Talk:Game mechanics

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This doesn't say anything.

There you go... I've added 1,300 meaty words. Better? :-) -dmmaus 11:06, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think a definition of game mechanics needs to incorporate the idea of fun. As far as video games are concerned it helps to distinguish the thousands of rules that are in the background (after all a computer program is just a huge set of rules)from the meta level rules that turn a game into a enjoyable and meaningful activity. --Jacobmph 17:59, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Metagame mechanics[edit]

I have heard the term 'metagame mechanics', but I have not been able to understand what it is. Perhaps someone could add an explanation, either in this article or a new one on the subject? SpectrumDT 13:41, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Meta-game mechanics would be the mechanics of meta games, that is, games about games (or something like that). Meta game mechanics would be mechanics (a framework of rules) for generating game mechanics. I'm not sure what both things should mean in detail, though. HTH — TowerDragon 22:48, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
See also metamechanicsTowerDragon 23:06, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Catchup logic[edit]

Many games contain a form of catch-up logic, allowing players who are left behind (or unlucky) to stay in the competition. Such a mechanic is often seen in computer racing games, where the race leaders vehicle have a lower top speed. Another example is the board game Powergrid, where the game order is changed to make the weakest players go first when buying resources. Loeffe

Good point! I've added a section about this. -dmmaus 22:47, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


Not to be nitpicky (actually, I guess that's exactly the purpose of this...) but I haven't seen any sources for this cited... I might try to find some sources at a later date, but I tend to be pretty lazy, so don't expect anything. NHammen 02:47, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what sort of sources you want. The article is basically a descriptive list of facts. You don't need to refer to a source to know that some games use dice to control movement, for example. However, if you can find sources, please do add them in. -dmmaus 04:32, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

"Game mechanics fall into several more or less well-defined categories."

To me this implies that these are what most game designers recognise as being the basic components to all games, not just a descriptive list of facts. I don't see any mention of balance here either except in one of it's forms as catch-up. NHammen 22:35, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Well I don't have an academic-style reference, but it's fairly well-known in the gaming community that there are several classes of game mechanic, that line up pretty well with what's in this article. The basic ones are pretty obvious to anyone. I based some of the sections on game mechanics defined by BoardGameGeek. I'm sure there are references for these categorisations, but books on the theory of game design are few and far between. Rules of Play and Game Design Workshop are likely sources, but I've not read them (yet).
The point about game balance is good - I've added a reference to it in the introduction, since there's an article on it already. -dmmaus 04:00, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

This article isn't about game mechanics. It's about elements of static game like RPG. What's about sports, what's about 3d action game (platform, first person shooter, RTS)?Vapour

Gamemechanics v.s. Gameplay[edit]

Sorry for inserting fair bit of unreference material in Engrish. But I believe distinction between game design (gameplay) and game programing (gamemechanics) is a useful conceptual framework. Hope someone can expand more on this very interesting topics. Vapour

a bit too prescriptive[edit]

This article seems to mostly present a taxonomy and set of distinctions as if they were widely accepted (though without citations), while in actuality there's considerable disagreement on the matter, and I think it'd be fair to say that analyzing games and the game-design process is still in its early stages. There have been some proposals, such as a mechanics-dynamics-aesthetics split, or the idea of "core mechanic" in Rules of Play, which would be useful to review in a more descriptive sense with citations, acknowledging that it's still an open area. --Delirium (talk) 01:20, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Dubious addition[edit]

I've removed the following unsourced addition as it seems highly dubious. Who created this classification? What about all the other types of game not covered by this taxonomy? How about word plays, simulation games, games based on pure physical activity...? Diego (talk) 18:13, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

==Broad types of game == The majority of games fall into three categories 'Race, Place or Chase/War or combinations of the three.[citation needed] Three examples :- Ludo is a simple Race game with a Capture ie Chase element'. Both Tic-Tac-Toe and Go are strict game of placement with no secondary moves. The majority of computer-based strategy games are definitely of the Chase or War category. Both Robert Charles Bell and Harold James Ruthven Murray use these major categories. Bell separates Mancala games from the Race category and also has Dice and Domino categories. In addition, there is the large sub-genre of Solitaire and Puzzle games.

Mechanic or Mechanism[edit]

Shall we discuss this? It seems there is some push and pull on this topic. Quoting from page 4 of "Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design" by Adams & Dormans: "Game designers are perfectly comfortable talking about a game mechanic in the singular form. They don't mean a person who repairs game engines! Instead, they are referring to a single game mechanism that governs a certain game element. In this book, we prefer to use mechanism as the singular form, indicating a single set of game rules associated with a single game element or interaction."[1]

Personally, I prefer mechanism for the singular form, especially after reading the definition of mechanic[2]. However, there is much use of mechanic in game literature. See for instance McGuire & Jenkins[3] and Sicart[4]. RareEntity (talk) 09:29, 24 August 2014 (UTC)


Found this article about game design, it may be interesting. [1] Diego (talk) 18:48, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

And a couple of videos, found at this comment page:

[2] [3]

Diego (talk) 18:50, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

An excellent article titled Defining Game Mechanics[4] RareEntity (talk) 09:29, 24 August 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Adams, Ernest; Dormans, Joris (2012). Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design. California: New Riders Games, an imprint of Peachpit. ISBN 978-0-321-82027-3. 
  2. ^ "mechanic, n.". Retrieved August 24, 2014. "1. a person who repairs and maintains machinery, motors, etc.: an automobile mechanic. 2. a worker who is skilled in the use of tools, machines, equipment, etc." 
  3. ^ McGuire, Morgan; Jenkins, Odest Chadwicke (2009). Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology. Wellesley, MA: A.K. Peters, Ltd. ISBN 978-1568813059. 
  4. ^ a b Miguel Sicart. "Defining Game Mechanics". Retrieved August 24, 2014.