The 'Skip Mission' Feature

A proposal for the 'skip mission' feature and why highly narrative oriented games should consider adding it.

I know I’m not only the one that experienced playing a highly compelling game and found myself stuck on a specific mission, ending up spending time on Youtube trying to find “playthroughs” for solutions or just dropping the game out of frustration.

It’s actually even more disappointed when the game’s core experience is narrative driven, you want to see where the story is going but it feels like you are reading a book that’s refusing to let you turn the page.

That’s why I always I recommend to add a ‘skip mission’ feature to any highly narrative driven game, it’s subtle feature that Rockstar adds to they releases (ex. GTA V, L.A. Noire) and I gives you the opportunity to experience the game at your own pace.

Here’s a list of reasons, I believe there’s a high return of investment for the integration of the ‘skip mission’ feature:

You’re difficulty progression curve doesn’t need to be perfect.
One the hardest tasks of game designers is maintaining a solid difficulty curve. During a production, features get cut & added at a rapid pace, which can affect the balance of the game’s systems.

Play-testing is still the best way to validate if the difficulty curve is balanced but external play sessions can be expensive to organize & the test reports can return a lot of “false positives” which can lead your designers on the wrong path. So the ‘skip mission’ reduces risk in case you’re lacking time to pin-point difficulty “curving” issues with specific parts of your game during play-test sessions.

Take note that you still have to have to implement a solid progression curve and invest time on maintaining it throughout production but the ‘skip mission’ is a way to guarantee, if you miss something, your players will still have the chance to experience the full game.

If they complete the first one, they more likely to buy the sequel.
On a business stand-point, giving the ability to your players to skip a mission and experience the full game’s narrative curve will probably entice them to buy the sequel. By giving the player the chance to immersive himself into your game’s narrative space will entice him to go back into it if there’s extensions to the brand, later on.

Might be able to remove the difficulty settings.
In certain cases, you might be able to remove the “dreaded” difficulty settings window, one less feature to maintain.


  • If you decide to implement a skip mission feature into your game, do it early in your development stage for better ROI.
  • If you have a reward system, don’t punish the player for skipping a mission, I recommend to simply normalize any “end of mission” perks to a medium player performance.

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