Abstract gamels, AKA “rules”

Author’s note: I’m attempting to develop a method for game analysis around irreducible game elements (gamels). This and all the other articles are a sort of log of my thought process, and are not definitive truths. Please feel free to react or comment in any way.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of game rules recently, partly due to Johan Huizinga’s influence and partly due to a “very small” project I’ve been investing my free time in recently.

Rules are what I manipulate when designing. Whether I’m tuning controls, scoring systems, writing a story or just thinking about a new super-cool gameplay, every design decision I make explicitly or implicitly affects one of the many rules that compose a video game. Continue reading

Gamels – game elements

Author’s note: I’m attempting to develop a method for game analysis around irreducible game elements (gamels). This and all the other articles are a sort of log of my thought process, and are not definitive truths. Please feel free to react or comment in any way.

I often run out of words to describe what I want to talk about. My approach in these cases is to just make up a new word.

6x4 picture elements

6x4 picture elements

The concept of game elements or objects has been around long enough, but its real definition is still quite vague. There is the uneasy proximity of terms with the OOP objects, which tend to represent or encapsulate game objects but also do a bunch of other stuff. You could also be talking about any thing that’s visible on-screen, or limit them to what the player manipulates. You could also talk about a character’s inventory or… Well, I think you might have guessed the point by now, so I’ll stop.

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