Plan

Ideation

  • Can you think of multiple purposes for your desired mechanic?
  • Desired setting? Can you think mechanics that fit this setting?
  • What the controls would be?
  • Can you clearly visualize the game’s first playable state?

Consolidate Vision

  • Find one fitting persona and analyze mechanics that fit your game
  • Create a RGD mechanic overview sheet (Input, Output, Difficulty)
  • Mechanics should serve more than one purpose
  • Make sure mechanics’ form follows its function
  • Define winning and failure states (Try to use an innate part of the gameplay)
  • Define a single customization/expression element (The reason the player would share a screenshot of your game)
  • Define short, medium and long OCR loops
  • Objectives that require you to overcome a Challenge and when you overcome it gives you a Reward
  • Before start production make sure you can clearly visualize how each activity will be performed moment to moment, minute to minute

Planning

  • Prioritize tasks with highest value-effort ratio
  • Break down tasks longer than a Pomodoro session
  • Set deliverable build milestones deadlines
  • When adding a feature, check if the game does need it and if it will bring value to the targeted player persona

Design

  • Make sure to communicate to the player how much they progressed and what is left to complete each OCR loop (short, mid and long ones)
  • Give the player optional challenges. If possible, allow them to solve it in different ways. Things such as power ups that offer a different way to play or an alternative path.
  • Remember the 2 seconds rule while designing your levels.

Implementation

First Playable

  • Input
  • Core Mechanic
  • Core Interactions
  • OCR Loops

If the game is not fun, it’s ok to start over.