Some axioms for game design

Take 'em, or leave 'em.

  1. Materially different media make different emotional, psychological and semiotic effects possible.

  2. It is possible to simulate the effects of one medium in another, e.g. to create a “cinematic” effect in a novel or tabletop game.

  3. But the effects that have the greatest impact will tend to be those most characteristic of the media in which a given work was produced.

  4. The modern conception of heroic action has been so thoroughly shaped by movies and novels that we tend to imagine heroism in the idioms of those media.

  5. The conventions most characteristic of any game media will be those constructed around play.

  6. Thus, when designing games, err on the side of features that emphasize play, over those that simulate cinematic or literary effects.

#design #theory #cinema #literature