Guidelines for Strategy Game Design

A functional and lightweight game design manual by Level 99's D. Brad Talton Jr,
on how to create tense, dynamic, decision-driven games.

§ 1.2 - Activities are all relevant.

§ 1.2 - Activities are all relevant.

§ 1.2 - Activities are all relevant.

Most games consist of several different activities. However, all of those activities should thread through the game’s central mechanics and engage the game’s key skills.

For example, if a game features a Worker-Placement mechanic at its center, we would expect that everything you do in the game relates back to worker placement. It might…

  • Help you place or manipulate workers;
  • Score or enable the placement of workers;
  • Check workers that are placed to have yet to be placed.

For each thing that your players are doing in the game, ask yourself “how does this interact with the core mechanic?” if there’s not a clear and compelling link, rethink how the activity integrates into the big picture.

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