Glossary - Game Mechanics

Game mechanics are the methods used by designers/developers to create an interaction for gameplay. All of the games use mechanics though not all of them set mechanics as a priority for their task. Game mechanics allow players to have engaging experience among different sides, levels of the game. The interaction in different game mechanics determines many aspects of the game, such as its complexity, player’s level, gaming environment, balance, and resources of the games.

The Complexity of the Game Mechanics

Complexities of the game mechanics differ from the depth or realism of the game. Those aspects should not be confused with each other because many games have complex mechanics though they are easy to play. Game mechanics may be considered technically complex for many human beings because of the challenging calculations. In reality, those games have a straightforward design. For example, Go is one of the games that have a complicated game mechanic, but it is one of the simplest games of all time.


Commercial video games have gone from easy game design mechanics to more complex ones throughout history. For instance, games like Asteroids, Space invaders had straightforward game mechanics, but later on, the released games such as Crisis two, Gran Turismo five were very complicated because of their increased processing power.

Game Mechanics Example

One of the simplest ways to understand game mechanics is to take the basic game and to analyze its production and gameplay process. Tetris is one of the most popular and iconic games that have elementary mechanics. Tetris game mechanics can be broken down into several parts. The first part is a rotation that indicates tetrominoes spawn position of it, how it rotates, and their wall kick. The second part is the randomizers, which are the sequence and order in which tetromino types spawn. The third part is about the scoring system, which includes the points that players can get through clearing out a line in Tetris. The last game mechanic part is the mobility that shows the ability of a player to control tetrominoes, drop them, and rotate them and many more.