Some gameplay mechanics are completely artificial, meaning they do not make logical sense based on the form of the game. When such mechanics are privileged within a game's design, we tend to label these games as being "arcade" like. I describe these gameplay mechanics as being abstract.
Folded level design that folds back and forth at multiple creases that creates a pattern either in the types of creaes or a patten of some concerte nature.
It is a design innovation that applies to games that are played in real time. By taking the progression of real time and breaking it down in specific contextual ways, a new level of game design can be reached. This is the essence of asynchronous time, or async.
Design elements/choices that create more negative space than actual space. Also, design elements that ignore form fits function.
In music, Counterpoint is the writing of musical lines that sound different on their own, but harmonize when played together. How the melody of a song interacts with the other lines is the focus of Counterpoint.
Counterpoint, in gaming, is a word for the way gameplay develops past optimization by layering interactive elements into a single gameplay experience. When each layer influcences, interacts, and enhances the functions/gameplay of each other layer the gameplay emerges into a medium of expression that reflects the individuality of a player and the dynamics that reflect the complexity of the world we live in.
A diminishing trend is one where game elements are either added or subtracted that reduce the amount of consequences and allow for mechanics to be executed less precisely.
A measure of how the changes in the method of input are paralleled with the action in the game according to the form of the mechanic. If you quickly press the green button on your controller, does the game quickly press the button on the screen? If you hold the button on your controller, is the button on the screen held down as well?
When a section contains an individual gameplay idea that isn't significantly and directly related to another section, then that section is considered a distinct section.
An measure of how the game world responds to the action. According to the form of the game world and the mechanic, does the world react realistically? What is the extent of the properties of the mechanic? Are the reactions to the mechanic special cases or can the resulting actions continue to effect the game world?
Any variable element in a videogame.
* player: character(s), cursor, avatar, HUD
* level: non aggressive interactive (physical) pieces
* enemy: hostile/aggressive forces
* audio: sound effects, music
* visual: non-interactive on screen elements
* rumble: force feedback
In counterpoint, If the player must combine secondary functions with primary functions to progress, then the game idea is considered to be expanded.
Like Marxist criticism, the most successful Feminist critique of a game involves analyzing how the range of player functions that affect female characters directly or indirectly reveal the operations of patriarchy. When the player is encouraged or forced to play in a way that depicts men as strong, rational, protective and women as weak, emotional, submissive, and nurturing, then the game can be said to support and reinforce patriarchal genders roles and ideologies. Patriarchal values work to oppress women, and all feminist theory and criticism works to promote women‘s equality. A Feminist analysis can become more complex when finding examples of actions toward women if a game doesn’t feature any women or the game allows for limited interaction with women. Writing essays about such games often leads to finding evidence by absence. In other words, a Feminist critic’s central piece of evidence may be what can’t be done to women instead of what can.
How a game accelerates or creates forward momentum. This factor of gameplay isn't necessarily about speed. More specifically, it looks at how a game's interactions feed back into the player's options/experience like a snowball rolling down hill.
Level design that resuses a space with the second use containing an extra layer to the gameplay that builds on the knowledge and experiences established on the first layer.
Form fits function is a powerful game design principle that has powered many of Nintendo's greatest games. Using familiar visuals, games can use their form to communicate to the player. If there is a ball resting on a tee and the player avatar has a golf club in their hands, they better be able to swing the club and hit the ball. Otherwise, why put such things in front of the player in the first place? Keeping the form true to the functions and limits of a game creates the cleanest most easily enjoyable experiences.
When a game's mechanics inspire, shape, and define the creation of ancillary parts of a game. ie. story, setting, premise, characters, music, audio
A sometimes hidden innovation intended to attract attention and increase the unique value of a product or work. dictionary.com
A quality of a mechanic. Does the input yield the same action every time? Or can the input result in a variety of different actions?
Interplay is the back and forth encouragement of player mechanics between any two elements in a game. Put simply, interplay is where actions and elements in a game aren't means to an end, but fluid opportunities that invite the player to play around with the changing situation.
A measure of the degree to which input method matches the form of the game. If there's a green button on the screen, and a green button on your game controller, the form of the game is liked to the input of pressing the green button on the controller.
