Game Mechanics

  • Asymmetrical
    An asymmetrical games is one in which each player has a different number of pieces than the other player(s) or has pieces that move or function differently from those of the other player(s).
  • Auction game
    A game that features players bidding on resources as the main mechanism. Also called a bidding game
  • Pickup and Delivery
    This mechanic usually requires players to pick up an item or good at one location on the playing board and bring it to another location on the playing board. Initial placement of the item can be either predetermined or random. The delivery of the good usually gives the player money to do more actions with. In most cases, there is a game rule or another mechanic that determines where the item needs to go.
  • Roll and Move
    Board games in which a player’s token or tokens are moved based on results shown on a die or dice. Typical there is no way to mitigate the result.
  • Hidden Identity/Roles
    Players each gets a hidden identity or role that typical remain hidden from other players until required to be revealed. Various game mechanics are implemented within these type of games to create suspense, excitement, confusion and deduction elements.
  • Abstract games are without a theme. For example, checkers or chess is usually considered an abstract game.

  • Betting/Wagering games are games that encourage or require players to bet money (real or in-game) on certain outcomes within the game. The betting itself becomes part of the game.
  • Card drafting games are games where players pick cards from a limited subset, such as a common pool, to gain some immediate advantage or to assemble hands of cards that are used to meet objectives within the game.

    Games where cards are simply drawn from a pile are not card drafting games – drafting implies that players have some sort of choice. If they could only draw random cards however, it wouldn’t be drafting.
  • Co-operative play encourages or requires players to work together to beat the game. There is little or no competition between players. Either the players win the game by reaching a pre-determined objective, or all players lose the game, often by not reaching the objective before a certain event happens.

  • Deduction games are those that require players to form conclusions based on available premise. These games are quite varied, including several different types of logical reasoning.

  • Dexterity games often compete players’ physical reflexes and co-ordination as a determinant of overall success.

  • Dice rolling is a game by itself but as a game mechanic dice rolling in a game can be used for many things, randomness being the most obvious.

    Dice can also be used as counters; start at 6 (for a normal die: singular for dice) and turn it to 5 at the end of a round, single player’s turn etc. The dice themselves can be unique and different sizes, shapes and colors to represent different things.

    Normal 6 sided die is commonly referred to as a D6.
  • Engine Building are games in which you “build an engine”, something that starts producing points or goods more and more as the game goes by

  • Hand management games are games with cards in them that reward players for playing the cards in certain sequences or groups. The optimal sequence/grouping may vary, depending on board position, cards held and cards played by opponents. Managing your hand means gaining the most value out of available cards under given circumstances. Cards often have multiple uses in the game, further obfuscating an “optimal” sequence.

  • Luck Mitigation are an essential in game design these days. The roll of a dice is there to create the excitement, however does not determine the outcome necessarily, just provide you options to home your tactical or strategic choices.
  • Movement Programming In programming, every player must secretly choose the next ‘n’ turns, and then each player plays their turns out according to the choices made. A game has the programming mechanic if it provides choice of actions, preferably several, with a mechanism of executing those actions such that things could go spectacularly or amusingly wrong, because the status of the game changed in ways one did not anticipate, or hoped would not happen, before the action is executed.
  • Press Your Luck games are where you repeat an action (or part of an action) until you decide to stop due to increased (or not) risk of losing points or your turn. This type of games include both Risk Management and Risk Valuation, in which risk is driven by the game mechanisms and valuing how much other players value what you also want, respectively.

    This mechanic is also called push your luck.

  • Point to Point Movement On a board of a game with point-to-point movement, there are certain spots that can be occupied by markers or figurines, e. g. cities on a map. These points are connected by lines, and movement can only happen along these lines. It is not enough that two points are next to or close to each other; if there is no connecting line between them, a player cannot move his or her piece from one to the other.

  • Variable Player Powers is a mechanic that grants different abilities and/or paths to victory to the players

  • Set Collection mechanic’s primary goal is to encourage a player to collect a set of items.