Did you know, if you give people too many options, they will be paralyzed by the thought of losing one of the options? This is why if someone gives you too many options, you may not choose any of them. This manifests itself in other ways as well.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) causes people to pick an option based solely on the fact that it may never be available again.
Too much freedom can lead us to not make any decision at all. We can be given a plethora of options, but as a result, choose none based solely on the others. As creators, this is why we need constraints on even our wildest ideas.
“If you try to make everyone happy, you make nobody happy?” This is a very true statement. You’re ever tried to make everyone happy? I have and it does not work. Often times all the people involved end up upset.
We can do better with our games because they should know what they want to be. What genre or category do you fit in? Pick one or a few, because that’s exactly how your game starts to take shape I bet. You start to see patterns and pathways open up that you never noticed before.
When you think about it, to choose means to make a constraint on your direction. That choice allows you to make other choices that result in your game’s final direction.
Your awesome outside of the box idea comes from you creating your box first.
When I started thinking about the choices I had to make in my game, the idea of the game design started to come to life based on the decisions I made prior. For example, one of the games I wanted to work on came through the concept of an interesting weapon concept. The concept was supposed to allow the player to use multiple types of elemental and energy types with the weapon. We had to create multiple restrictions around this however because we were building experiences for the player that needs to be challenging.
Sure we could have allowed the player to have infinite ammo, or be completely broken, but in my opinion, this is not good game design and does not embrace what the game is supposed to be. If we want the player to invest in our game, we have to be willing to constrain both what they can do and our design as well.
If you think back to any of the games you played in your childhood or any one product you bought; it probably did one thing or a couple of things well for you. Don’t you think your game deserves the same treatment? Your players are the ones who will have to experience your design firsthand without the same knowledge you had when creating it. Many designs today go for being intuitive, and thus it’s more about cutting things out rather than adding more things in.
With that said, have a good one and good luck making your games!