Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics!

As a Game Designer, you really should have a library of games to reference from, play test from, to learn from their mistakes, learn what they did well, and implement that into the games you design.

For my Intro to Game Design class, we have been tasked with either playing and or researching three games, and making a organized Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics Design document of each one.

Although I only got a chance to play a little bit of two of the three games, it was still a nice experience to get to finally play games again. But it was also a different experience as I was playing them for a totally different reason, which was to analyze the game design of them. As I mentioned in the previous post I had talked about this, the games we are required to review are:


Below you will find my analysis's of each game based off the overall design of the game.


Developers: Mojang / Microsoft
Platforms: PC / Mac / Xbox / Playstation / Rasp Pi
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Sandbox / Survival
Modes: Single-player / Multiplayer

  • Gravity in the Minecraft world is 3x than Earth's gravity.
  • Maps are 128 by 128
  • The Minecraft world is at least 60 million mm’s on its side and maybe even wider.
  • Angle of the Sun changes as your latitude changes.
  • Building, crafting and recipe knowledge
  • The crafting system can help kids improve their math skills. If players want to create a fully powered beacon, they will need to mathematically calculate amounts of materials they need to create the beacon, which is 9 times {∑i=1~i=4 (2i+1)2}.
  • Building structures with blocks will help in learning length, width, and height. The game also helps with understanding the concepts of volume and area.
  • This game is based around 3D Graphing, using the X,Y, and Z coordinates, which helps with learning high-leveled math such as the Pythagorean theorem.
  • Experimenting with Note Blocks can help with learning about notes, octaves, and chords.
  • Minecraft is an interactive environment to build basic logic circuits and combine them for more sophisticated purposes.
  • Playing against your friends, building things together or fighting each other.
  • Social Skills are developed when playing with other friends on a server.
  • Great for teaching kids how to read as items have tooltips and images that go together.
  • Players can use a Book and Quill within the game to keep a log and or communicate information to other players.
  • Open world Sandbox lets you create and be in control of your own world.
  • Developing skills and reasoning which bring out a sense of design and engineering to the players.
  • Sense Pleasure - A sense of reward after completing a complicated build. A sense of ownership to your own world that you built.
  • Fantasy - Players are able to build things they would never be able to build in real life.
  • Challenge - Crafting items and building complicated worlds and tools.
  • Fellowship - Letting friends and others onto your server, either building things together or playing in the different game modes.
  • Competition - Destroying other players hard work, and killing other players.
  • Discovery/Exploration - Playing on different game modes, joining new servers, meeting new people
  • Expression - Being able to express yourself by crafting and building unique structures. Building your own worlds the way you want to build them. Being able to build your favorite real life structures into a video game.
  • Abnegation - Constant grind for materials and experience and to earn rank.
  • Minecraft is a great game to play and a perfect example on how just a little creativity can go a long way. Just look where Minecraft is at today, and remind yourself that it was made by a Indie Developer. Minecraft is today’s generations virtual Lego’s and is teaching are younger and older generations math, engineering, geology, and even social skills. While researching this game, what really amazed me, was the amount of patience, building skills, planning, and time that went into some of these wild and amazing structures I’ve seen. Overall, design wise, Minecraft is a great game with tons of future potential.


Developers: ThatGameCompany / Tricky Pixels (PS4)

Publishers: Sony Computer Entertainment

Engine: PhyreEngine

Platforms: Playstation 3 / 4
Release Date: PS3 - 3/13/2012 // PS4 - 7/21/2015
Genre: Adventure / Art Game
Modes: Single-player / Multiplayer

  • Scarf that allows for flight.
  • Finding more glyphs gives your more scarfs
  • Whistle to produce sounds as a way of communication or to activate things in the game.
  • Player controlled camera.
  • Multiplayer perks, when players approach each other they charge one another's scarves. They can also activate strips of cloth or show paths to the other player but cannot hinder each other.
  • Individual players can be told apart by unique symbols on the players robes or are floating in the air when the player sings.
  • Very unique Multiplayer. It facilitates cooperation between the players without forcing it, and allowing competition. Showing a very positive side of humanity in one another as you explore with one another.
  • Artistic Vision. The game was made to awe the player in their surroundings, making them feel small in the process.
  • Challenging obstacles.
  • Uncovering secrets
  • Short and sweet
  • Narrative - Epic story-line, with very visual representation of the story. Nameless cloaked traveler, and throughout your journey, find out more about you.
  • Sense Pleasure - Epic art and music. The sounds actually make the game play come more alive.
  • Fantasy - This is something you would not be able to do in real life, but the gameplay is so immersive and the artwork is so beautiful, you can not help but to get sucked into the world, and pause every now and then to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Challenge - Besides a quick few minor tutorials in the beginning, you have to figure the rest of the game out on your own. It’s a Journey, get it. There are many challenging obstacles as well as having to figure out how to use the controls.
  • Discovery / Exploration - Through the roof. You literally have to journey around without any sense of direction except for a really high and shiny mountain off in the distance. You literally must discover everything in this game as you journey throughout the land and exploring new areas.
  • Abnegation - This a game that is short but sweet. I highly would recommend anyone who has a night off and owns a Playstation that want’s to play an amazing game, to play Journey. It’s a little effort for a big reward. You can literally wander for hours, exploring.
  • With a new way to look at online play capability, this game is definitely like most of the reviews have stated. Short but sweet and really overall a power expression through presentation, music, and art. This game will be a go down in the history books as one of the most visually pleasing and well designed games. After having read many reviews and watch many videos on this game, the best way someone described it in an article I read was that, “The meaning of life is not something that can be said, but something that has to be experienced.”

Cursed Treasure

Author: Iriy Soft / Armor Games

Genre: Strategy / Tower Defense

Published: 05 / 06 / 2010

Modes: Single-player

  • Different Levels forces the players to strategize.
  • Waves of enemies that come at you in a timely fashion that the player can control.
  • Receiving gold for enemies that are killed to use to build more defenses or upgrades.
  • Gaining “Mana” to use for spells, cutting down landscape to build up more defenses, or a spell.
  • The enemies have health bars, and take damage. Some enemies are stronger or faster than others.
  • Stats after each level beaten is presented, such as Enemies destroyed, Waves destroyed, and Gems Saved.
  • After you beat each level you gain experience, which levels you up, which in turn give you skill points to spend in your skill tree.
  • Upgrading your defenses takes strategy, as you want to beef up your defenses but not waste all your gold on them at the same time.
  • Build up your defenses give you a sense of responsibility of protecting your town and treasure.
  • Having to strategically place your defense towers and upgrade them accordingly in a timely fashion.
  • After you beat levels you have a overall skill tree that you can modify and upgrade to your liking.
  • The different types of enemies give the player a variety of challenges of finding ways to properly build your defenses.
  • Bragging rights with a High Score system which allows for competition.
  • Fantasy - Protecting your treasure from intruders.
  • Challenge - Waves of enemies, and progressively harder levels
  • Competition - Beating the Game / Highest level bragging rights
  • Expression - Custom Skill Tree
  • Abnegation - Requires mostly clicking / Not too much thought

  • Overall this is a very simple, yet addicting tower defense game that is great for all ages. It can teach young kids simple math and problem solving all the way to giving adults something to play to kill some time. It is definitely very challenging towards the end as the enemies get harder and the waves get bigger as you progress throughout the levels. Because the design is simple, and is easy to learn how to play, makes it a great example of a well thought out and designed video game.

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