Know what you don’t want

You will more often have to decide what you don’t want in the game, than what you do want.

Often the easiest thing is coming up with ideas, the hardest thing is picking the right ones. The coolest idea may not be the best for your game and you’ll have to decide against a lot. Ideally you’ll end up with a game and set of mechanics that all work together to achieve the experience you’re going for.

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”  –Antoine de Saint-Exupery

For Circles, I decided on:

  • No text
  • No score
  • No randomness
  • No different colored circles
  • No other shapes
  • No time pressure or timing elements
  • No tight or complicated levels
  • Nothing that happens out of the player’s control

Be sure to know the reasons why though. Don’t just make lists of things you don’t like.