Touch controls for natural card game feeling

Card Design Checklist

  • co-op?
  • fun: synergy? granting something "for free"? reducing threat? revealing attack deck? nullifying effects? increasing power?
  • awesome name
  • lore
  • art

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