Survive: Game Mechanics

So lately i’ve been researching multiple game mechanics, and by that I mean i’ve been playing a tonne of games and calling it uni work. There are some really interesting game mechanics out there, and they really (obviously) define how fun and enjoyable the game is. So i’ve decided to list some games and explain their game mechanics, and explain how i’ve taken my favourite ones and implemented it into my game.


Everyone loves monopoly. It can define and destroy friendships and families. I think i’ve heard more people say that the game is ‘banned from playing’ than ‘we enjoyed it’ when playing with family members. The reason for the hatred of the game, is because of the negotiations of property and money, and that’s the best part of the game! If you’re a good negotiator, you’re in with a great chance of winning.

My strategy is to always target the people that don’t understand the value of certain properties (all train stations vs 2 properties I need to make a set), and basically be that guy that doesn’t trade certain properties so someone can get a set. The interesting mechanic in this game is the trading and negotiating with people, you can basically decide to team up or embargo players, not trade or make wildly not fair prices on your properties. I like the idea that the interaction between players can decide the fate of the game.

Louis CK explains how well Monopoly works in a family.


SpyFall works entirely through talking with other players, and group decisions. The basis of the game is that you have 4 or more players, with one person being the spy, and the rest of the players having roles, depending on the location that’s randomly selected. The spy has no idea what the location, is, and to win he must guess the location. The other players have no idea who else is either a spy or a player with a normal role., but they know that the location is.

The game works by each player taking turns to ask other players questions, to gauge whether or not they know what the location is, but not asking specific enough so that the spy will be able to guess it. I love this game because it works through the interaction of other players, and they must form their own arguments/cases/thoughts/questions/answers, and how the game goes, depends on what each person says.

I really wanted to implement this kind of game, rather than a common board game/dice roll game where you have to follow specific rules which basically guides you to the same spot. These games where the players themselves create the storyline remind me of a story generator or “choose your own adventure”, which is great because everyone’s humour and personalities are different, so it’s like making a custom made game for everyone.

NODE really present the game well here, and it’s where I first saw the game.

Super Fight:

This game is similar to SpyFall and Cards Against Humanity, in regards that it requires the players to debate and talk to each other. This game is my main influence for project SURVIVE, because I had a similar idea to Super Fight that I planned to make, until I found out it was already a game 😥

The game operates by have two players fight each other, each having their own character, strength and weakness. They then debate with each other, until the non-fighting players decide who would win in a fight. The game mechanics of this game I want to directly mirror into my own, because it’s such a perfect game mode for what I’ve envisioned for my game.

NODE, yet again, had a greta play through with this, and it’s where I also found the game




So taking all these games into account, I’ve found all of the mechanics from these games to be fun and enjoyable, and I’ve tried to place the best ones (or the ones i’ve enjoyed the most) into my own game. Through my game testing, it worked well, the only aspect of the game mechanic that I might need to reconsider if the judge position, whether or not to have one, or just let ALL the non-players decide on the outcome.


2 thoughts on “Survive: Game Mechanics

  1. Very well researched blog Jake, I hadn’t heard of any of these games until I read your blog. I like that you’ve taken the idea of secretly ganging up on other players in order to win selfishly, playing your game sounds like there will be a lot of random backstabbing which is AWESOME and entertaining. I feel that if you give it some proper attention and design you could turn this into a functioning and sellable card game. Also with the judge section of your game, I think it will be best to just have one judge, if you have more than one person deciding then it ruins the entirety of the game. Definitely stick with one judge and don’t over complicate the judge just make it fun that they’re in charge for one round and can secretly choose who they want to win or strategically allow the person coming last to win therefore allowing the temporary judge to win!

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