I learned these over many years of making games, playing games, observing people play games, and discussing games. There are exceptions for all of these, but they are a good starting point for any budding designers. Some are also frequently, and pointlessly, broken in the biggest, most professionally made games.
Also, these are only rules for designing enjoyable games. That may not be the same as games that people talk about or games that sell.
1. Start With Gameplay
Battlefield 1 is a shooter
This is absolutely fundamental. It may sound obvious, but there must be a reason that you are making a game rather than a film or a short story. How a player plays the game affects everything else. It comes before graphics, story, art, sound, everything.
If the core gameplay is turn-based combat, you have to start by making some king of system of turn-based combat. Why?…
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