They are the representation of a COMMODITY that is used in the game to FUND ACTION or is DEPLETED by OTHER PLAYER”S ACTIONS. EXAMPLES: Money, Properties, Houses, Hotels, Dice (Movement Points) in MONOPOLY. EXAMPLES: Health, Ammo, Armor in FIRST-PERSON SHOOTERS EXAMPLES: SCORE, UNITS, CLUES, TIME LIMITS, ACTION POINTS, TURNS
CONSUMABLE: CONVERTIBLE: Promotes STRATEGIC KNOWLEDGE SYMMETRICALLY DISTRIBUTED: PLAYER BALANCE ASSYMETRICALLY DISTRIBUTED: HANDICAPS STORAGE: Does Player need a CONTAINER? Is there a MAXIMUM NUMBER?
DESTROYED through DAMAGE.
No, they don’t fuel actions. They are an attribute of properties, used as a wider faucet deeper in the game.
Energy Systrms used wrong. Get you into using them daily, through a compulsion to take the most logical path.
Scoring Risk/Rewards Strategic Planning and Knowledge
EXAMPLE: Almost all STRATEGY GAMES have a Resource component. EXAMPLE: Professional sports teams like FOOTBALL have high-level RESOURCE MANAGEMENT for managing Team Composition. In Team-Oriented MULTIPLAYER GAMES, PLAYERS are a RESOURCE.
LIMITED: Determines DIFFICULTY RENEWABLE: Determines LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY NON-RENEWABLE: Promotes STIMULATED PLANNING go get it from the GAME WORLD, RESOURCE GENERATORS, or CHARGERS. RISK/REWARDS: TRADEOFFS make Resource Management interesting.
Supports Gain Ownership Goals
Governs the RESOURCE FLOWS within the game.
EXAMPLE: In ASTEROIDS: Rocks are PRODUCED BY LEVEL and CONSUMED BY SHOOTING. EXAMPLE: In CIVILZATIION, Units are PRODUCED IN CITIES and CONSUMED IN BATTLE. Games usually have overlapping and interconnected Producer-Consumers.
CONTROL: Promotes VARIED GAMEPLAY and ILLUSION OF INFLUENCE. LAYERED: Determines LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY.
Can also apply to Goals, Information and Player-to-Player Relationships. EXAMPLE: In CHESS, COLOR determines ownership of PIECES, and Pieces determine ownership of BOARD GRIDS. EXAMPLE: In SETTLERS OF CATAN, players have ownership of RESOURCES, which can be used to build ROADS and buy special development CARDS. USE: Provide GOALS for Players, RESOURCES for Actions, PRIVILEGED ABILITIES through Tools.
ATTAIN: CONFER: SHARE: Used through NEGOTIATION or INDIRECT CONTROL? PERMANENT: Often used in games with NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES. BEYOND: META-GAMING (TRADING) or EXTRA-GAME CONSEQUENCES (BETTING)
EMOTIONAL IMMERSION: especially if elements produced were under PLAYER CONTROL. TENSION: If Loss of Ownership is a Threat, TENSION. GAIN OWNERSHIP, CAPTURE, GUARD, RESCUE all involve TRANSFER OF CONTROL. MUTUAL GOALS
Objects can be introduced through PLAYER ATIONS, but when perceived as ORGANIZING THE ENVIRONMENT, it can be framed as CONSTRUCTION. EXAMPLE: Building villages and towns in SETTLERS OF CATAN. EXAMPLE: Building houses and decorating them in THE SIMS. ALLOWS: NEW Objects as the result of PRODUCERS rather than SPAWNING, CONSTRUCTIVE PLAY, and often, SURPRISES.
OBJECTS HOW RESOURCES: CHANCE: Linking to a SKILL encourages Construction as a COMPETENCE AREA. VARIATIONS: Large variations give FREEDOM OF CHOICE and CREATIVE CONTROL to EXPERIMENT and select PLAYER DEFINED GOALS.
Competence Areas Freedom of Choice
When game Actions allow players to construct COMPOUND GAME ELEMNTS or to SET THEIR OWN GOALS. EXAMPLE: THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE is based on putting together dynamic elements to SOLVE PUZZLES. EXAMPLE: MOUSE TRAP CREATED BY: CONSTRUCTION Actions, Requiring TEAM PLAY, supporting COOPERATION and COLLABORATIVE actions, giving Players CREATIVE CONTROL.
COMPLEXITY: RIGHT LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY to support non-obvious Constructions. (example: LEGOS). DYNAMIC: Allows COGNITIVE IMMERSION, since Player cannot predict outcome without EXPERIMENTATION. ASSYMETRIC ABILITIES help create dynamic systems.
