Learning – Can You Make a Good Game Without Good Play Mechanics?

In this talk, Square Enix’s Prasert “Sun” Prasertvithyakarn supposes that Good game design can contribute to the fun that is not from play mechanics too! He assumes 7 different types of making games or interactive content.

Learn how to see other values games could possess and learn how to enhance them.


Definition of game play mechanics

The boundary of games and interactive contents

No matter if you call them ‘game’ or not, it’s a game designer’s job to design them anyway.

Interactive content designer? The game designer is more than Play Mechanics Design

Use the verb to define the ice cream

New Verb = New Value

New Value = New Design Approach

Use the verb to define different games and interactive contents

What do people do with games?

To play = Need good mechanics to play

To Explore

One approach to achieving exploration is Itemization. Make people go someplace and collect something, like stamps.


To Role-play

Role-Play Meaning: Through being a character, you savor the characters and their interactions, also the world and the story itself.

Don’t let the player choose between ‘Being you’ & ‘Being him/her’. Make sure all the choices express characters but different variations in choice should express the user himself.

Good Example – All the choice show a character that has a short temper and always say a thing before he thinks and ruins everything. Players have a different choice to express those offensive sentences.

Bad Example – Choice C ruins the personality of the character and goes off of the immersion, though it may make the situation good.

Being you – unnamed character role-playing

The role should be concrete so players know how to act but the details in the personality should be left open for players to express themselves.

Being him/her – named character role-playing


Projection Switching


To Create

Turn users into creators ≠ Turn users into designers

Creating is simple than designing.

The Trap

“Hey, I’ve added a screenshot + selfie system into the game, so that’s it, right?”

Example: the screenshot system in Honour of Kings

Players may don’t even care about this simple system.

Possible Approach

The game players actually play itself, that adventure is already a great creation.

The snapshot system in Final Fantasy 15. When players play the game, the AI characters automatically shot a photo for players. Then, at the night, AI shows the photos to players and players can just press the ‘share’ button to share it. Players are proud of it that these are their creations. Those photos are only belonging to them and they won’t be created if players don’t play the game.


To Communicate

The Trap

To talk and to socialize is fun in itself, is it?

Nurturing & Prank

Instead of verbal communication, Make good use of instinctive communication urges.

Example: In an MMORPG, players see another player fighting against a monster. They go to fight and help others. They receive a simple sentence ‘Thanks’. Though no rewards, it’s still fun.


To Broadcast & To Watch

E-Sport Game: A game that is not only fun to play but a game that is fun to watch.

Example: Fall Guys

It is even more fun to watch the broadcast than to play by myself. Why?

  • Easy to understand the progress when the audience enters a broadcast room.
    • No narrative.
    • Easy-to-understand and clear level design
    • Unique perspective makes the audience feel they are playing
  • More?


To Fancreate

What do fan creates?

Make sure the designer creates the character players care about. The character cannot be neglected by players. Players have some feelings about this character.

WISH is the best inspiration for fan creation


Target audience



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