Construct 3 - Throw object mechanics

What is a game mechanic ( video game mechanics) in a video game?

Have you ever think on the true meaning of What is a game mechanic? In this article we will approach some of the basic elements of a game mechanic and how to use it correctly in your game.

Article Key Takeaways

  • Game mechanics are rules and actions that govern gameplay and player interaction.
  • Common mechanics include combat, movement, progression systems, resource management, etc.
  • Mechanics can be categorized as primary (core gameplay) or secondary (supplemental).
  • Effective mechanic design requires prototyping, playtesting, iteration, and good implementation.
  • Different genres feature mechanics tailored to their style – action games emphasize combat, RPGs focus on progression.
  • Mechanics like time limits, enemies, and resource scarcity can induce meaningful challenges.
  • Multiplayer mechanics drive social engagement through dynamics like trading, cooperation, and competition.
  • Procedural generation provides replayability by algorithmically creating content.
  • Accessibility options enable more players to enjoy games.
  • Mechanics can satisfy motivations like achievement, socializing, mastery, and self-expression.

what is a game mechanic - A futuristic robot illustration.
what is a game mechanic – A futuristic robot illustration.

Contents What is a game mechanic

What is a game mechanic?

A game mechanic is a specific rule or action that is used in a game. Game mechanics are the building blocks of a game, and they determine how the game is played and what actions the player can take.

Game mechanics can include things like movement and control, combat, resource management, and other elements of the game’s mechanics and rules. They are the underlying systems and mechanics that make up the gameplay experience, and they can be simple or complex depending on the game.

Game mechanics are an important part of game design, as they determine the gameplay experience and can make a game more or less fun and engaging. Designing effective game mechanics requires a combination of creativity, playtesting, and iteration, in order to create mechanics that are fun, challenging, and well-balanced.

What is a game mechanic? Example o movement implemented with unity. Source Youtube Character rotation and control move forward- screenshot thumbnail illustrating a game mechanic.
What is a game mechanic? Example o movement implemented with unity. Source Youtube

Example of game mechanics

Here are a few examples of game mechanics that are commonly used in video games:

Movement and control: This game mechanic involves allowing the player to move their character or avatar within the game world, and to interact with the game’s environment and objects. This may include mechanics such as jumping, climbing, running, and other actions that the player can take to navigate the game world.

Combat: Combat is a common game mechanic that involves allowing the player to engage in battles or fights with enemies or other opponents. This may include mechanics such as attacking, blocking, dodging, and using weapons or special abilities.

Resource management: Resource management is a game mechanic that involves managing limited resources, such as health, ammunition, or other resources that the player needs in order to progress through the game. This may involve mechanics such as collecting, using, and conserving resources in order to survive and progress through the game.

Inventory and equipment: Inventory and equipment mechanics involve allowing the player to collect, use, and manage items and equipment that they find or earn in the game. This may include things like weapons, armor, consumable items, and other equipment that the player can use to improve their character or abilities.

Leveling up and progression: Leveling up and progression mechanics involve allowing the player to improve their character or abilities over time. This may include mechanics such as gaining experience points, unlocking new abilities, or upgrading existing abilities.

Game mechanics are the underlying systems and rules that make up the gameplay experience in a game. They can be simple or complex, and they play a crucial role in determining the fun and engaging gameplay experience of a game.

What is a game mechanic? - A diagram illustrating the process of game mechanics. Source: dai-global-digital.com
What is a game mechanic? – A diagram illustrating the process of game mechanics. Source: dai-global-digital.com

How to design a game mechanic?

To design a game mechanic, follow these steps:

Define the goal of the game mechanic: The first step in designing a game mechanic is to define the goal of the mechanic. This may involve considering the overall design of the game, and determining what role the game mechanic will play in the gameplay experience. This will help to guide the design of the mechanic and ensure that it fits within the overall game design.

Create a prototype of the game mechanic: Once the goal of the game mechanic is defined, the next step is to create a prototype of the mechanic. This may involve creating a rough, unfinished version of the game mechanic that can be tested and refined. The goal of this step is to get a sense of how the game mechanic will work in practice, and to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement.

Test the game mechanic: After creating a prototype of the game mechanic, the next step is to test it to see how it works in practice. This may involve playtesting, where small groups of people try out the game and provide feedback on the game mechanic. Playtesting can also involve using software to simulate gameplay and gather data, which can be used to refine the game mechanic and make any necessary changes.

Iterate on the game mechanic: Based on the feedback from playtesting, the game mechanic can be iterated on and refined. This may involve making changes to the mechanic’s mechanics, rules, or other aspects of its design. The goal of this process is to create a fun and engaging game mechanic that meets the needs and expectations of the target audience.

Implement the game mechanic in the game: Once the game mechanic has been refined and polished, the next step is to implement it in the game. This may involve working with the game programmers to ensure that the game mechanic is implemented correctly and efficiently in the game engine. The goal is to create a game mechanic that is integrated seamlessly into the game, and that enhances the gameplay experience

what is a game mechanic - Paper Prototyping 101. Source: ItsArman
what is a game mechanic – Paper Prototyping 101. Source: ItsArman

Test a game mechanic with paper?

To test a game mechanic with paper, you can follow the following steps:

  • Create a simple prototype of the game mechanic: To test a game mechanic with paper, the first step is to create a simple prototype of the mechanic. This may involve using paper, pencil, and other simple materials to create a rough, unfinished version of the game mechanic that can be tested and refined. The goal of this step is to get a sense of how the game mechanic will work in practice, and to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement.
  • Write down the rules and mechanics of the game mechanic: After creating a prototype of the game mechanic, the next step is to write down the rules and mechanics of the game mechanic. This should include a description of how the mechanic works, what actions the player can take, and how the mechanic interacts with other elements of the game. This will help to ensure that the game mechanic is well-defined and ready to be tested.
  • Set up a playtesting session: To test the game mechanic with paper, the next step is to set up a playtesting session. This may involve gathering a small group of people who will try out the game mechanic and provide feedback. The playtesting session can be as simple or complex as needed, depending on the game mechanic and the goals of the playtesting.
  • Test the game mechanic: During the playtesting session, the game mechanic should be tested to see how it works in practice. This may involve using the prototype of the game mechanic, along with the written rules and mechanics, to see how the game mechanic plays out in a real-world scenario. The playtesters should provide feedback on the game mechanic, including any issues or areas for improvement that they notice.
  • Iterate on the game mechanic: Based on the feedback from the playtesting session, the game mechanic can be iterated on and refined. This may involve making changes to the mechanic’s mechanics, rules, or other aspects of its design. The goal of this process is to create a fun and engaging game mechanic that meets the needs and expectations of the target audience.

In general, testing a