Game Theory Applied: the puzzle of designing a puzzle game

Today’s post is going to be the fourth in the series “Game Theory Applied”. You have the previous ones here:

Today I would like to talk about the tricky concepts around puzzles and puzzle-based games like New Sokoban. Puzzles are often considered to not be games at all. This means that designing a video-game entirely based on puzzles implies some issues that need to be addressed to minimize the inherent problems that puzzles have and maximize their benefits. We will see it applied to New Sokoban, a puzzle-solving game.

Game Theory Applied: puzzle games

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Game Theory Applied: Endogenous Value

Today’s article is the third one in the series “Game Theory Applied”. You have the previous two here:

In the previous two articles I talked about game design aspects that I think that were well addressed in New Sokoban. However, today I’m going to talk about a very difficult and tricky topic that should be better applied to New Sokoban: endogenous value in games.

Endogenous Value

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Game Theory Applied: A Layered Game Rewards System

Today’s article is the second one in the series “Game Theory Applied”. You can find the first article of the series here. Today I would like to talk about game rewards, and how I applied them on New Sokoban.

Game rewards are a very important concept in game design. Actually, in some sense, players play games to be rewarded. It is a human need. Players need to be evaluated favorably. That’s why a well designed and balanced game rewards system is key in any game, even for the simplest one.

Layered Game Rewards System

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Game Theory Applied: The Flow Channel

In today’s post I would like to start a series of articles about Theory of Game Design and how I applied (or tried to apply…) it to my projects. Usually games are made by inspiration and intuition. And this is not a bad approach because, at the end of the day, game creation is a deeply creative activity.

However, there are some game design aspects that have been theorized by experienced game designers that, despite sounding quite obvious, it is worth to keep them in mind while working on our games. I would like to start by one of the most interesting and effective concepts of game design: The Flow Channel. Applying this concept to New Sokoban had a very positive impact on the games experience. Despite it being an intuitive aspect of games that you could have learned while playing a lot of games during your live, the first time I red about it was in Jesse Schell’s book The Art of Game Design. By the way, this book is highly recommended for game designers out there and wanna be game designers like me 😉


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