Work in Class day

Your team will be using today to work in class on your Midterm game design projects. Next week you will present the first draft of your game prototypes for playtesting. But first, I just want to run through a few strategies to 'unsticking' any designer's block you may have!


Strategies to overcoming designer's block

Make a resource limited

  • By limiting game resources like money, points, lives, etc., you limit user choice and force players to strategize. Think ammo, weapons, and materials in a game like Fortnite.

Wood, a common building material in Fortnite

Force inter-player interaction 

Force players to interact and effect each others’ play

  • Stop others from making a certain move, or allow them to do it more often
  • How can a player then protect herself from these forces?
  • Assist other players in cooperative play

Fortnite's Chug Splash, which players can use to heal either themselves or up to three of their teammates by simply throwing it at their feet.

Alter play order

  • Skip turn
  • Go again
  • Reverse play order
  • etc

The "Reverse Play" card in a Harry Potter-themed game of Uno 

Remove or add a rule or mechanic 

  • Introduce a cost system that limits what a player can do, forcing her to make smart choices and strategize.
  • Define or refine conflict between players: allow players to sabotage other players
  • Introduce random events that change play dynamics
  • Note how these changes effects gameplay


"Chance" and "Community Chest" cards add interesting and pseudo-random events in Monopoly 


Read Chapter 6 – "Writing Effective Rules" and Chapter 10 – "Playtesting" in The White Box Essays