Game design tips

This post is inspired by A discussion in the Y-taco about what makes a game worthy of masterpieces. I elected to make this topic for sharing tips for designing games (visuals, gameplay, levels, etc.) and discussing how you go about that.
I normally would ask questions such as these in the Y-taco, but that topic is overcrowded with discussions, and it is hard to find specific discussions. I also feel this would benefit from its own topic.
This also helps with easier reference in the future!

Feel free to share tips, ask questions, or answer questions. I’m making this topic so we can all learn more about designing better games!

Gameplay design

  • How do you usually get ideas for a game?
  • How do you know if a game idea is fun?
  • How do you add depth to a game idea?
  • If you have a good idea that needs more, how do you decide what to add?
  • Do you have any tips for creating fun games?
  • How do you communicate to the player what to do?
  • Do you have a tip for designing for a specific type of game? (E.g platformer, tapper, etc.)
  • Do you have any examples of particularly well-designed games in hopscotch?

Visual design

  • How do you decide what the game will look like?
  • How do you use the visuals to help the gameplay feel better?
  • How do the visuals communicate to the player what to do?
  • What do you like most (visually) in the games you play?
  • How do the style of visuals used change with the type of game?
  • What shapes are the most pleasing?
  • What colors are the best?
  • How does the relationship of the varied elements of the visual design affect the game?
  • Do you have a tip for designing for a specific type of game? (E.g platformer, tapper, etc.)
  • Do you have any examples of well-designed games in hopscotch?
  • How does the visual design relate to the gameplay design?
  • Is the gameplay design more important, or is the visual design more important?

Please feel free to suggest more questions for this, as well as improvements for the existing ones!


@omtl I meant to tag you in the first post, oops! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


2nd post


@omtl (you need to be in the group to tag)


The smoother the better, so circles and items with rounded edges work best. Also, the simpler the better.

If you can just end up playing it for >5 minutes in a row just because, then you know it is fun. Sometimes this can happen with a simple simulation, other times you need to code something for a year.


Interesting topic, and a lot of questions! I don’t make many games, but here are some of my thoughts on visuals:

For both these, the answer is something that is closely related to the theme of the game. For example, if I would play a game that is a Halloween escape room, dark colors and “sharp”, industrial-like shapes and objects would make the game feel more authentic (in my opinion) than if the shapes were round and if the colors were bright and the shapes were round. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want a beach volleyball game to have the same colors as the Halloween game. In that context, the round colors and shapes fit much better.

I think Madi’s app programming game is a recent example of a very well-designed game.

The visual design should be a compliment to the gameplay design to be really good. It’s the whole picture that matters. A game with well-designed visuals and great gameplay creates the feeling of a whole (and very good) game.

Both are important since it is the whole picture that matters in my opinion, which I mentioned above. However, the game should be playable, so therefore the gameplay design is the most essential.


I just wanted to link this really nice post by @Temm!


Hm. I think I will ask a weekly question here starting now. Here is the first one;

When you have a fun game idea, how do you decide what the game will look like?


Tagging @omtl for this question if you want to answer - I don’t think it has been tagged before in this topic!


Omtl was tagged by CreationsOfAVillager

I just choose colors and objects that work best with the idea


As DaughterOfHecate mentioned, omtl has in fact been tagged already in this topic. No worries, though, it was just a mistake :upside_down_face:. You can request for your own tag list in this topic which you can tag however many times you want.

When I think of a cool game idea, the aesthetic and everything just pops into my head. Once it comes to actually coding the game, I have to make a few modifications to what I originally thought of in my head, but the main aesthetic and format stays the same.


When making a game, how do you ensure the user knows what helps them play and what does not?


Great question! I think that depending on the type of game that you’re making it can be helpful to have a tutorial when the user starts the project. It could have images or interaction to ensure the user understands That way they know which buttons to press, etc.

Another thing you could do is have game rules or instruction text that shows up when they press play and that they could come back to throughout the project. This could be useful if a game has a lot of rules the user needs to remember.


How do you tell if the tutorial is easy enough to understand?


Hmm… that can be hard. I like to show mine to my sister or some friends irl. If they can figure it out, then I think they are pretty understandable, but if they have questions or if I have to explain something to them, I know I need better instructions.