10 Principles of Make as You Play Games

The RWinder recently posted a 10 Principles of Make as You Play games blog post which is a great primer of things to keep in mind while developing a game. The whole post is definitely worth a read, but I’m going to make a reference post, for myself here, including the definition of a MaYP game.

  • You start with some rules and minimal materials, where these materials can either be purchased cheaply or taken from a wide variety of other games.
  • You make almost all the content yourself staying within the bounds of the rules.
  • You use your imagination to supplement these rules—either in writing stories or naming content.
  • You can continue to play each new game in a campaign using ALL the content from the previous games you played, so the game continues to grow indefinitely.
  1. Games should leave permanent artifacts that retain long-term relevance.
  2. There must be skill or decisions, or it is less a “game” than a toy or creative writing exercise.
  3. The game must have a playable—and fun—state from the beginning.
  4. Games must have discrete, “session sized” goals from the start, even if they change.
  5. Games should not become trivially easier or unaccountably harder as content is created and added.
  6. The materials you need are not too difficult to procure and do not surprise the player mid-game.
  7. If the game is not playable indefinitely, then there should be an imposed limit on the number of the components.
  8. The game should not overtax creativity, or it will become overwhelming.
  9. The game complexity and creative burden should be scaled (inversely) with the number of players.
  10. The things created and named in the game must support variability, emerge from simpler elements, and be fun to make.

2 and 4 are definitely things I need to keep in mind whilst working on games.

This is a post about the design and development of a currently unnamed Shipwreck Game. You can see the other Blog posts at the Index for the Game.

Leave a Reply