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.
Assassin's Creed and Doom value the last bit of health as more hit points than the rest of it to encourage a feeling of *JUST* surviving.September 1, 2017
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.
Is it ok to mention something we're proud of in our own game? :P In Firewatch, a player not responding to dialogue prompt is a noted choiceSeptember 1, 2017
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.
In @KeepTalkingGame, distractions like the alarm clock are based on how well you're doing. Makes last second defusals more likely.September 2, 2017
As more developers responded, commonalities appeared. Never trust health bars.
In Bioshock if you would have taken your last pt of dmg you instead were invuln for abt 1-2 sec so you get more "barely survived" moments.September 1, 2017
In Shadow of Mordor, I would add additional health back to dueling uruk, to artificially extend their fight a bit, for spectacle!September 1, 2017
Don’t trust bullets, either.
In System Shock we made your last bullet do double damage, similar trick to the last bit of health thing.September 1, 2017
Have you spotted any hidden mechanics that weren’t mentioned?