SENSORY-MOTORIC IMMERSION (if elements are physical) EXAMPLE: SIM CITY: Players engage in Constructive Play even in defining their own goals.
Provides player with goal of changing ownership states of game elements. EXAMPLE: Trading in the game SETTLERS OF CATAAN.
UNCONTROLLED: Not owned by any Players due to PENALTIES or controlled by the GAME itself. FEW: When there is GEOMETRIC REWARDS FOR INVESTMENT. MANY: When there is PRIVILEGED ABILITIES, DIMINISHING RETURNS, or COLLECTIONS. COLLABORATION: where there is NEGOTIATIONS such as TRADING or BIDDING (and perhaps BETTING). CONFLICT: Where there are OVERCOME and CAPTURE Goals, usually through COMBAT. NON-TOTAL: COLLABORATIVE ACTIONS or DISTRIBUTED REOURCES.
A form of INVESTMENTS. Require players to make choices between completing actions and abandoning them to take other actions. EXAMPLE: Taking PHOTOS in AMERICA’S ARMY takes a period of time, and leaves Player vulnerable to getting killed. EXAMPLE: Production of Units in AGE OF EMPIRE takes time. FOUND IN: COMBOS, AIM & SHOOT
ONE FOCUS LOCI: DOWNTIME. MULTIPLE FOCUS LOCI: ATTENTION SWAPPING and can lead to GAME MASTERY. NOT-INTERRUPTABLE: ULTRA-POWERFUL EVENTS and IRREVERSIBLE ACTIONS INTERRUPTABLE: CONTINUOUS GOALS. Also allows for BALANCING IMMEDIATE: Have increased effect until completion. ADDITIONAL THRESHOLDS: HOVERING CLOSURES and PERCIEVED MARGINS. Can be COLLABORATIVE ACTIONS.
OTHER USES: Irreversible Actions Ultra-Powerful Events Investments Tension Strategic Planning Balacning Game Mastery
PROMOTES:: Requiring Players to commit to action but making continued use easy: STIMULATED PLANNING and BALANCING EFFECTS if more powerful actions require more preparation and resources. Encouraging Players to use actions continuously for additional effects: Increased FREEDOM OF CHOICE by additional ways of using action and making using for a while very valuable. Requiring commitment of Players for a period of time: STIMULATED PLANNING and BALANCING EFFECTS, but TENSION if actions are interruptible. (Example: AREA OF CONTROL).
EXAMPLE: Many fighting games allow players to block and opponent’s attack, making the actions interruptible. EXAMPLE: ROBO-RALLY, programmed robot paths and be interrupted by other robots.
TURN-BASED GAMES: TURN-TAKING sequences described by the rules.
UPRIVILEGED ACTION: Most commonly found in CARD GAMES. DELAYED EFFECT: Time can be adjusted for GAME BALANCING.
ATTENTION SWAPPING: With many Focus Loci, players may have to perform RISK/REWARD choices about ensuring completion of an EXTENDED ACTION. Risk/Reward Interferable Goals
EXAMPLE: Gain ownership of all the pieces in OTHELLO. EXAMPLE: Weapons, ammunition, and power-ups are all examples of objectives Gain Ownership in FIRST-PERSON-SHOOTERS
ACHIEVED: PROVIDES: Score, Resources, Improved Abilities, New or Privileged Abilities, Information. UNKNOWN OWNERSHIP: May be linked to a GAIN INFORMATION sub-goal, make Ownership Changes more Difficult, or increase Tension. SHARING or NOT CHANGING Ownership may LESSEN CONFLICT. Shared Rewards may help form ALLIANCES. NON-MOVEABLE CONTROLLERS can provide the player with NEW ABILITIES, while WORLD FEATURES can provide GOAL POINTS.
Tension Emotional Immersion Gain Information / Competence
Done through COLLECTION Actions involving TRANSFER OF CONTROL and GAIN OWNERSHIP. A high-level goal requiring the completion of several sub-goals. Gives players a better sense of what goals they will have to full-fill, how they have succeeded so far, and how they goals they are presently trying to complete fit into the overall play of the game. EXAMPLE: Eating all the pills in PAC-MAN EXAMPLE: Collecting a number for each column in BINGO.
WHAT: Points, Resources, Units, Tools. VARIED: Allows for SELECTIBLE GOALS, FREEDOM OF CHOICE, different TACTICS SUBGOAL: Can create COMPLEX STRUCTURESS and HIERARCHIES
SINGLE GOAL: Completing a COLLECTION can be the end goal. SIMILAR GOALS: OWNERSHIP over identical PICK-UPS.
How Players, and the Game System, can control the transforming of Resources to Higher-Level Resources or to use Resources to Progress in the game.
