Category: Glossary

Designer’s glossary: Swingy (effects)

Swingy also swinginess/ ˈswɪŋi / adjective A swingy effect is any effect whose power varies wildly depending on external factors (e.g. current state of the game board or resources, number of players etc.) With swingy effects, the power levels for the best case and the worst case are too far apart, and because of that,…
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Designer’s glossary: Narrative mechanics (TTRPG)

narrative mechanics[ˈnær ə tɪv məˈkæn ɪks], [nar-uh-tiv muh-kan-iks] noun A bridge between the events that characters within the game are experiencing and the narration of said events by the players. Narrative mechanics are definitions for triggers that get activated when something happens in the narrative being described, linking that event to concrete game mechanics that…
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Designer’s glossary: design space

design space\ dɪˈzʌɪn speɪs \ noun Design space is a measure of how many meaningful* variations of a mechanic or effect can exist within a game. When applied to a game, it also describes the amount of mechanics that the rules can support. Often, testing out the different variations of a mechanic/effect is referred to as…
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Designer’s glossary: A+B mechanics

A+B mechanics also enabler-payoff mechanics/ eɪ plʌs biː / noun A+B mechanics are mechanics which are made of 2 distinct and separate parts, namely the enabler (A) and payoff (B). These mechanics require both parts to be combined to have any meaningful effect or benefit. Now, A+B is mostly a sliding scale, i.e. the individual usefulness of…
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Designer’s glossary: Overhead

overhead also overhead cost\ ˈō-vər-ˌhed \ noun An amount of complexity or tracking in a game’s system that isn’t necessarily part of the meaningful decision-making a player does while playing the game. Overhead is never beneficial to gameplay, and as such should be avoided if possible, or at least mitigated otherwise. Usually, the overhead cost is…
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Designer’s glossary: non-choice

One-time disclaimer on this first post – scroll down to the About section to learn more about the project and how You can contribute! non-choice[nɒn-tʃɔɪs],[non-; nan-chois] noun The act of presenting your players with multiple options, one of which one is strictly better than the rest. This can either be done intentionally, in order to test…
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