Gameplay loop: Definition of successful games

Welcome back to our Game Dev Coffee Chat! In this blog post we talk about our game development process and a bit about gameplay loop. We even have a special treat at the end if you stick around until then! Anyone who has worked in indie game development or start-up environments knows that making a new game requires a lot if you want to have any kind of success, but at the heart of every successful game is something we call core gameplay loop. Other aspects of a successful gaming project includes art, game design, music and sound effects, project management and programming. Let’s start with defining what gameplay loop is and why it is a vital part of every game.

Defining gameplay loop

Core gameplay loop is something most of us take for granted in games and do not even recognize its existence, but the truth is that this requires a lot of planning from game developers. Gameplay loop is the “flow” of the game. What this means is all the actions you take in the game as a player, in The Forgotten Guardians case this is defined simply by player building towers, starting a new level and defeating waves of enemies. This is the core gameplay loop over-simplified, there are other aspects to it as well, but we are not going to talk about those in this post. 

Why is this gameplay loop important?

Now arises the question why is this gameplay loop important and the answer is simple: It is the actions players spend most of the time taking in the game and thus most of the actual gameplay. Gameplay loop defines your games genre, is designed to grab attention and be rewarding. If your gameplay loop is flawed, it doesn’t matter how awesome your game’s art or story is. 

Think of a game where you suddenly are not required to do the core mechanic of the game. Lets use a first-person-shooter game as an example: You have your crosshair placed and waiting to spot an enemy, next you spot this enemy and move your crosshair to target them. Next you press the mouse left click to shoot, but nothing happens. Your gameplay loop is broken. This is again an over-simplified description of the broken core gameplay loop, but the point of this example was to think if this would be enjoyable gameplay? Probably not.

This is why the core gameplay loop is so important for any game to succeed, because without it your game is broken. Broken game is an unfinished game and will probably drive all the players away when a player figures out that the game’s flow is not taken into consideration in the designing process. For anyone working in indie game development or tinkering with your own game development process in your spare time: Start the design process with the gameplay loop in mind. It saves a lot of time later on the process and makes the whole project easier by having definitive designing goals.

How is The Forgotten Guardians game development process going?

The Forgotten Guardians is coming along great! We are making a huge process every day. Our team is full of enthusiasm and working as hard as we can. This leads to the announcement that we are targeting to launch a demo version of our game by the end of this year! We can’t give an exact date at this time for the launch of the demo, nor guarantee the launch before end of the year, but the important thing here is that we are trying our best and setting up smaller, more attainable goals along the game development process.

This concept of setting up smaller goals does not only apply to game development. This applies to everything in our lives. Setting up small goals along the way is much more attainable than looking to accomplish the end goal straight away. It is important to keep the end goal in mind, but thriving forward to it is much more manageable in small steps, rather than trying to leap to the end of the story straight away. 

Think of it like your favorite book: All the meat and bones of the story is in the middle, that is where you are rewarded, not in the start, nor in the end if you enjoyed the book. That’s why you set up smaller individual goals to accomplish along the way and reward yourself, like we are trying to do with our demo release by giving the whole team an early christmas present!

What's next in the development of The Forgotten Guardians?

We will keep working on attaining our goal of releasing the demo and keep building the final product! We have a few surprises in store for the players of the game in our core gameplay loop, but we do not want to spoil everything here! Another treat for our readers and followers of our social media accounts is that we are planning to release an interview with one of our game designers with the demo release. This is your chance to ask questions about game design, or anything that comes to mind. Best place to leave your questions is on our Twitter or Instagram. Leaving a comment here is also a possibility.

Remember to follow our social media accounts HERE and stay up to date when we post something new. Links can be found here. Stay tuned for the next Game Dev Coffee Chat and thanks for reading!

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