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  • Writer's pictureNero

#5 Strategy and Tactics

This week the topic was strategy and tactics. These two things are very important to consider in any game, does the players strategy effect their tactics? or does their tactics effect their strategy?

I personally love to play strategy games as they tackle this challenge head on and it’s up to the player to decide how they want to play. Whether they change their strategy as the game unfolds or change their tactics in order to achieve their strategy. Fundamentally I think that the result is a mix of both, the strategy should affect the tactics, but the tactics should also affect the strategy. And it’s up to the player to decide how best to balance them.

We as designers must facilitate this in giving the player the chance to strategize and to react to unforeseen changes to their plan. By doing this it not only challenges the player, but it challenges them on their own terms giving them a sense of fulfilment that is not as easily achieved through simple puzzles.

A good game is a series of interesting decisions that reward the player with feedback on those decisions. This allows the player to strategize a plan and then act tactfully once they know the result of their actions in order to move forwards. Games that do this allows the players actions to directly affect the outcome of the game which requires skill. There are obviously factors outside the players control however which are based on luck or chance which make the game more interesting and less predictable.

There are multiple types of decisions the player can make which results in the game being more compelling, fun, or interesting. These include.

  1. Dilemmas

  2. Obvious decisions

  3. Trade-offs

  4. Meaningless decisions

  5. Risk vs reward

  6. Blind decisions


The Iron Designer Challenge

This week for the Iron designer challenge we were challenged to make a game using elements of strategy and tactics to enhance the gameplay. For this challenge me and my team created what we called, Developers Retribution.

Here is a pitch for the game we developed during the challenge.

(WallpaperAccess 2021)

(WallpaperCave n.d.)

(WallpaperCave n.d.)

To make the pitch more engaging, we also hid images of Jeff Bezos within the slides.

This game allowed me and my team to explore how we can use and implement both strategy and twitch skills to enhance the players experience as they strategize who they talk to in order to try and get funding for their game.


The Games Design Document

Over the past week I started working on the actual design document. I did this in PowerPoint and simply made a slide for each of the bullet points I listed last week. This gave me a total of 20 slides which I thought seemed about right and was perfect for me to then split into 4 categories.

Since there are 5 stages to the game which transition from white to black, I decided to reflect this in my design document too. I did this by making the first 5 slides white, then the next 5 a light grey, then grey, dark grey and finally one black slide.

Next, I felt like I needed some kind of art or diagram that I could use in the document to help illustrate my idea. So, I used some simple images off google and put together a white room with a desk in it.

I then made 5 variations of this image with each one having the desk being smaller than the last to show the room getting larger, as well as a grey tint getting darker in order to show the room getting darker.

(Schubert n.d.) (Kjærholm n.d.) (Box Background n.d.)

I think this shows off the vision in my head a lot clearer than simple words and I think this also gets across the simple art style of the game.

I hope that next week I can look into more of the narrative side of the game as I have been toying with the idea of having one of the characters murder the button and have elements of murder mystery within it.

Despite the game being very different to a murder mystery, I think the absurdness would work perfectly in bringing them together and would be a very interesting way to take this game forwards.

Another idea I had was to go extremely absurd and make every stage completely different to the last but have elements of the ones before. So, the characters don’t remember what happened in previous rooms, but elements of events remain. This would function similar to when you have a dream within a dream and would get slowly darker the further the player went.

For example, in one of the rooms the player simply pushes the button. but later on, there’s the murder mystery room and the lever accuses the player of pushing the button causing its murder.

Though this would be a very dark take on what was originally meant to be a light comedic game, I think it could work very well. I will think more about it next week and come up with the final narrative of the game. I think once I have this down, getting the gameplay and flow down would be much simpler.



Box Background [image]. n.d. Available at: [accessed 20 Oct 2021].

KJÆRHOLM, POUL. n.d. PK52 | PROFESSOR DESK | 186,5X85 [image]. Available at: [accessed 20 Oct 2021].

SCHUBERT, MIREK. n.d. Empty White Room [image]. Available at: [accessed 20 Oct 2021].

WALLPAPERACCESS. 2021. Rich Life Wallpapers [image]. Available at: [accessed 20 Oct 2021].

WALLPAPERCAVE. n.d. Rich Lifestyle Wallpapers [image]. Available at: [accessed 20 Oct 2021].

WALLPAPERCAVE. n.d. Rich Lifestyle Wallpapers [image]. Available at: [accessed 20 Oct 2021].

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