Today I'll talk about my personal #GameDesign and #IndieDev philosophy, specifically these principles:…

I will add example games as screenshots (game names and more details in the alt text if you're interested).

Thread! 🧵👇 The Ludokultur logo in front of a black-and-white image of E
Games I value are all about interactivity. 🎮

I want mechanical challenge (either in a systemic / strategic way or reflex-based) or experiential narrative (i.e. a story you *feel* via mechanics, not one that is told to you). In either case: No wannabe movies! Monster Train is entirely focused on the systemic challenge Celeste is first-and-foremost a precision platformer. While What Remains of Edith Finch tells stories via mechanics. YouThe story of SOMA could not have been told the same way in a
Games I value enrich players' lives. ➕

I want to to experience intrinsically motivated discovery of either systemic insight or narrative meaning. Don't bait me with dishonest "engagement boosters", don't wave shiny-but-empty carrots in front of my face. Braid makes you discover the inner-workings of its time-basePortal is all about placing you in a unique context - a worlInto the Breach is a very "pure" strategy game in Heat Signature does away with "math stuff" almost
Games I value challenge players. 🏋️

I want to think creatively, to master mechanics, or to interpret narrative contexts on my own. Don't hold my hand all the time. Don't pretend your game is deep by showing me sophisticated audiovisuals or making me watch pretentious cutscenes. The Witness throws you into a world of puzzles and lets you Escape from Tarkov is notoriously unwelcoming to new playersIn Return of the Obra Dinn you're doing "real" detSuper Hexagon starts very difficult and quickly becomes insa
Games I value inspire players to learn. 🤔

I want to receive transparent feedback about how I'm doing or be confronted with empathic narrative that stays with me and informs my personal development. Don't sugar-coat everything in hollow praise. Don't send me on dumb power trips. Prismata is very chess-like in its philosophy. Open informatMinos Strategos, like all games by BrainGoodGames, features While quite puzzley in terms of gameplay, Stories Untold manBrothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a story told through and who
Games I value are tightly focused. 🔎

I want to be presented with a clear, conflict-free vision. Let your narrative support your system, or vice versa. Don't make me constantly switch between mechanics and storytelling mode. Don't sacrifice the quality of one for the other. Spelunky uses "free" thematic information to suppoPapers, Please drives its story forward through what you're Her Story is all about puzzling together narrative bits, so Abstract games likes Axes and Acres don't really need any so
Games I value are designed cohesively. ⚙️

I want every element to exist in support of the core experience. I want to think "makes sense" whenever I discover a new part of the whole. Don't add stuff just to have "more content" or higher numbers to put in your marketing copy. Poinpy is about jumping from object to object, so all the meSlay the Spire is often called the most balanced card game oFlorence is a mechanically simple game, but the light interaInvisible Inc. is a relatively complex strategy game, but al
Games I value respect the players' time. ⏳

I want every second of the time I invest into playing a game to count. Don't waste time by presenting me with obvious choices. Don't force me into passive waiting times I can't even use to make plans. Don't make me grind. The biggest strength of Super Auto Pets might be just how coAuro keeps its matches short and quickly pushes you up its lOvercooked is frantic cooperative action from the get-go. PlGood Sudoku features one of the best learning experiences I'
Games I value respect the players' intelligence. 🧠

I want games to assume I'm decently smart. Don't be condescending and don't try to manipulate me by using methods of psychological exploitation, faking more depth than you actually have, or throwing mindless spectacle at me. Revita's mechanics are quite intricate and hold a lot of depIn good old Dwarf-Fortress-style, "losing is fun" Knotwords has a very clean presentation and structure. It's Defense of the Oasis is a personal favorite of mine where ev
Games I value advance the medium. 🧪

I want games to experiment and to inspire new ways of thinking in their players. Don't be all derivative and just make "X but more polish / content". At least add a twist of your own. Be a little bit of scientist and push your art forward. Dream Quest pretty much got the whole "roguelike deckbuA Balanced Brew is just one example of games for the PlaydatLuck be a Landlord basically asks: "What if you were buOne of the more recent examples of genre-shattering innovati
Games I value convey progressive values. 🌐

I want games to inspire critical thinking and to promote values such as competence, planfulness, holism, empathy and diversity. We're all in this together and shouldn't constantly reinforce narratives of hierarchy and exploitation. This War of Mine allows you to experience war from a perspecJourney is a game about struggling, finding your way and conHuman Resource Machine not only teaches you the basics of prBaba Is You is not just about being clever and finding "
If you disagree or want to learn more about any of the above, feel free to contact me. I'm up for game design discussions pretty much anytime! :)

You can also check out my writing. A few starting points:

In any case: Keep playing, keep thinking! ✊

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More from @Ludokultur

Sep 4
Here's a #gameDesign thought: a #roguelike (run-based game with no meta power progression) emphasizes the competence gain of the player, while a #roguelite (run-based game with meta power progression) emphasizes the competence gain of the avatar.

More context below! 👇 Rogue Legacy meta progression
Research based on self-determination theory has previously linked our innate need for competence to the "fun" of playing games.

