Designers have a difficult job but those working in game design have it specifically hard. Join us in this article as we look at Three Challenges in Design for Online Gaming.
The unmentionable number of factors that can contribute to a good or bad game means no designer can tick every box. From gaming logo designs to the in-game features, it all seems like a minefield.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t get the design principles right in the first place; no matter how great books are read. Some game design aspects will be a matter of artistic principle or preference, but there is no escaping the fundamentals – and their challenges.
If you dream of one being part of EA designer studio and making a renowned video game, or designing the most innovative video game, you’ll need to know the fundamental challenges of game design. Let’s go…
Avoid the Feature Creep
If you think a winning plot is all it takes to make a game great, then think again. One of the biggest challenges for any designer is creating a game that strikes a balance between engaging narratives and too many features, also known as feature creep.
Don’t allow too many smaller details, features or bonuses to be present in the game because it can detract from the exceptional plot, theme or characters that you have designed. Some game designers choose to release app games in stages to cut out too much noise.
Design the Experience – Not Just the Game
Ask any gamer their favourite gaming memory of all time and more often than not, they will tell you about a social gaming experience. Whether it was a bunch of 90s kids gathered around a Gameboy or some Generation Z-ers playing while on a webcam together, gaming is better when enjoyed together. Even if the latter can be contended as not that social at all.
This is why designers need to find a way to make their games social today. They may add connected leaderboards, chat features and other innovations. One way they can jump this hurdle easily is by making their games multiplayer. But it is by no means a prerequisite to designing an exceptional game.
The Two Cs
Two other aspects of a game that make them engaging are challenge and choice. The game must present a real challenge to the user and it must be completed through a range of choices. Without choice, the game can become easy and to make it a challenge there needs to be a wrong way of doing things.
Designers should keep both of these words stuck to their monitors while creating games so they don’t forget the thing that keeps gamers on the edge of their gaming chairs.
What Happened to Innovation?
Some designers will scoff at the restrictions being imposed. Why can’t they design a single-player game without too much difficulty and hundreds of cool features? They can, but it is likely to fall flat. History tells us that these things are what makes gaming interesting. And it still leaves ample room for designers to make their mark.