415 Options

A defining feature of strategy games is their facilitation of options. More so than almost any other genre of interactivity, strategy is defined by the options available to us at any given moment.

The balance of the availability of these options is key to the design, and ultimately the fun, of a game. If for example the player has too many options, they will often feel overwhelmed, unconfident in a decision, or unable to see the implications of each option and therefore unable to make an informed decision. Conversely, if there are too few options, the player will feel smothered, powerless, disappointed, or even bored by the game. Striking the balance between these is huge.

That balance is tricky though: sometimes the design can facilitate an enormous amount of potential options, but nudge or coax the player toward which of those are actually smart choices. The game might also teach the player this through tutorials or failures. Other times, a game with less choices may be able to present itself in a way that makes the player feel as though there are more options than there actually are. Both of these are solutions to avoid overly complex/simple designs while still retaining a fun and rewarding experience.

[ Today I Was Playing: Skulls of the Shogun ]

February 19, 2016

#game-mechanic-system, #game-opinion