It has now been over 9 years since we released Amnesia: The Dark Descent. That is a bloody long time, and feels like we should celebrate that by talking about the craft of horror games.
Quantic Dream learns with each game, and adresses their issues with new features. But with new features come new issues, and lots of juicy design lessons. In this blog post I will talk at length about affordance, then touch upon branching and themes.
There is something about unclear options which make choices a lot more interesting. This post goes into the reasons behind this, and various ways of achieving it in games.
This article goes over why it is so important for choices to matter in a game and how it all has to do with planning. If a user perceives that their actions have no consequences, you remove a core component of engagement – the ability to plan.
In this post I dig into planning, and how it is a fundamental part of what makes a game engaging. Planning affects many aspects of what is so special about games and why we enjoy playing them. This post will go over the reasons behind this, and explains why planning is so important for narrative games.
This article goes over a framework for understanding how videogames work. It divides games into systems, story, and a mental model, and then shows how these interact. Using this system makes it easier to make design decisions and enables one to have insights into the workings of a game.
Not having any combat can be really helpful to horror games and crucial in delivering the desired experience. This article presents the top 6 reasons for this and also explains how it ties into narrative games in general.
The reality that we sense in front of us is a fiction created by our brains. A host of modules process information in various ways and the end result is a mental model of the outside world. Knowing how this works is crucial to game development as the shape of these mental simulations has a huge effect on how a game feels and plays.
Playing a videogame can put you in a state where the borders between your self and the character gets blurry. This is one of the major differences that sets games apart from other mediums such as films and literature. When creating games, evoking this feeling of presence is worth trying to achieve.
Designing a game spawns an endless set of ideas – ideas that need to be sorted. In order to do this, you need a method of evaluating them. The following discusses five different gameplay models – ways of thinking about game design – that can be helpful in choosing between ideas, and how they affect the final game.