Here's an article from back in the day (based on the work of @richardmryan3, @csrigby, @ShuhBillSkee):…
Both roguelikes and roguelites usually focus on competence as a key motivator. They're supposed to be difficult, you're supposed to "get better" and overcome their challenges. The question is whether "better" relates to player skill and learning or virtual avatar power gain. Vampire Hunters meta
Read 11 tweets
May 23
With many recent Vampire-Survivors-likes relying on emptiness, simple enemy behaviors ("walk towards player") and stats, I feel I should reiterate my stance on "spatiality" in #GameDesign.

Don't just "have space" (instead of flat math), but MEANINGFUL SPACE! 🗺️

⬇️ Examples ⬇️

Vampire Survivors
Heat Signature
Invisible, Inc.
Heat Signature (@Pentadact): Everything revolves around movement. Gadgets swap positions, wind through connected space, teleport, key-clone or disable in a straight-lined shape, slow-down time etc. No number crunching, no "health points" or "damage" or "stats". Voilà, Emergence! In Heat Signature you enter procedurally generated spaceships and, by making use of a diverse set of gadgets, try to reach a specific target object or person. Almost everything in the game is centered on movement. For example, there are multiple types of teleport gadgets that e.g. allow you to swap positions with an enemy ("Swapper"), to instantly move through open corridors and doors ("Sidewinder"), or to jump to any position within a certain radius for a short amount of time ("Visitor"). The "Key Cloner" lets you steal key cards if the guard carryin...
Spelunky (@mossmouth): Bombs open up space, ropes enable upward movement. Most items are about space: jump boots, climbing gloves, jetpack. Enemy behavior is all about shapes: spiders jump, bats fly, mummies vomit into corridors etc. Any combinations are clear, emergent, varied! Bombs allow you to reach sealed off areas or create new connections. Ropes can be used to move upwards, which goes against the natural gravity-based direction the game usually takes. The same is true for climbing gloves and the iconic jetpack that additionally increases your horizontal reach. Jumping boots increase your jumping height. The mattock can manipulate a level's layout. Spike shoes prevent you from sliding over ice blocks.  But it is not just the items. The behavior of each enemy and trap in the game has immediate spatial impact and forces you to reconsider how to move. You cannot...
Read 10 tweets
Sep 13, 2022
Some have called 2022 the year of "microgames". In the wake of @poncle_vampire a host of ~$2 games were created mostly by solo developers or tiny #IndieDev teams in the span of a few months.
Let's talk game dev experimentalism!
🧵👇 1/9 Screenshot of Vampire Survi...Screenshot of Shotgun KingScreenshot of StacklandsScreenshot of Just King
The reception, surrounding many of these titles is open, forgiving and appreciative. Turns out if players didn't spend $60 and didn't get hyped up for years of dev time by a faceless corporation, the human side of #GameDev actually shines through sometimes, even on Steam. 4 exemplares Steam reviews:...
This in turn opens up #GameDesign space. "Bullet heaven" is a result of flipping a genre on its head: YOU are the bullet hell! Of course there's iteration in microgames too, but the possibility to experiment is real (e.g. @caiysware's "What if your bullets are minions?"). Screenshot of BrotatoScreenshot of Seraph's Last...Screenshot of Boneraiser Mi...Screenshot of Nomad Survival
Read 9 tweets
Aug 12, 2022
Always nice to find support for one's #GameDesign thoughts in academia!

This great piece by @dingstweets, @Marc_M_Andersen, @JulianKiverste1 and @PredictiveLife connects to @raphkoster's Theory of Fun and some of my own musings:…

Details below! 🧵

1/10 "Mastering uncertainty...
One of the core findings is concerned with players not being as much after success as they are after improvement, i.e. reducing failure or "expected error" or, simply, learning. The more of this they get (per time played), the better.

2/10 A quote from the article: &...
I wrote about this phenomenon here:…

My thinking back then was based on @Qt3's "Chick Parabola". You traverse phases of competence until you're so good at a game that the additional value (i.e. "error reduction") per time stops being worth it.

3/10 A parabola that initially r...
Read 10 tweets
Aug 1, 2022
Here's another attempt at explaining the strengths and weaknesses of certain #roguelike metagame / difficulty systems!

(These are broad buckets. At this point there are many combinations and variants. Let me know about your favorites!)

👇 #GameDesign Thread 🧵
Roguelikes with one single difficulty have the advantage of the whole community discussing "THE" game. However, they often scare away new players depending on how difficult they start out, and bore veterans by having them repeat sections they already mastered over and over.
A popular answer to roguelikes frustrating new players is meta progression. This however fights symptoms more than flawed fundamentals, exacerbating the reset problem and introducing new issues of fuzzy feedback and "solvedness", at worst making entire mechanics irrelevant.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 25, 2022
"If indie games are underreported, mobile games must be invisible"…

If the paragraph below is an example of the press picking up on mobile games, I'd rather they stay invisible tbh.

That being said, here's a bunch of actually good mobile games! 🧵 1/10 Image

Auro by @DinofarmGames is a super-tight tactical roguelike you can play for years (I've been playing it for about 9 and still counting). Image

Seven Scrolls by @JesseVenbrux lets you create crazy combo chains of spells with weird triggers. Image
Read 10 tweets

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