Game mechanics: what are they and what are the most common

Game designVideo Games

Redacción Tokio | 10/02/2023

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the video game industry is not only a billion dollar industry, but also has a very high and loyal number of followers, including gamers, video game geeks, designers, and professionals working in the sector; the truth is that the video game sector is worth talking about, and has a lot to be talked about. Today we will focus on the most common game mechanics. Do not miss a word!

Video games are complex systems defined by mechanics and rules, through which players interact with said system.


What are game mechanics?

Game mechanics are defined as any action performed by a player that modifies the game state, that is, the position and specific characteristics of all objects and environments present in the game at a precise moment in time. The game state, or state of the video game, is modified due to one of the defining characteristics of games: interactivity.


Structural elements of interaction in games

  • Purpose of the game
  • Procedure to carry out the action
  • Rules governing action
  • Number of players
  • Role of the players
  • Result or reward
  • Required skills
  • Interaction patterns
  • Physical activity required to play
  • Precise equipment

Game mechanics describe what a player can do, how he does it, and the rules that govern those actions.

All these structural elements mentioned above are closely related to each other, thus, the procedures to carry out the actions cannot be understood without seeing their connection to the game’s rules, which in turn will determine the players’ behavior. It is, therefore, these two elements (procedures and rules) that define the game mechanics.

In a way, it is not the mechanics the ones that will determine what the game is, but rather the interpretation of game mechanics performed by gamers.

Game mechanics are, essentially, a regulatory system that makes up the game, and which greatly defines the experience of the players.


Gamification and loyal players

When considering video game mechanics, it’s necessary to talk about gamification. This concept describes the use of mechanics or game techniques that can enhance motivation, improve productivity, activate user learning, evaluate users and help them achieve objectives.

Gamification in video games aims to introduce innovative and creative game mechanics in order to change an activity that will motivate users to participate in it. It attracts gamers’ attention by offering them a unique, fun experience.

Game mechanics tend to be simple: when you win a battle, you get a prize and get a certain position in a leaderboard where your rivals also are.


Gamification objectives

  • Improve engagement
  • Enhance loyalty
  • Maximize user experience
  • Allow diversity and avoid monotony and frustration
  • Improve connection with more people


Achieve success doing gamification in video games

These are some of the factors to take into account for a video game product to work: 

  • Aim at creating habits: for example, by implementing challenges, you generate a need in players to achieve them, thus building up loyalty.
  • Progression: the idea is that the players notice that they are advancing, progressing in each of the challenges presented to them, knowing their position and how much they still need to do to accomplish all challenges.
  • Create rewards: this is essential when considering gamification in video games. Every effort has its prize: extra lives, money, new goals, achieving objects, etc.
  • Allow for choices: it is very positive for players to have different challenges going on at the same time, so that they have the possibility of choosing which one to give priority over another at every moment.
  • Diversity: try to ensure that the goals to be achieved are different from each other. Even if they are related to each other, they should offer a different experience for players. 


Become an expert in game mechanics with a video game design course

Did you already know the answer to ‘what are game mechanics and gamification’? If you want to expand your knowledge and feel motivated to be a professional in the sector, we recommend that you take a video game design course.

Behind each game there is a team of professionals and creatives who have squeezed their hearts out to offer you the most interesting characters, the best virtual landscapes and the feeling that is closest to reality. If you are passionate about video games and believe in your talent, your intention and your desire to learn and give your best in this field, our video game design course will give you the most complete and dynamic foundations and training to achieve this.

Video game design represents a booming field as more and more companies demand this type of professional profile. Your goal will be to develop the most surprising and innovative ideas that optimize user experience and take it to the next level.

The opportunity to train and become an expert in video game design is in front of you, including access to a stable job market that offers attractive salaries. As an approximation, a senior designer can easily earn around 40,000 or 50,000 net euros per year.

And, above all, you will carry out a fun, dynamic, creative and very rewarding profession, ensuring thousands of people enjoy your creation. Does this sound appealing? Don’t think twice about it and start your creative adventure now!

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