made up game design terms

by stuffed wombat


The feeling that sets in when you are repeating an action over and over again, thinking that there might be a different reaction after the 100th repetition.

Knocking on this door feels endful. Players should only be able to knock once.

Anticipated Repetition Fatigue

The moment when you sigh and kind of mentally slump because you see a level that contains a large amount of puzzle elements that you already know, indicating that there is no puzzle to be solved, only a path to be found.



A hard, self-imposed challenge made with available game objects. Players commit to completing it, hoping that the developers have anticipated this and that their voluntary efforts will be acknowledged.

I went on this insane hoperation where I only walked backwards and i found a secret ending! The developers love me!


Thinking less of a game because its story offers nothing more than a reskin of Peach being abducted.

Again? Well, lets see if the jump feels nice…


A story that was reverse engineered out of the games mechanics.

Oh. There was a story?


Changing aspects of or adding elements to your game for the sole purpose of making cooler gifs for social media.

We wasted a whole week with gificating and we still do not know what our core mechanic is


The moment in which you realise that the developer you admired and aspired to emulate is currently broke, frustrated and creatively stuck.

I am very sorry that this turned into a herohno. Thanks for your kind words though.


Being unable to think about games in any other context than their core mechanic and neglecting everything else.

They are extremely coresessed. Their games always end up kind of empty.


Having unrealistic expectations of your games eventual financial success and constantly talking about stardew valley.

Yes, but…


Believing that the ironic capitalist presentation of Devolver Digital is ironic.

I have devolveritis and all their merch.


The moment when a big youtuber plays your game and sales do not increase at all because people are only watching for the personality and do not care about the games.

Markiplier was responsible for our biggest influending so far.


The feeling of despair when players are unable to understand your game because they did not notice the hints you thought to be extremely obvious (they are actually barely there and you only see them because you lived in your game during development).

I never want to be exdepressed again, so I am being extremely obvious with my intentions


Mentioning or directly referencing other media in the hopes of getting compared to it.

We mimicraved hard and they wrote that is was -Lynchian-! Success!


Mental unwellness coming from only prototyping and never finishing anything, endlessly cycling over the same part of game development, not learning anything substantially new.

I developed protothyroid, so i just took a break and had some real life experiences and now I am feeling okay again.


The developers overwhelming desire to assigned as many uses as possible to a single mechanic without regard for player experience, in order to feel “design smart”

All the games by this dev are Amalgamechanicamourous and kind of impossible to understand.


The dread that comes from having a gif of a prototype going viral and then realising that the prototype is impossible to realise with your current skillset and/or has fundamental design flaws, while also feeling like you have to keep working on it because of the extremely positive response.

After it got frontpaged on reddit, the viranxiety became unbearable.


The satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment after finally having read game design theory again and feeling like your horizon has been widened.

I wish i was addicted to theorelief instead of twitter.


The belief that one can absorb useful information from talks by having them running constantly in the background while one works on games.
I have been proxorbing GDC talks for 10 years now.


The moment when you realise something fundamentally new about how games are financed and made and sold, causing an intense feeling-cocktail of regret, forehead-slapping, self loathing, desire to shift the direction of your game and optimism.

I have had my 3rd crumblisation this year and I do not want any more please.

Thanks for reading.