Now it’s the beginning of the fantastic story

Making games is my lifelong passion. As anything in life it’s a journey. What follows is a series of texts about things I have learned on my journey through the craft of game making. I hope at least some of it will be useful to someone else.

Stay tuned!

“You do not get a second chance to make a first impression.” — Someone famous

Have you ever wished that you could skip a tutorial of a game you just installed? Have you ever dropped a new mobile game before even playing it once, because it started to download 15GB of something, right after you tapped on an icon? Have you ever gave up when game demanded you open a new account on some service you have never heard of, before letting you play?

Well, you have been a victim of a bad FTUE. If you are a game maker…

This is bonus text to go along with my post about the notion of Density of Goals and it’s use in game design. To better understand what I mean, please take a look at the original.

You can apply the principle of density of goals in everyday life!

Did you ever try to lose weight? Did you ever pick up a new hobby that required developing a new skill such as learning a foreign language or playing a guitar?

Chances are your progress followed a curve. The start was somewhat awkward, maybe slow, but you were full of enthusiasm and…

How many times have you given up on a game because you got stuck on a level? Did you drop a game because a boss fight was too hard? How many months have you spent stuck at that level in Candy Crush?

We have already talked about the importance of goals and goal formation for good game design. We mentioned also that not all goals are created equally, that they can differ in their importance, time horizons, and difficulty. …

New Super Mario Bros DS — World 1 map
New Super Mario Bros DS — World 1 map
New Super Mario Bros for Nintendo DS — World 1 map.

One way of thinking about games is by imagining a game as a set of goals that the player desires to achieve and obstacles preventing him to do so. It is through overcoming these obstacles and reaching the goals that the player derives the satisfaction from playing a game.

The goals that the player is trying to reach can take a myriad of forms. They can be anything, ranging from banal, like jumping over a gap between platforms to divine, defeating a mega powerful hell-spawned demon; from abstract, like eating that pixel dot, to highly complex, like optimizing the resource…

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

After six years of working as a game designer on a live title and after forty or so updates, there is one learning I believe I share with everyone that has been in the similar position; the game design is a messy process.

Maybe you start off with an idea for a cool game feature, maybe you start off with a gaping hole in one of your metrices, maybe you start off with a vague set of goals… You brainstorm, you toss and turn the original idea, you add to it and subtract. You iterate, you negotiate with your developers…

Stanislav Stankovic

I am a Creative Director at EA/Tracktwenty studio in Helsinki.

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