Good Game Design

There is no such thing as good game design.
Bad game design also does not exist.
We simply confuse things we enjoy with things that are good.

Games intend to create a bunch of feelings.
They can succeed or fail at that for some people.
No game will evoke the exact same feelings in everyone.

When playing a game, it is very easy to look at its mechanics and declaring them to be “good” or “bad” based on your own, personal experience.

It gets even worse when many people enjoy a game and talk about why they enjoy it.
They shift discussion from “how was intent realised” to “why we love this thing”.

This can help people understand why someone enjoys something they themselves dont, but it often presents the methods employed by that specific game as “good”, while deriding other methods as “bad”.

Buying into this way of thinking limits our ability to create:

We slowly forget that we can intend infinite things and that we can realise intent in inifinite ways.

In the last year I have started to realise that all the game design methodologies, guidelines and rules I have internalised are simply building blocks.
They can be used, transformed and twisted in any way I want and are not unchangable words of wisdom.

They are the ghosts of successful games.

They can guide me, but they should not be followed blindly.
Inherent in them are old intentions and ways of thinking that describe some things as “good” and others as “bad”.

To create as freely as possible, I need to examine those old rules and methods carefully and be very cautious to not glorify them as good or dismiss them as bad.
They should be seen as what they are:

Old attemtps at realising intent