Bad Mechanics that Depend on the Player Type

Bad Mechanics that Depend on the Player Type

Posted by Brandon Raasch on Oct 21st 2018

Bad mechanics usually fall into three groups; rules that are Never Fun, Game Mechanics that Depend on the Game and Game Mechanics that Depend on the Player

Bad Mechanics that Depend on the Player Type

Some game designs are fine, but permit certain bad player behaviors. These players will accuse your game of 'bad mechanics' to explain their bad behavior. Watch for these players and take their input with some healthy skepticism. 

  • Quarterbacking- If the game has optimal moves and a somewhat linear path to victory, this player will tell other players what to do every turn. No fun. One way to silence the QB is to ensure each player has some information that is not public, so there is a need for cooperation, not player control.
  • Rules Lawyer- “Must" or "May”, “Or" versus "And”, these are the hallmark, game delays of a Rules Lawyer. Hire an Editor, blind test your written content and make sure your finished game includes errata and FAQs.
  • Alpha Gamer- They have played it all and they are proud of their Shelfie. Alpha Gamers lead the discussion boards, drive Kickstarters and expect a lot from your game. Find an Alpha Gamer to heavily test your game, but keep in mind that many players are ok with a few oddities or quirks in your game.
  • Agro Gaming- Rage quit? Explains how your game is a rip off of some game you never heard of? Tears your game apart in front of other play testers? Some gamers are school yard bullies, asserting their gamer dominance at the cost of fun for others. Be a hero to your players and politely ask your Agro Gamer to leave… then get ready to hear about it on Reddit. Don't respond!
  • Min-Maxing- Some gamers enjoy figuring out the minimum effort to get the maximum game affect, and they will spend all their time calculating every move. Great for testing your game's math, but keep in mind that your final audience may not stew over every move.
  • Luck- Casual and kid friendly gamers are fine with it, Strategy and Euro Gamers will point out how it ruined their plans and your game. Consider your eventual player audience and make sure you balance random chance with too much chaos.

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