Designing video games is a lot harder than people think. Even avid gamers probably have very little knowledge of everything that goes in to making a great game. We’re talking more than just good stories, big name voice actors, or flashy graphics. There are finely tuned design decisions that can be the difference between a game being genuinely enjoyable, and even addictive, or one that ends up collecting dust on the Used Games shelf at GameStop.
Many of these subtle design tricks were revealed in this Twitter thread, started by game designer Jennifer Scheurle, about hidden game design brilliance. We love games here at Goliath, but we have to admit that we had no idea about almost all of these. If you’ve ever wondered what sort of tricks are used to make video games enjoyable, check out this list of brilliant design tactics used my developers.
14. Last Hit Points Worth Extra Health
You’ve all been there — just barely escaping a grueling battle skirmish by the skin of your teeth, a solitary sliver of health left in your character. As you exhale deeply, scour the map for more health, and let your adrenaline wear off, you probably have no idea that the game was designed to create this exact moment.
Many games, such as Assassin’s Creed and Doom, make the last few ticks of health worth double (or even triple) the regular amount. The result is that gamers end up with that feeling of just barely surviving, which is both exhilarating and makes for a memorable gaming moment. In reality, if the in-game hit points worked consistently, you probably would have been dead a couple minutes earlier.