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10 Basic Principles of Game Design

Here’s a list of 10 Basic Principles of Game Design you should consider before starting the development process.

Game Design is one of the most complex topics to decode. Although it seems to be quite fun to do, it can get frustrating on results. Being the most crucial part of Game Development, it is the major factor for a game to sell well. A good Game Design ensures high retention and success of a game. Even if you have great marketing skills to sell your product, you still require the quality of a product for user retention. However, most indie game developers miss out the opportunity to invest more time in Game Design and later hurry up towards the development. This in turns kills the experience of the game and leads to failure of the launch. As said by Shigeru Miyamoto,

“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad”.

Here’s a list of 10 basic Principle of Game Design you should consider before starting the development process:-

Player Character

One of the major pillars of Game Development and the most centred focal point of games, Player Character is the most crucial element in any game. The way the Player character looks, the way it interacts with the environment and the way it gives an experience to the user is what most essential for a game to be successful. Being the focal point of a game, your Player should be the one, people usually connect to it and remember long. The end-user should get an immersive experience with the Player character interacting with the dynamic environment and lastly, it should feel like it’s live.

Core Gameplay

When we talk about games, we actually talk about the idea and the core gameplay. Which means any game is just core gameplay which is ascertained with appealing visual elements. Core Gameplay is the backbone of any game, and you have to make it right to make your game work. In-depth analysis with new innovations is the key role to be played here in this field.


The Goal is the ultimate reason for a Player to actually play a game. It generally conveys the game endings and the overall story of the game. It’s essential for a game to define the objective quite clearly so that the user can really hang on playing it. The way the goals are set up determines the way a Player reaches to it. Clear defined objectives could be straight forward and easy to grasp whereas, a fuzzy objective could be more challenging with real-life situations.


The player needs to be restrained with limitations with certain rules while achieving the objective. These constraints help a game to be more realistic and more fun in terms of gameplay. However, it plays a crucial role in how actually things work in a game and what is the real power of the player to achieve it. This could eventually end up either making the player most powerful or degrading it to a normal character. The balance between all this is kept well with the help of Game rules.


Decision plays a key role in making a game to be more interesting and dynamic to play. This is a factor which is much important when it comes to an immersive experience. The way the user makes a decision is the way the game is going to turn out to its fate. This factor generally boosts up the retention while engaging the user with a curiosity to know what happened next. Getting a game with the ability to give the user the opportunity to make a decision would definitely boost up the game feel.


With the goal as a purpose for the player to achieve, it is very much important for the player to communicate with the real game world. This is turn makes a game to feel like more lively and dynamic. Proper communication of the purpose to the player with the help of visual feedback or the game objects instantly boosts of the game feel.


Being a basic element of game theory, a reward could be an intrinsic outcome of a game. This is the positive reinforcement for the player to keep him motivated throughout the game. This factor is taken into consideration for increasing the retention of any game. Rewarding the player always helps to maintain a good balance in the pace of the game.

Experience & Appeal

Even the top-rated high graphics game with a lot of action-packed content lacks a good Player Experience. The User Experience is the real outcome for a Game Developer for which he craves for. A good Game Design ensures a great experience to the player. It’s essential to understand the importance of user experience and develop the product likewise. A game filled with useless effects and useless content of no meaning ruins the overall gameplay, whereas a game with minimal content with a sense gets a huge shot due to good user experience. And here the role of Appeal comes to play. Creating a game which really appeals the player is one of the hardest and vital factors of game design. However, it completely depends on the Game type but polishing the game well with factors which could appeal users could really change the fate of any game.


Polishing a game well is the most crucial part of a Game Development process. The more time you invest in polishing your game, the more you increase your chance of success. Polishing ensures the quality of the game to increase and ends up being an awesome product. Users love to play a well-polished game than a rushed game full of bugs. Getting this period of development process right will eventually ready you for a great launch.

Flow Theory

Now coming to the last and one of the most essential factor in Game Design for every developer, FLOW THEORY is the process that determines a game success rate. Being considered as the most advanced and base topic for game Design, it’s pretty much essential for all the developers to really understand the Flow Theory. All the points discussed above are an integral part of Flow Theory, however, there is 2 Flow process to take care while developing games: - Micro Flow and Macro Flow. These flow processes depend upon the game type and the way the player progresses.

Further, we will discuss more the Flow Theory and the reason for it being the most essential element in Game Design in the upcoming blog. So far, we got to know the 10 Basic Principles of Game Design which we should take care to boost the success rate of any game.

With Love From VOiD1 Gaming

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