Two Part Article on Incremental Games

Criticism

I’ve got a pair of articles up at the Game Development section of Tutorials Plus! They’re about the misunderstood genre of incremental games, check them out:

Numbers Getting Bigger Part 1: What Are Incremental Games, and Why Are They Fun?

Numbers Getting Bigger Part 2: The Design and Math of Incremental Games

It was a lot of fun researching this one. I already had a little bit of a soft spot for these kinds of games before, but I definitely developed a real affection for them over the course of writing these. Whenever the games press or critics talk about incremental games, they’re generally pretty disparaging; usually calling them dumb, mindless and pointless. But they do have players, sometimes lots of them, so they’ll sometimes concede that they’re ‘strangely addictive’ or some other phrasing that suggests these are the games equivalent of heroin: empty experiences devoid of merit. I think approaching them in this way not only does a disservice to the interactive medium as a whole, but it also completely ignores the very normal kinds of fun incremental games enable (discovery, optimization strategy). So, it was fun to look a little deeper at the genre and try to give a bit more ‘objective’ analysis to them.

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