🕹️ Clarify your game design with "If-Then" thinking

Why it matters: Gameplay becomes stronger when you talk about it the same way players talk about it.

  • If you drink the potion, then you heal” (Every game ever)
  • If you rest at a bonfire, then it unlocks a checkpoint” (Dark Souls)
  • If you throw your axe, then you can press triangle to recall it” (God of War)

Pro tip: “If You” is one of the best ways to start a gameplay concept:

  • If” implies choices and possibility
  • You” puts the player at the center of the design

This method serves as a way to check how intuitive the concept is. If it’s confusing as a sentence, it will be confusing as gameplay.

Yes, but: Add a “but” at the end of the statement to introduce a twist to the concept. The Dark Souls example becomes, “If you rest at a bonfire, then it unlocks a checkpoint… But, it also respawns all the enemies in the area.”

Bottom line: Good game design starts with clear and easy-to-understand concepts.