Designer’s glossary: Overhead

Designer’s glossary: Overhead

overhead also overhead cost
\ ˈō-vər-ˌhed \


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 created by actions that a player needs to do, but doesn’t actually like or want to do, since they don’t really contribute to the fun of the gameplay itself.

Antonym: N/A

3 Responses

  1. […] of mid-text symbols doesn’t really help either, considering that’s still parsing overhead even if you properly know the rules. Speaking of flags, one has to wonder what’s the deal […]

  2. […] if it’s unavoidable, try keeping it the simplest it can be. Here, simple means minimizing the overhead that the tracking creates for the players. Don’t let the tracking take over most of the […]

  3. […] the overhead cost of multiple smaller things tends to add up quickly. In comparison, a single, bigger thing to track […]

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