Common Overused Game Elements


There is a number of elements that are overused in games, and a lot of them simply shouldn’t be used, such as my last point. Hopefully this tidbit will help your game avoid the scrap pile!

1. ) Sound Effects

I have seen excessive use of these in many games. They did not seem to care whether it sounds nice or not, they simply think to add a SFXs. In example, like tower defense game I played last night in my phone. The game is great, but the SFXs ruined it all. You know that TD games has a lots of enemies, right? This game plays SFXs every single time an enemy died. You could imagine how annoying that’d be. My suggestion is to play different kind of SFXs for each action, but play it once a time. Remember, sound effects are sound effects, not background music. Playing it too much will not only annoys the player, they’d also quit eventually, especially if your game doesn’t have a mute button. So please, pay more attention to this.

2. ) Same-movement’ed Objects

What I mean is objects with same movements in a room, like AIs. Usually, the AIs would move to a same direction, with same movement speed, and with even same animation! Hey, this is a game, not choreography. This, beside disfeature the game’s visual,  will also confuse the player. You know, like the hypnotic spiral? They all moved at the same time, creating an effect which’ll either hypnotize you or confuse you. I’ve read about this one in a health and psychology book. The only way to prevent this, as stated before, is to set a different movement speed of each object, or make different animations, or even reduce the amount of those ‘Same-movement’ed objects!

 3. ) Repetitive Level Design

This happened to me in my last jam game, Pixhroom. The levels were not entirely the same, but it has the same aspect, zig-zag jumping. This kind of excessive things is really unprofessional and boring. The player would find no challenge in the game anymore, and will soon quit from your game. Especially in puzzle games, repetitive challenge and solving would ease the gameplay (in a negative way), and poof. No more challenges, no more players. I suggest you to add a new item or feature in every 3-5 levels (the less the better), to keep the player entertained, and the game would be ‘refreshed’ every time we add a new feature.

About the author:
Hiznopellagio is a GMC-user, and has been making a platformer called Pixhroom for the GMC Jam 11: http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=589112#entry4346824. He also submitted an article a while ago. He has a blog here: http://hizn.tumblr.com/.

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One thought on “Common Overused Game Elements

  1. I think these are all true but slightly off the mark. They’re really all just repetition. Using the SAME sound effect for something dying, or using the SAME basic level, or using the SAME AI movement. While it is true that this is very common, it can be solved by having a basic pool of things that you take from. You can have a set animations that the AI randomly draws from or sounds that the deaths randomly play (usually 3 is sufficient).

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