10 Video Game Design Rules You Can Never Unsee

It's like looking at Matrix code.

Bayonetta 2
Platinum Games

Video games may not be real life, but like The Matrix, they are still based in a world that is built on rules, as have been meticulously programmed by teams of hundreds of people.

And while the very best video games manage to make us forget about their game-y logic by concealing their biggest secrets underneath immersive gameplay, virtually every game in existence will have a moment or two that breaks that precious immersion and brings the player back to reality.

And once you become aware of these design tricks and tropes, it becomes incredibly difficult to switch your critical brain off and forget about them.

A few years ago, a Twitter thread did the rounds where developers confessed their sneakiest behind-the-curtain game mechanics, which while both surprising and admirable in their genius, ultimately ensure you'll never quite think about those games - or all games, even - the same way ever again.

And so, we come to these 10 video game rules, from those well-worn mainstays that many players will recognise, to those sly shortcuts most of us wouldn't even think of, that will forever re-shape the way you play. Time to break the spell...

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Bayonetta 2
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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.