Players voluntarily let a CONSUMER destroy RESOURCES to gain REWARDS later in the game. EXAMPLE: CIVILIZATION: Investing Resources to BUILD UNITS and RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY. There needs to be PREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES so players can make difficult decisions based on an uncertain future.
EXAMPLE: TETRIS, Investing BLOCKS for eliminating ROWS in the future. REWARD TYPE: (e.g. Investing EXPERIENCE POINTS to RAISE SKILLS). Chains and Converters impact LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY. MATURATION TIME: Instantaneous, Few Actions, Many Actions Multiple Sessions RATIO: ARITHMETIC or GEOMETRIC, impacts GAME BALANCE. RANDOMNESS: lessens PREDICTABILITY OF CONSEQUENCES.
Action Points Character Development Resource Management Strategic Planning
EXAMPLE: In RPG’s, raising ABILITIES require more and more EXPERIENCE POINTS.. EXAMPLE: The potential gains in BIDDING SESSIONS get smaller and smaller. APPLIED TO: ABILIITES, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
INVESTMENT RATE Promotes PLAYER BALANCE.
VARIED GAMEPLAY: Force player to try OTHER FACTICS TENSION: BIDDING
LAFS Game Mechanics - Resource Management Mechanics
The Los Angeles Film School
Bad Uses Of Energy Systems
Better Use Of Resources
Create Strategic Areas
Support Ownership, Collecting, Area
Control, and Exploration (with Hidden
Balance Players, Units, Construction, Area
Control, Game World
When the players have to plan, manage and
control resources within the game in order to
reach the game’s goals.
Determines the lifetime of game objects, usually
resources, and thus governs the flow of
Player Control of
Why Designers Use Producer-
Balancing Complexity, Resources, Units
Warning! Lengthy could conflict with
Illusion of Influence
Dictates which and how players have access
to resources and other game elements.
Ownership Design Considerations
Design Analysis: Ownership
Why Designers Use Ownership
Balances Resources, Strategic Locations,
Units, Resource Management, Conflict
Support Goals of Gain Ownership,
Capture, Rescue, Collection, Area Control
Introduction new game objects that are
presented as intentional constructions in the
Construction Design Considerations
Chance For Success
Why Game Designers Use
Based on putting game elements together to
construct new kinds of game element configurations,
which might have different emergent characteristics.
Constructive Play Design
Design Analysis: Constructive Play
Why Designers Use Constructive Play
Player Defined Goals
Transfer of Control
When the influence over a game element is
passed from one player to another.
Transfer of Control Design
Can objects be
Do players focus on
owning few or many?
Is control based on
collaboration or conflict?
Is transfer of control total
Design Analysis: Transfer of Control
Why Designers Use Transfer of
Balance Resources, Tools, Units
Support of Goals Gain Ownership, Collection,
Area Control, Capture
Actions that take so long to complete that they
require players to miss opportunities to perform
other actions in order to complete them.
Examples of Extended Actions
Extended Actions Design
Focus Loci Performing Action
Action Time Length
Is It Interruptible?
Time To Take Full Effect
Why Designers Use Extended Actions
Delayed Actions and Effects
Warning! Can cause Downtime!
Actions that can be interrupted before they
affect the game state.
Turn-Based vs. Real-Time Games
Changes to Turn-Taking Sequences
Extended Actions with Delayed Effects
Interruptible Actions Design
What action can be interrupted?
Who can interrupt it?
How is it interrupted?
How delayed is the effect?
The goal to gain ownership of a game
Ways To Gain Ownership
Gain Ownership Design
How is ownership achieved?
What does ownership provide?
Is it destroyed when taken?
Is owner known?
Can ownership be changed or shared?
Is it linked to a movable or non-moveable
Why Designers Use Gain Ownership
Transfer of Control
Resources for Resource Management
Progress for Collection Goals
The completion of several goals that together
form a coherent unit.
Collectible Design Considerations
What is to be collected?
How varied can collected items be?
Is the collection a subgoal of another
Why Designers Use Collection Goals
Transfer of Control
Choose one of the following games to play:
Dragon’s Gold (3-6p, 30m)
Drive (2-4p, 30m)
For Sale (3-6p, 20-30m)
High Society (3-5p, 30-45m)
Medici (3-6p, 45m)
Priests of Ra (2-5p, 60m)
Qwirkle (2-4p, 30-45m)
San Juan (2-4p, 45-60m)
*Settlers of Catan (3-4p, 60m)
Thief of Baghdad (2-4p, 45m) (Collection)
Ticket to Ride Europe (2-5p, 30-60m)
Zooloretto (2-5p, 45m)
Design an analog game prototype using
mechanics supporting one of the following goals:
Committing resources for a certain amount of
time to something in order to reap the rewards
Investment Design Considerations
Design Analysis: Investments