Interactions Cards as game design tools

This is an effort to identify the different ways that a player interacts with a computer game, and put them into a card game as a tool for game designers.

Hey! You can get these cards professionally printed now!
(US$10 plus postage)

Or you can download the free version
They’re smaller, no longer maintained, not as well-written, and a bit confusing in places. You also have to print them yourself. Good for having a look at what’s inside, though!

Thanks to Lorc for the icons!


Each interaction falls into a category:

Positional interactions involve the spatial relationships between player-controlled objects and game objects. In Asteroids, the the ship avoiding crashing into asteroids is a positional interaction.

Indirect interactions are instigated by the player, but take effect some distance from whatever the player controls (a player character or the mouse cursor). A player might press a button to fire a bullet, for example, but the bullet only does something when it strikes an enemy further on.

Contructional interactions are those which maintain the current state of the system (healing your ally so he doesn’t die), increase the complexity of an object (combining two objects to make a new one), or increase the number of objects in play (building new units in an RTS game).

Deconstructional interactions reduce the number of objects in play (killing an enemy) or decrease an object’s complexity (reducing a building to rubble).

Inquisitional interactions are about how the player gets information from the game.

Modificational interactions change the original state of an object. Hacking an automated turret to make it friendly is an example of modification.

Goals and Challenges mark the objective of the player. A game may involve collecting n coins, or getting the high score, or reaching the end of a level.




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