Tom Long, Studio Head of GoneGypsy Games, spoke about the five secrets of master game designers to inspire innovation.
The video game industry is a $100 billion industry. To continue to grow one of, if not the largest entertainment segment in the world, game designers need to continue to innovate. Long briefly reviewed five of the most important and practical concepts a professional game designer should know and use when producing a new game.
Long began with the “Golden Circle,” which ask in your organization what do you do, how do you do it, and why do you do it. And the why shouldn’t be to make money but rather why does your organization exist.
“Magic Circle” is the next concept which covers the suspension of disbelief. “You’re not selling lottery tickets; you’re selling a ticket to anywhere,” Long said.
Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics (MDA) is a framework for design. Mechanics is what you can affect, the dynamics is how, once the game is implemented, it plays, and aesthetics. “Aesthetics in the MDA framework is more than the look. It’s the aura of the game,” Long said. “But all of these have to be line with your why.”
Another necessary aspect of game design is to include the “Big Five” personality traits—which are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (O.C.E.A.N.)—but these need to be matched with the domains of play: novelty, challenge, stimulation, harmony and threat. “That is how O.C.E.A.N. finds your Blue Ocean,” he said.
“O.C.E.A.N. is good at gathering new players. But it doesn’t do very good in trying to keep them. How do you get a following? How do you get a tribe that loves your game?” Long asked. “Your product changes the player as they consume it. Things with a high novelty have their novelty depreciate as you consume it.”
So it is necessary to convert novelty to nostalgia. To do this, it is necessary to understand self determination theory which is comprised of three elements: mastery, autonomy, and relatedness.