Monthly Archives: October 2005

Substance and Style in Game Design

(This article was originally published in Gamasutra Online Magazine)

Nobody can completely understand the entire field of game design. There are too many interacting elements, too much information, for the human mind to perceive and consider simultaneously. Thus nobody can hope to think about all of game design at once. The only solution available to the designer is to conceptually split the field up into manageable chunks, each of which can then be considered separately.

There are many ways to divide game design so that it can be contemplated intelligently. This article attempts to clarify one of these ways, namely, splitting a game and all of its parts into categories as either style or substance. First, I’ll define what style and substance are. Continue reading