Super Mario Bros World 1.1: explaining game and experience design

In this video by Eurogamer, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto explains the design philosophy behind Super Mario Bros World 1.1. Often considered as one of the greatest example of level design, it “gradually and invisibly teaching the player what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. Ideas are introduced in a safe space, and then the safety nets are removed so the player can put those lessons into action before the challenges become more complex”.

Found on Polygon.

How and why games work | loop scheme

Philipp Zupke: How and why games work

In this post,  Philipp Zupke discusses how games work and what makes them so engrossing. Based on the works of Raph Koster’s  “Theory of Fun” And Daniel Cooks’ “Feedback System”, his analysis offers an insight on fun and learning, loop, strategies, goals and player agency.

Learn more about the topic by watching “Defining Gameplay: Between structure and chaos” by Alexandre Mandryka (Ubisoft).

Read the full article.




Designing games for wearable devices

In this case study published by Ludomade, authors explore the limitations and constraints of designing games for small wearable devices – i.e. the Apple Watch. Below are some takeaways from the development process of  Mineshaft: Dynamite Blast (Ludomade, 2014) – guidelines you’ll find valuable to design interactions beyond the realm of games:

Game concept

  • Think about how it’s going to feel playing a game that’s strapped to your wrist: holding your arm up in strange ways gets tiresome quickly, so keep play sessions short.
  • Minimize the player inputs – simplify everything.

Touch interactions

  • On a 280×280 screen, space fills up really quick, so consider as few on-screen buttons as possible.
  • When buttons are necessary, think about their placement based on which wrist the watch is on. You don’t want players to cover everything up whenever they need to jump.

Graphic design on small size screen

  • Texture-packed realism isn’t going to work on such a small screen. Choose a graphical style and color palette that maximizes definition at this size.

The role of the form factor

  • Consider square and circle screens when designing UI, keep those buttons out of the corners.
  • Minimize the amount of UI needed – the small screen gets cluttered quickly.
  • You must remove the default “swipe right to close app” function.


  • There’s no audio on most watches so use audio as an accessory.

Check the final game on Android Wears and iOS (smartphone/tablet).

Article originally seen on Dotventi.