Game design. Depth-vs.-complexity

Game designers may find this interesting.

p.s. I’m not a gamer myself so can’t add much to what was said.


I’ve been watching that series lately after being referred to it by a tweet from @notch. It’s the most comprehensive mainstream resource I’ve seen so far. I haven’t gotten to that but I may check it out soon and chime in.

I only stumbled across this when lookking for a cartoon strip.


Wow, awesome :smiley:

Since what I have seen in that video I cannot get it 100% but yes I got some more ideas for my game now. That at first how to start it and so on :slight_smile:

I like this video, I have one question that do we have more videos like this , in which they teach how and what kind of games should be made, or something like this about designing. :smiley:

Thanks for sharing with us mate.:slight_smile:

Thanks in advanced.

I agree with everything that they said, except that a game need to be as deep as possible with as little complexity as possible. I’ve always been one to admire a complex game. I feel that complexity adds to the experience.


I find that complexity is more of an option than a requirement. Complexity often brings a lot of learning, and more often than not there’s too much to learn compared to the relative set of options the game rules provide you with.
If the complexity is not supported by the game’s core design it’s more often than not tacked on and a nuicanse.

That being said however, sometimes complexity is needed to further provide players with a means of expressing their actions and decisions beyond the border that is defined by the game world’s rules.

Love those series of videos.

Yeah those MMO interfaces are the biggest turn off for me. It’s not a game if its a tutorial. I’m classic at heart, a game can be difficult, infuriating, maddening, but it should always be pick up and play. The game shouldn’t have to teach you ANYTHING outside of a few basic controls. All learning should be intuitive where you’re learning without even realizing it and always having fun, even when the game is destroying you senseless.


That’s my biggest gripe with most RPGs (not ALL) it becomes a job that I’m not getting paid for, not a fun time wasting game.

Mostly agreed FoPause.

Here’s another interesting series to look at, done by everybody’s favourite animator known for the awesome series. EGORAPTOR <3:

It’s a well known fact that tutorials or lessons that are learned in video games should be natural to how the game works.
These are done mostly correct these days. But the subtilty is gone I fear. I really dislike a tutorial that consists out of popup messages telling you how to do something.

Simple games don’t need tutorials or popups.


Games are about discovery, not pop ups. “Don’t tell me that!” We should find out for ourselves, or perhaps even miss it and hear about it from another player (:

Simple can almost be more complex in some cases, compared to those slow-tutorial ridden games. What really grinds my gears is when a game uses loading screens as tutorials quick tips. Makes me question the entire “game”. Where its so deep the devs automatically assume the player will never figure it out and is constantly holding your hand til near the very end of the game. /preachy

I agree with self discovery. I really enjoy games like that, especially if they are complex. I like it when a game gives you just enough to get you going but doesn’t reveal much of what is possible.

Never forget the number one goal of a game:

Entertain the player!

As not all players are the same (see the previous posts), this can be very hard ;).

True, but that’s why there are several different types of games as well. It would be impossible to make a game that every single person would like.

Ofcourse, some people just like to be informed, and maybe our opinion ( less popups more game) is a consequence of having played like that in the past and having gotten used to it.
It’s all just speculation ofcourse.

The key to making a succesfull game is to start out by thinking of a mechanic in it’s purest form. No graphics , no sounds, no code no context. Just the idea itself.
If you cannot do that then you run the risk of having a game that is lacking in depth or is just not fun playing.
There are exceptions like farmville

The recipe for failure is trying to please everyone.

I think it was more of a richness vs convolution context. I saw a Nixie Pixel video where she was showing how extremely populated some of the menus were. There’s a certain point at which a rich environment can be confusing or cause sensory overload. At that point there could be menus that are a chore to surf, pickups that are camouflaged in static models, ambient sounds that draw attention from the vocals and so on.

Not if you do it in a careful way and know when to stop.

Okay now that’s something I want to see a real example of because I don’t think something like that actually exists. Not even pong or tetris.

i was saying that you can try to please lots of people, but be careful when deciding who. no, you cannot please everybody, but you can try to please some/most people. just be careful about who you try to please so you can make the most people happy.