The 13 Basic Principals of Game Design

I did not come up with these myself, you have Matt Allmer of EA to thank for that. Reading them over they make sense when you read them, but it is easy to see how they can get lost in the shuffle. From a game critiquing standpoint you can articulate why something seems off or doesn’t work. When working on a game it is easy to say that this feels boring and unengaging, or there is something wrong here I feel confused or it could simply be a case of nagging little man in the back of your mind reminding you that you are playing a video game and are not being sucked into the experience. Yes, you know you are playing one, but you do not want to know that while you are playing it. In these cases it is sometimes hard to know what to fix or even where to look. These principals I don’t think are the end all be all to good game design, but with creativity there has to be a level of structure.

Either way its a good read over at gamasutra. Read it here.

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Eric Swain

A graduate of Boston University, majoring in English and Creative Writing and has spent significant time studying story structure and theory in the mediums of books, film and video games. His articles offer unique perspective on deep game development and design through his eclectic prose. you can find his critical analysis on

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