Crafting Systems

I love crafting. Tell me a game has crafting, and already the first notes of the sweet sirens call begin to tickle my ears — yearning, as a designer and a player, to unlock its secrets. The barest whiff gives an alluring quality to any game; and yet, as I find far too often, this […]

Predictably Irrational Game Design

Behavioral Economics is a fascinating field, and the book Predictably Irrational provides a lot of fascinating insights into the world of human economic psychology. It covers a lot of topics, with field experiments, but the following are particularly important for game design: relativity, the power of zero, the social verses market exchange, and the power […]

Building Synthetic Economies

How much experience should this monster give? What drop rate should we set on this item? How do we know two functionally distinct items are worth the same amount? Economics is the study of choice under scarcity, and one of many ways to discuss player motivation is to view it through the lens of economics. […]