informa
/
Design
News

Tricks of the trade: Devs reveal how their games fool players

Game designer Jennifer Scheurle threw back the game design curtain on Friday by asking her fellow devs one simple question: what brilliant game mechanics have you hidden from players? 

Game designer Jennifer Scheurle threw back the game design curtain on Friday by asking her fellow devs one simple question: what brilliant game mechanics have you hidden from players? 

The query soon caught the eye of Twitter's resident game makers, who severed up a buffet of fascinating answers that reveal how -- and more importantly why -- they've tricked players over the years. 

Most admit to telling a few fibs here and there to create more engaging and less frustrating experiences, while others point to curious mechanics that've been included purely for the hell of it. 

For instance, BioShock creator Ken Levine explained the game's enemies will deliberately miss their first shot to avoid punishing unaware players.

Sticking with the dystopian series, BioShock creative director Paul Hellquist revealed players were made invulnerable for around 1 to 2 seconds if they were on their last legs to create more intense near-death scrapes. 

Bossa co-founder Henrique Olifiers recalled how the studio's wacky effort Surgeon Simulator would actually ring a player's real-world phone if they dialled the number in-game, allowing them to unlock a hidden level. 

Campo Santo's lead artist Jane Ng explained how not responding to a dialogue prompt in Firewatch was a noted choice designed make players feel as if ignoring someone had tangible consequenses. 

While Ikenfell developer Chevy Ray explained why gravity has a time-delay in some platformers, and claimed that the best in the genre often play so well because they're actually ignoring our frequent slip-ups. 

There are loads more responses over on Twitter, so if these tidbits have tickled your fancy go and check out the complete thread right here

Latest Jobs

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
08.27.21
Combat Designer

Xbox Graphics

Redmond, Washington
08.27.21
Senior Software Engineer: GPU Compilers

Insomniac Games

Burbank, California
08.27.21
Systems Designer

Deep Silver Volition

Champaign, Illinois
08.27.21
Senior Environment Artist
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more