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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Incremental Accretive Design

This is the practice of starting with an existing design (usually a big hit by the competition) and adding some tidbit to make it better. It is the primary method by which new games are produced. Now, most of the pressure to stay conventional comes from publishers who reason that God favors the product with the bigger bullet list, but this book is for designers, not publishers, and so I shall concentrate on the problems on the designer side.

The first factor behind incremental design is simple laziness. Some young hot-shot plays Game X and greatly enjoys the game, so he decides to build the same game, only better. The thought process is simple: How could I make Game X even better? The young designer always thinks ...

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