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Why Learn Game Mechanics? Game Mechanics 101

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Welcome to game mechanics 101! Today, we are going to talk about the "why" of game mechanics. Why is this something to even know about? We have a few reasons for you to think about before we dive into the first mechanic next week.

Want to skip reading? Watch the video here!

Learning New Games Has this ever happened to you? You open a new game, look at the rule book, and are immediately daunted by its size. When you start at square one, the rules can be long and confusing. Years ago, it took us hours to figure out how to play Agricola before we discovered a how to play video online. How to play videos are life savers in learning a game.  Now that we have played Agricola, we pick up worker placement games very easily. They function in very similar ways and knowing the mechanic has given us a head start on learning new games that use the same mechanics.

Game Descriptions Let's stick with our Agricola example. When people ask me what kind of game Agricola is, I tell them it is a worker placement game about farming. I have the vocabulary to give a short, concise description. It also helps when choosing new games. We know that if a game says it is a worker placement game, there is a good chance we will enjoy it because we have liked others in that genre. Our family doesn't really enjoy bluffing games though, so we tend to avoid those. Designing Games If you are interested in game design, you should be trying as many game mechanics as possible. A limited exposure to games gives you a limited number of ideas to draw from. The more mechanics you know, the more variety you can put in your designs. If you want to know more about board game design check out our Design a Game series here. Are you looking forward to learning some game mechanics? Leave us a comment about mechanics you love and some you want to learn more about! Also, join us next week for our first mechanic, drafting.

Week 02: Drafting

Week 03: Deck Building

Week 04: Worker Placement

Week 05: Tile Placement

Week 06: Roll & Write

Learn more game mechanics from our friends at Kid Splaining:

Tableau Building

Take That

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