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Developers share their hidden mechanics on Twitter

I spent most of last weekend holed up in my bedroom, wondering if I had the flu or if my years of good living had finally caught with me, which also meant I had a lot of free time to aimlessly browse Twitter. Thankfully, this was also the weekend where developers started tweeting about hidden game mechanics, and it was fascinating. 

Earthlight game design lead Jennifer Scheurle got the ball rolling on Friday, and was soon inundated with examples of the sneaky and sometimes brilliant tricks developers use.

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Campo Santo lead artist Jane Ng explained that, in Firewatch, when players don’t respond to a dialogue prompt, the game still counts their silence as a response.

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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes’ Ben Kane spilled the beans on in-game distractions like the alarm clock, and how they’re based on a player’s performance. 

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As more developers responded, commonalities appeared. Never trust health bars. 

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Don’t trust bullets, either. 

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Have you spotted any hidden mechanics that weren’t mentioned? 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.