Lens #16: The Lens of Risk Mitigation

The lens #16, the lens of risk mitigation from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses written by Jesse Schell. If you buy books through the links int this article I will get a small commission for that.

First of all, this lens is about figuring out the worst-case scenarios, what could go wrong, or what could hold my game back from being great. This is to stop thinking positively about my game. Tim Ferriss also has this in his book The 4 Hour Workweek, to overcome the fear he suggest to write down the biggest nightmare you can imagine could happen if you, for example, quit your job and start an own business and from there mitigate those risks and find solutions. And it is also about testing your ideas with prototypes. There are similarities in these books. One is game design the other is about automating your company. About 80:20. Fascinating.

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

My levels might be boring to play. So I started a series of mini levels. My first mini levels are all about the double-barrel shotgun. I keep them minimalistic to test if the levels are fun or boring to play. they are super minimalistic and super quickly done. Perfect for prototyping. It’s already clear that this might be fun, as I can motivate people for speed runs. It’s fun because you can pick up the gun and ammo and while you jump up to the platform with enemies your gun is ready and loaded. This leads to a possible smooth speedrun through a level.

I don’t have enough surprises and interactive things. One of the problems is you can leave a room without killing anything in it. Not sure if I want that. To hinder that I could have doors that open after I killed all enemies. But is this fun? I will quickly implement a “reached goal system” to find out if this is the right way. The goal system can be triggered by enemies linked to it or a simple switch. The goal system simply opens the door to the next level.

The graphical appearance is probably my main problem. I will experiment with different styles of simple blocks. And make the battle engaging the player with massive effects. Keep an eye on small details like papers that whirl up in the air will you pass. Make the ejected shells more vivid by adding a bit more random.

So there are a couple of things I would like to test:

The levels have to be addictive and be playable in many different ways. This is not just the look but also the feel of it. The player needs a reward for every accomplished goal.

I get a small commissions for purchases made through the following links, I only have books in this section which I bought myself and which I love. No bullshit.


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