Source: Vizual Hustle
Source: Claudia Guariglia (Enyoudraws)
Source: Camp Quality

Anatomy of a game

how I break down games so I can build them

Source: undefined


This is the look and style of a game. The more realist your game the more “graphical debt” you hold because once its set all new content has to match the same style.

Source: Nu Image

Indie games are known of making style more important than highly detail graphics to avoid graphical debt.

Goose Game is 3d and mostly all solid colors so debt was reduced by not including textures

Super hot is 3d but is it very stylised and only uses 3 colors and odd movements so it have a low graphical debt

Monster hunter is very beautiful by it took many many people 4 years full time to make.

Source: World of Zhen

Minecraft has simple graphics that allows for simple animations allowing for rapid content additions

Baba is you is basic but beautiful. It’s easy to add more assets and grow the game. which is important in a puzzle game

Source: mushroommovie

Imagine if Baba is you had the same Graphics as Monster hunter world,

the time/effort of the game would be huge even though the gameplay didn’t change

Source: Kirana
Source: isabelemene
Source: CreditRich

Point 1 to remember

Graphical Debt

“the amount of time and effort that goes into creating the visuals of a new component of your game because it has to match the previous style.”

Source: gaiadraws
Source: Vero Rodriguez

How I have been trying to avoiding this is moving to 2.5D textures like Mario Kart 64 or Doom. I can do all the camera types and it’s easy to make, animate and program

Source: Christina Elleni
Source: chxrrypie
Source: Chimpers
Source: undefined


When designing a new game; the camera will inform your choices on mechanics, physics, graphics and level design. You may not need physics if the camera is isometric or top down like pokemon but making a first person shooter will almost always need physics.

Top down(2d)

Visual Novel

Source: Kadejo


Source: The Phoenix Cave

Third person


Side scroller

First person

Source: RevolutionMortgage

Take camera into account when choosing mechanics

Source: YouYou07


Game mechanics are the tools you give the player to play the game with.

Pacman eats the fruit, kills the ghost

Source: undefined
Source: Molly Jacques

In Animal Crossing you can catch bugs with a net that breaks over time.

In Pokemon, you can try to catch pokemon

Source: GIPHY Gaming

In Mario, you jump on enemies to kill them

Source: sunny_acnh


systems are groups of game mechanics that work together. For example Pokemon and Final Fantasy have very similar battle systems they just framed differently

Source: chxrrypie
Source: CEO Yeah!
Source: The Phoenix Cave
Source: Next Level Gaming Store

Team building
Leveling up

Evolving is basically the same mechanic as Changing Jobs


Magic power (MP vs PP)
Health bars

A lot of games share most of a system but tweak it to keep it interesting.

Source: Kirsten Hurley
Source: minteart_


This is often a story but not always. Framing is the reason why the player is doing the gameplay loop. Puzzle games often has little to no framing.

Baba is you has no framing just a map.
Original Minecraft has no framing just a map

Source: undefined

I find framing also create framing debt

Source: undefined

Pokemon: you are on a quest, to catch them all and become world champ.

because of the framing of pokemon, they could reduce framing debt by removing team rocket missions and it won’t effect core gameplay

Thomas was alone: you play as a red rectangle and the narrator does all the framing, even though its not shown on screen.

Source: Kirana
Source: CreditRich
Source: isabelemene

Point 2 to remember

Framing Debt

“the amount of time and resources that goes into creating the framing of your game, you want a big story? thats has a knockon effect of scripts, cut scenes, cut scene system, in game animations, music, translations and assets“

Source: まりてん
Source: Maximillian Piras

Game Loop

The game loop or loops are circular logic that keeps you playing

Source: Nathan Joyce

Monster hunter
you hunt the monster
to get monster parts
to get gear
to hunt bigger monsters

Source: Mushydoodle
Source: Xbox

Animal Crossing

you catch a bug
to sell it for bells
your net breaks
you buy a net with bells

Source: Women's Health

Ok lets Analysis

Source: Pusheen
Source: bryson mcbee

Zuma System

tower defence enemies



3 color match


wizard school


random colors


Top Down (2D)

waves of colors



limited color 2D

score combos



see how they have minimal framing & graphical debt. allowing them to have 40+ enemy types!

Source: Molly Jacques

Puda + the kid (my game)

Dragon Quest Battle

target enemies

weak points



Turn based


diablo weapon socket


multiple enemies


First Person

Hp Bar



elemental dmg

2.5 D billboard



lost child walking home


Source: Jethro Haynes

Now this is just how I analysis and make games if you do it differently it totally fine.

I find looking at it like this allows me to stay in scope or at least see where my scope is going so I can adjust to actually finish my game.

Made on mmm