Game Design Guidelines

Here is a still very small list of guidelines that probably ought to be followed while making a game. These are principles that I've discovered as I've made many of my own games, as well as played many games.


  • Every button on the controller should probably do something. A lot of times, we program so that for a specific function, we choose a button to perform it. Instead, we should look at each of the buttons, and determine what function they should perform when pressed. The motivation for this is that not everyone thinks like we do, and if we choose a single button to do something, someone else will try a different (but still logical) button, and it won't be responsive.


  • Avoid timesinks. Timesinks are points in a game where the player is doing next to nothing. For instance, if their health takes a long time to regenerate, they may need to sit around and wait until their health goes up. Or for instance, if the player needs to repeatedly do something for a long time. It's bad practice to have things like this in a game, because the player will eventually get extremely bored.