Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Any game of appreciable size needs a mini-game, and this one is ours!

We're calling it the "Treasure Mushroom".  Use the multi-touch to knock the piñata, then collect the treasures that are hidden inside!

It's a great way to give the player a random reward without resorting to a gambling metaphor like a roulette wheel or slot machine.

What makes a good mini-game?

I'm a big believer in the so called "Rational Game Design" approach.  In particular, the variety matrix. It suggests you can break down your game into a number of axes, such as time-pressure, activity, space modifier, etc.

It then provides a recipe for combining those axes into novel variations.  This aids the game designer's evaluation process and helps find the combinations which work the best.

Under this framework, the mini-game is part of "exotic gameplay".  It changes the pace of the game by  giving the player a new challenge, or a much needed break.

The mini-game must also be very easy to learn, and never punish the player, only reward.

Lastly, your mini-game must remain thematically similar to your main game.  In "ScooterBoy", both the main-game and the mini-game have 'collecting' as a central theme.

What's your favourite/least-favourite mini games? Why not let me know in the comments below?

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