Gameplay loops are the repeatable circuits of motivation, action, and reward from which player experience arises. The best designers understand how to weave and layer these loops with great dexterity, crafting nested structures that suffuse every moment of gameplay with multiple layers of goals and challenges. What are the principles behind this kind of impressive design feat? In Episode 28 of Vertical Slice we’re circling up on this fascinating question, and tracing the clever interactive orbits that spin beneath the surface of the most vibrant games.
- The PS4 remake of Ratchet and Clank is a worthy reinvigoration of the PS2 classic, and a great example of what it means to bring real heart to a remaster.
- Just in case your game backlog is dipping into the mere hundreds of hours: Pillars of Eternity is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One in late August.
- Subset Games, maker of the excellent and startlingly challenging starship simulator FTL, is working on a new strategy game titled Into the Breach.
- Jaime Griesemer’s famous concept of “30 seconds of fun” elegantly captures the essence of designing compelling gameplay loops.
- The lean startup concept of “Minimum Viable Product” is a fruitful lens for rigorous game design.
- Ticket to Ride and Don’t Starve are great examples of “Minimum Viable Gameplay Loops” driving highly successful games.
- Fallout 4’s settlement system illustrates the opportunities and challenges of augmenting a game’s core gameplay loop with substantially divergent sub-loops.
Image credit: Flare