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Gameplay Mechanics are the rules of games that make them playable. These can range from the various controls of the game to the proper way to play.

Usage

Gameplay mechanics are used in all games. Some games have more than others. An example of a well-known game with lots of gameplay mechanics would be Monopoly because it has lots of little rules. A well known game with only a few gameplay mechanics would be checkers or draughts because it is relatively easy to learn and has few rules.

Examples

  • Turns: This is where multiple players, or one player against an AI, take turns interacting with the game to try to gain an advantage.
  • Action Points: This is when players have some kind of in-game currency and can either spend or earn points in ways to gain an advantage.
  • Game Modes: This is where players can choose a configuration which determines many fundamental gameplay mechanics and other aspects about the game. Examples may be First Person Shooters, or FPS games, where players may choose different types of avatars, with different abilities, weapons, skills, etc.

Balance

A large part of games is making them balanced. For example, in a platforming game, the user should not start out in a level which requires passing through difficult obstacles and lots of enemies. Instead, the game should start out guiding the user through the basic controls and gameplay aspects, so they know how to play in the later levels.

Another way to make a game more balanced is including checkpoints in a difficult part of the game. However, it should not be too easy, or the player will not feel at all challenged, and the game will not be balanced.

There should be a good balance in a game to make the user feel challenged, but not like completing the game is impossible.

Other Gameplay Mechanics

Sometimes, gameplay mechanics refer to elements within the gameplay, such as portals, moving elements, power-ups, lava, and trampolines. Some users incorporate these into Platforming Bases.

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