This post is part of a series on grinding in games. The first post discusses what grinding is and takes a look at a few games as case studies for how it is. After that, we discussed some top down strategies you can employ while planning out the content in your game to keep things moving along. Finally in this post, we’ll discuss some things you can look for while playtesting and trying to jump into the player’s shoes.
Halfway through this post, I realized that I actually had a lot to say on the topic. So I’m going to split it again. Hopefully this is a little less intimidating and better matches attention spans.
In my last post, we discussed some causes and case studies on the occurrence of grinding in games. In short, it’s usually an unintended negative side-effect of adding content to a game. This post is devoted to discussing some top-down (from the designer’s perspective of the whole game at once) general mindsets that can help find solutions to make your game feel less grindy. Next time, we’ll discuss some bottom-up (player’s perspective) strategies.
This is my 50th blog post and I’m pretty happy to have been at this for almost 3 years now! That’s a fair amount of time to put into a blog that covers something as niche as game design! Today, while looking for inspiration for a post worthy of my 50th post, I found 3 different drafts commenting on grinding in games. Since we’re vaguely thinking about time management right now, and the topic was clearly important to me in the past, I decided to hunker down and finally finish articulating what I had wanted to say.
I’ve been playing a bit of Guild Wars 2 recently. Also, the first expansion Heart of Thorns is just over the next horizon. With all that new content and progression to be experienced, I think back to some of my early time in Guild Wars 2 and one particularly important lesson that I learned.