Design Diary: Evolving Information Mechanic

This week I wanted to do something a little different than my usual high-level articles. Today I’m going to walk through an idea for a specific mechanic that I’ve been mulling over for a while, pros and cons of the idea, and how it could be applied to a game I’m working on. My hope is that this practical application of design theory will help folks who have similar ideas or at least be interesting to gamers looking to “pop the hood”, so to speak.

After my last recording session with Nate for the podcast, in which we talked about types of information in games, I got really interested in the concept of evolving information and how this could drive player interaction in a game, both with other players as well as the game’s own systems. My current game project, Don’t Count Your Chickens, is currently about bidding on baskets of eggs in hopes that the resulting chickens will make high-point sets you can score. Currently the players can use actions to peek at the chickens to get an idea of whether to bid or not. I wanted to spice up that aspect a little, so let’s get to it!