Doing nothing in games should be meaningful.

Why it matters: In game design, not pushing a button can be just as important as pushing a button. Choosing not to do something should have gameplay consequences.

  • If there’s a benefit to doing something in your game, there should also be a benefit to not doing it. This approach creates tradeoffs. Tradeoffs are one of a player's most fun decisions in a game.
  • For example: Say you have a treasure chest in your game that the player can destroy to earn a reward; what are some ways to reward them for not destroying it?

    Maybe they could:

  • Gift the chest to an NPC to increase friendship with them
  • Use the chest to climb onto a ledge that’s out of reach
  • The bottom line: You can increase the depth of a single interaction if you consider how the player can benefit from not doing the interaction. 🕹️