Like Psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism can seemingly critique a game by looking solely at a its fiction. However, both of these critical modes, in relation to videogames, achieve a deeper, more profound level of analysis when the elements of interactivity between the game and player are taken into consideration. Many Marxist critics of literature believe that film, literature, art, music, and other forms of entertainment such as videogames are the primary bearers of cultural ideologies. While we’re being entertaining by these medias, our defenses are lowered making us all the more susceptible to ideological programming. A Marxist critic of videogames looks for how a game supports or condems capitalist, imperialist, or classist values. Perhaps the best and most obvious place to look toward in games is the role and function of money. Some games represent money with actual U.S. dollars or some other form of real world currency. Others use fictional currency from bell, to gil, to star bits, or even points. What the player can purchase, how these items or services function, and how the money circulates within the game world all become important areas of analysis.
The smallest degree of change needed for a change to be significant for a particular mechanic. (minimum degree of difference)
is created when player mechanics layer and/or link into resulting states that create opportunities with a higher amount of risk/reward
"New Classical criticism focuses on identifying a game's primary function/action that sums up all of the player's actions, functions, and abilities into a single expression. This expression can be thought of as the interpretation of the game or what the gamer is actually doing when he/she plays. Sometimes the primary function can be encapsulated in a single word. For example, the primary function of the Super Mario platforming series is "jump". After the primary function is identified, the New Classical critic then looks at a game's formal elements to analyze how they promote the primary function. The formal elements include Sound, Music, Art style, Story, Graphics, level design, enemies, etc. Because the New Classical critic privileges interactivity over passivity (especially when focused into a limited number of rules and actions), such a critic is only concerned with how these elements shape the gameplay experience, and assumes that any formal element in a game is only meaningful when it supports the primary function and exists in a lower state of priority to that function. In other words, elements like story can't be more stressed and more important to a game than the gameplay. Even if a game is designed according to the conventions and assumptions of Western game design, it can still be critiqued in the Classical mode."
Doesn't look at examples from the game, rather it focuses on arrangements and groupings that the researcher creates. Such an approach looks at possible scenarios than existing ones.
A type of multi-fold level design where the creases and layers are so flexible and/or dynamic that considering the possibilities within a single level are interconnected and complex. Considering the shape created from a multi-fold level is similar to observing an origami figure.
Whether a game is defined by an action or a group of actions, a small set of mechanics rests at the core of every game. This mechanic is the primary function.
For those who aren’t careful, a Psychoanalytic critique of a game appears to only be concerned with the fiction of a game and the relationship of the characters. Unless the game is Psychonauts, most games seem to have little to nothing to do with the human psyche. Neglecting how the game fiction and the gameplay (or game rules) come together to create the Psychological work in a game is a common pitfall. Another easy pitfall is to get wrapped up in Psychoanalyzing the developers of the game, or what may be infinitely more embarrassing, accidentally analyzing one’s own psychological state while trying to pass it off as an analysis of the game. Though it is true that the fiction of a game is an important part of any Psychoanalytic analysis, the gameplay is where the most profound sources of material because the interactivity of the game can influence and transform the player in more powerfully subtle ways than a passive medium.
Breaking down the range of possibilites for a game mechanic into distinct parts for the purpose of analysis.
And finally, the refining trend is one that increases consequences that force the use of mechanics in a more precise manner by adding or subtracting game elements.
The set of mechanics that do not make up the set of primary mechanics. These mechanics usually aid and help shape the primary mechanic.
All games can be broken down into sub-sections or sections. Whether a game is broken down by rooms, loading sections, cut scenes, stages, levels, rounds, or turns, if a game has a mechanic that is repeated, then it can be divided into sections.
The static distance between player and objective. Can occur when a strategy is repeated without escalation.
A static trend is where there is no change between sections, or when the changes are inconsequential because they fall short of meeting the minimum requirement for the quantified mechanic.
Structures are probably the most recognizable feature of videogames. Because structures create the foundation for the game rules and player to learn these rules, analyzing structure develops a clearer insight into how a game works at its core. We're all familiar with the structures of genre. Any gamer can instantly recognize a first person shooter like Halo from a puzzle game like Tetris. Each gaming genre has a certain look to it that is the result of the gameplay structures. Like with any genre, the degree to which the conventions are followed or deviated from varies greatly from game to game. Recognizing a game's structure is an acute way of talking about how a game works in or outside of its genre.
In counterpoint, when a game element or game idea is offset form the established pattern of game ideas to create scenarios where the element/idea can carry over and influence other game ideas.
how a game's elements influence the use of game mechanics over increasingly larger segments of the game