Costikyan und Spieldesign: 14 Designelemente

Es folgt eine Zusammenfassung der 14 Designelemente, die Costikyan in seinem Aufsatz von 1994 “I have no words and I must design” nennnt. Für euch als Spieldesigner (und für das Spiel bzw. dessen Intention) werden einige wichtiger als andere sein. Aber es ist generell hilfreich, sein entstehendes Spiel auf die Elemente hin abzuklopfen; auch, wenn man einmal in der kreativen Phase ‘steckenbleibt’.


  1. Decision Making (bedeutungsvolle, nachhaltige Entscheidungen?)
    What decisions do players make in this game?
  2. Goals (klare Ziele?)
    What are the players’ goals? Can the game support a variety of different goals? What facilities exist to allow players to strive toward their various goals?
  3. Opposition (Gegner und ‘bewußte’ Widerstände?)
    What provides opposition? What makes the game a struggle?
  4. Managing Resources (Ressourcen?)
    What resources does the player manage? Is there enough diversity in them to require tradeoffs in making decisions? Do they make those decisions interesting?
  5. Game Tokens (bewegliche Spielmaterialien?)
    What are the players’ tokens? What are these tokens’ abilities? What resources do they use? What makes them interesting?
  6. Information ((Un)Klarheit von Regeln und Spielzuständen)
    Given the decisions players are required to make, what information do they need? Does the game provide the information as and when needed? Will reasonable players be able to figure out what information they need, and how to find it?

Weitere Designelemente

  1. Diplomacy (Handeln, Verbünden, Betrügen?)
    How can players help or hinder each other? What incentives do they have to do so? What resources can they trade?
  2. Color (Gestaltung des Spielmaterials?)
    How does the game evoke the ethos and atmosphere and pageantry of its setting? What can you do to make it more colorful?
  3. Simulation (Gestaltung der Spielregeln?)
    How can elements of simulation strengthen the game?
  4. Variety of Encounter (Abwechslungsreichtum?)
    What things do the players encounter in this game? Are there enough things for them to explore and discover? What provides variety? How can we increase the variety of encounter?
  5. Position Identification (Rollenidentifikation?)
    What can you do to make the player care about his position? Is there a single game token that’s more important than others to the player, and what can be done to strengthen identification with it? If not, what is the overall emotional appeal of the position, and what can be done to strengthen that appeal? Who “is” the player in the game? What is his point of view?
  6. Roleplaying (Ausleben der Rolle?)
    How can players be induced to roleplay? What sorts of roles does the system permit or encourage?
  7. Socializing (Gemeinschaftliches Miteinander der Spieler?)
    How can the game better encourage socialization?
  8. Narrative Tension (Erzählerische Spannung?)
    What can be done to make the game tense?

Über Wey

My name's Wey-Han Tan, I graduated 2007 as Diplompädagoge (educational scientist) in Hamburg, and 2009 as M.A. in ePedagogy Design. Currently I work at the project "Universitätskolleg" as scientific assistant at the Faculty for Educational Sciences, Psychology and Human Movement at the University of Hamburg. My research interests are game based learning, second order gaming, media theory and (radical) constructivist approaches. I like pen-and-paper-roleplaying, especially in contemporary horror settings like "KULT" or "Call of Cthulhu".
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