Disco Elysium is without a doubt one of the most innovative and captivating games of the last years. Not only the story is richly told and amazingly written, but its custom RPG system has a lot for teaching aspiring RPG designers to create their own systems.
One of the pillars of motivation is a framework known as Competence, Autonomy and Relatedness. But the last one, although being one of the most important for social connection, is often left behind by (especially single-player) game designers. How can you add Relatedness to your single-player games?
To learn Systems Design you first have to understand Systems Thinking. Once you are already familiar with real-world systems, you’ll notice that they are everywhere. But the real power is achieved once you’re able to translate a well-known real-world system to a game world…
Frostpunk’s Book of Laws can seem like a regular tech tree, but behind its (not so) innocent appearance, you can find a source of well-crafted opportunities for players to make meaningful decisions about the people in their colony. Can humanising these characters have an influence on players’ decisions?