A Catalogue of the Mechanics of PlayEdit
This wiki is an attempt to catalog concepts of gaming in an attempt to expand our shared vocabulary and understanding. Many concepts in games span across brands, platforms, series, and genres, yet vary in their terminology. Let's fix that.
If you're familiar with the double-jump, the charged shot, or that "The princess is in another castle!", please help add to these ideas! Let's move past the cliche, and evolve gaming into something new.
Taken directly from the wikipedia page:
"Game mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce an enjoyable game or gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game. In general, the process and study of game design are efforts to come up with game mechanics that allow for people playing a game to have a fun and engaging experience."
In simple terms, a game mechanic can be as simple as the ability to move left and right, and even jump. Mechanics are the generalized concept of how a type of game works. Specific implementations, such as how a specific game uses that mechanic, can lead to evidence of why that mechanic works in a specific scenario, or how it can be implemented better. Please keep in mind though that this wiki is not about reviewing or criticizing any specific game. It is about the ideas that make that game what it is.
I'd like to see this wiki share both specific implementations of mechanics, and also be able to discuss the design of mechanics from a high level. We should embrace board and card game mechanics, which have thousands of years of tradition, and new video game mechanics, where much exploration is currently being carried out.
Specific implementations of mechanics should be discussed in detail, explaining why they work, what other mechanics have been leveraged with them to create synergistic effects, and critique on any issues involved with them.
On broader game design concepts, these should also be linked into specific implementations as examples of how and when they should be used, and examples of when they do and do not work. This can possibly lead to un-anticpated combinations, furthering the field of design.
Note to Wikipedians Edit
I'm doing original research here. So sue me. This is too complex a topic to write about in a linear format, and wiki is perfectly designed for it. Please feel free to contribute anyway. My philosophy on this subject is that original research is valid if it is backed up with example and expert opinion (well cited, of course), just as any good thesis should be. I'll work on the cites as I go here, I'm more about getting the ideas down right now.
Sadly, this topic is sorely understudied it seems, so this seems like a good place to air it to me.