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Depth and Simplicity

1 reply [Last post]
Joined: 03/26/2013

I am working on cooperative games right now and one in particular.

When I think about games I tend to think that you want a game to have near unlimited depth and at the same time be extremely simple to learn.

I think complex rules are a hindrance to enjoyment for the most part.

Does it make sense to strive for depth and simplicity? Is simplicity important to game design?

I have a feeling that elegance lies in simple rules that create a great deal of depth.

Do other people hold this to be a truth?

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008
There is no spoon

In the end, a professional designer designs to her or her target. That could be a specific audience, a particular monetization model, or -- if you're lucky -- one's own desires. The target will dictate limits on both simplicity and depth. For example, party games don't necessarily benefit from depth. Grognards don't necessarily want simplicity.

Personally, I find it's best to simplify designs as much as possible to hit the target, but that doesn't always result in a simple game (e.g., "Axis and Allies"). Conversely, I try to make designs as deep as possible without missing the target, but that doesn't always result in a deep game (e.g., "Pictionary").

Know your target and design accordingly.

How's that for a gross over-simplification? :)

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