Pro-social Game Design

Today I published an article I’ve been working on about pro-social game design, making things that are good for people. It takes as inspiration games which I very much respect and distills some of the lessons from them. Here’s an abridged version:

There’s an analogy between fast food/slow food and types of games in that the former are easy, low cost upfront, high cost later and the latter are higher cost up front, more challenging, but ultimately better for you.

Three ways to go about making a game that is good for people:

  • let people sit, give them space
  • encourage growth
  • reward the player

If we make enough pro-social games then people’s standards will raise and they will realize that they didn’t really want the cheap stuff to begin with. That’s the job of the indie game designer.

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