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The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

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Lesson 2 of 10
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The Game Consists of Elements / The Elements Support a Theme / The Game Begins with an Idea / The Game Improves through Iteration

Matthew Colon October 14, 2020
  1. Have you used your subconscious in the past for game design or other creative projects? How can you personally make better use of it going forward?
    1. As Christians, in addition to a “personal relationship” with our subconscious, how can we tap into our personal relationship with Christ when it comes to game design?
  2. How have you approached brainstorming in the past? What specific brainstorming tips from do you feel you need to incorporate into your future brainstorming efforts?
  3. How are you currently incorporating the Rule of the Loop in your projects? What improvements can you make on your iteration?
  4. Do you tend to prototype your games or jump right into making the final version? What specific prototyping tips do you feel are the most impactful for your scenario?


Pick some of the lenses below and discuss their questions in regards to your own game projects:

Lens #9: The Lens of the Elemental Triad

  • Is my game design using elements of all four types?
  • Could my design be improved by enhancing elements in one or more of the categories?
  • Are the four elements in harmony, reinforcing each other and working together toward a common theme?

Lens #10: The Lens of Holographic Design

  • What elements of the game make the experience enjoyable?
  • What elements of the game detract from the experience?
  • How can I change game elements to improve the experience?

Lens #11: The Lens of Unification

  • What is my theme?
  • Am I using every means possible to reinforce that theme?

Lens #12: The Lens of Resonance

  • What is it about my game that feels powerful and special?
  • When I describe my game to people, what ideas get them really excited?
  • If I had no constraints of any kind, what would this game be like?
  • I have certain instincts about how this game should be. What is driving those instincts?

Lens #13: The Lens of Infinite Inspiration

  • What is an experience I have had in my life that I would want to share with others?
  • In what small way can I capture the essence of that experience and put it into my game?

Lens #14: The Lens of the Problem Statement

  • What problem, or problems, am I really trying to solve?
  • Have I been making assumptions about this game that really have nothing to do with its true purpose?
  • Is a game really the best solution? Why?
  • How will I be able to tell if the problem is solved?

Lens #15: The Lens of the Eight Filters

  • Does this game feel right?
  • Will the intended audience like this game enough?
  • Is this a well-designed game?
  • Is this game novel enough?
  • Will this game sell?
  • Is it technically possible to build this game?
  • Does this game meet our social and community goals?
  • Do the playtesters enjoy this game enough?

Lens #16: The Lens of Risk Mitigation

  • What could keep this game from being great?
  • How can we stop that from happening?

Lens #17: The Lens of the Toy

  • If my game had no goal, would it be fun at all? If not, how can I change that?
  • When people see my game, do they want to start interacting with it, even before they know what to do? If not, how can I change that?

Lens #18: The Lens of Passion

  • Am I filled with blinding passion about how great this game will be?
  • If I’ve lost the passion, can I find it again?
  • If the passion isn’t coming back, shouldn’t I be doing something else?