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One of the most important things to consider in game design is the player’s experience while playing our game. Generally, we want to design a game that someone will enjoy playing.

To create a fun game, we will have to consider the following things: human emotions, the challenge a game presents, and the player’s game preferences.

Emotion

One of the critical elements of the human condition that we must consider is emotion. Think about the last time you played a game and won. Did that not feel good? Did it make you want to play again?

What about when you lost? Did you want to go back and try again? When creating a game, we must remember what emotions we want our players to experience.

Challenge

A game is considered enjoyable if it is the right amount of “challenging.” It shouldn’t be so easy that it will be boring, and it shouldn’t be so complex that it will feel hopeless to win. This is accomplished by presenting the player with a problem to solve. Once a player passes this challenge, they will feel good.

The harder the challenge, the more satisfying solving it will be! But if the challenge is too hard, the player will likely quit in frustration. Finding the perfect balance will require some trial and error.

Player’s preference

What we, as the game creators, may find awesome might not come across that way to our intended player. Consider age, culture, and a player’s preferences when designing a game.

Popular games are considered “addicting” because they do an excellent job of balancing the player experience. Angry Birds and Flappy Bird are two very addictive mobile games. They achieved this by balancing out the player’s emotional response, the game challenge, and player preferences.

We should keep these in mind when designing a game.

Instructions

Click through the slideshow to review the design concepts introduced in this exercise.

Move to the next exercise when ready.

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