Wer die Kolumne lieber auf deutsch lesen mag, kann sich Jerrys Übersetzung reinziehen. Wie gut die allerdings ist, steht auf einen anderen Blatt... Hier also das Original!


1) No Piddling Distinctions
If something is worth doing, it's worth doing Big. Plenty of would-be designers sprinkle their games with marginal bonuses adding +5% to strength, or +2% to speed, or some other puny difference. Take a hint from Quake -the damage boost in that game doesn't add +10% or so to damage, it quadruples it! As a result, the Quad-damage is a major factor in play. Don't mess around. When you're handing the player a boost, make it a big one.

2) The Right To Have Fun
Too many games force the player to earn their fun. The first twenty minutes are wasted running through practice sessions, reading lengthy tomes on How To Play, or wandering around aimlessly. Watch any good film - it hooks you immediately in a critical scene, often before the opening credits. The game must be fun right at the very beginning. If you don't hook players then, only super-fans will have the stomach to continue and learn the game. The bargain bins are full of games catering to super-fans.

3) Show Me, Don't Tell Me
Is someone bad? Have them do something bad to the player. Is someone good? Have them give stuff to the player or otherwise be nice. Don't rely on a player to agree with your value perceptions, even if you feel they're based on reality. And for heaven's sake don't rely on stereotypes to provide this information. Even if the villains are Satanist Nazis, have them ACT in a vile fashion.

4) Three Strikes And You're Out
If the player is making a decision that can cost him the game, try to give him at least three chances to escape his fate. For instance, in a roleplaying game, you might first have a villager warn the player about the dragon up ahead. Then, if he doesn't turn back, he might see the dragon in the distance, doing something powerful, like burning down a castle. If he still doesn't turn back, then he gets to fight the dragon, as his third chance.

5) It's Always The Player's Fault
When a player loses, he must always feel that it was HIS fault, and NOT that the game somehow cheated him. He must feel that if he goes back into the game, and does better, that he'll win. It's very easy to make a game seem unfair, and this has nothing to do with whether the game actually cheats. The game Civilization cheats relentlessly, but almost everyone feels it's fair.