Game Design Analysis – Monster Hunter: World


Figure 1. Hunter fighting a monster in game

Monster Hunter World is a Japanese Role-Playing Action Game by Capcom. The main mechanics involves hunting various types of monsters in the game using a decent variety of weapons. The player will progress through the story and complete hunts of increasing difficulty as they build their character up by making new equipment with materials obtained from hunts.

Game Website:

A cool speed run on one of the monsters in the game:


I will now talk about some of the feelings/experiences in the game through various lenses.

Lens 9 – Elemental Tetrad


  • Hunts
    • During a hunt, there is always an objective and sometimes a timer. Failing the objective or having the timer run out will lead to an unsuccessful hunt. Succeeding or failing the hunt brings the feeling of joy or frustrations respectively to me.
  • Combat
    • The player can pick between various weapons. Every one of the weapons allow the player to perform a set of smooth and flashy moves. This allows me to feel powerful.
    • There are also moves that require the player to have precise timing to execute to either dodge attacks or counter them. I feel a sense of achievement when mastering some of these mechanics.
  • Loot system
    • The player must acquire loots from monsters in a hunt to upgrade their equipment. The loots are often random. When I get a rare loot that I need from a hunt, I feel a lot of excitement and joy.
  • Event monsters
    • Some of the monsters or monster variants only appear in events. This is where players can take on some of the most powerful monsters in the game. It can be frustrating for me when I must keep retrying the tough monsters.


The game’s story does not add much to my experience in my opinion. This is because the story only takes up a small portion of my playtime. Most of the playtime will be the farming in between the story quests and in the post story mode where the player fights monsters of various difficulty to upgrade their gear to the fullest and take on various tougher monsters that comes out during events.


The aesthetics is amazing on consoles. It is even more so on the PC with the high-resolution texture packs. The area aesthetics often follows the theme of the monsters that the player will be fighting the first time. This level of detail makes all the player actions look and feel cooler and allows for nice screenshots.


With the advancement of technologies, we now have very fast processors. This allows for the combat mechanics to include precisely timed actions and responsive inputs. If the processor is slow, the combat can feel sluggish, making the player feel slow and weak. In addition, with the current graphic processors, the current high-resolution aesthetics can be achieved.

Lens 8 – Problem Solving

While the game looks like a simple hack and slash game, I experienced some form of problem solving like building a suitable set of equipment and figuring out a fighting strategy for a hunt. Being able to conquer a hunt with my build gives me a sense of achievement.

Lens 32 – Goals

Initially in the game, the obvious goal would be to complete the story. in between that, I will see that each hunt or equipment upgrade will be a smaller goal to achieve before the end of the story. After the story missions are completed, the player is free to set their own goals as the game will simply provide more hunts for the player to play and continue upgrading. For me, I started setting small goals on farming various equipment pieces with the bigger goals of clearing the tougher hunts. This kept the game fresh for me as I always feel a sense of achievement and pride whenever I manage to clear the goals and I always have something to look forward to.

Lens 34 – Skill

When fighting the toughest monster in the game, equipment is not the only thing that is needed. It requires some degree of mastery of the combat mechanics. With the progressive mastery of combat, I can feel the excitement of being able to defeat the tough monsters and can challenge myself to kill it faster.

Lens 38 – Challenge

The game provides challenges appropriate for any level. This allowed me to feel more encouraged to clear the challenge as I did not ever feel stuck or hopeless. At the start, the player can clear challenges by being very mechanically skilled or being hardworking and farming for better equipment to clear the challenging hunt. Only when going into the toughest of monsters where the player will have to start relying more on their skills.

Game design analysis: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Trailer for Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch


Animal Crossing: New Horizons(ACNH) is a life simulation game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch in March 2020. This is the fifth main Animal Crossing game and also the best-selling one in the series. Not only that, ACNH also won many awards, including Game of the Year at the Japan Game Awards as well as Best Family Game at The Game Awards 2020.

The gameplay is very simple. You control a human on a deserted island, design and develop it into a thriving community of anthropomorphic animals. ACNH supports both local and online gameplay, which allows a player to visit and interact with other players very conveniently.


Lens 7: Elemental Tetra


One of the main reasons for the popularity of this game is it’s breathtaking aesthetics. The main goal of a life simulation game is to provide a relaxing gateway, an alternate reality where life is simple and perfect. ACNH gives players the perfect user experience, immersing us in a captivating world where you grow to be a part of. The vibrant colors and limitless choices makes this beautiful world exclusively yours. You can hear the wind blowing and the trees swaying, the waves crashing onto the beach as you pick up sea shells. Every detail of the game tingles your senses and transports you in this utopia.


The mechanics of the game are very simple. Equip an axe to chop trees down, carry a net to catch insects. The gameplay was meant to be as basic as possible to make the game relaxing.


The beauty of ACNH is in how endless the opportunities. The story line is simple as well, decorate and develop your island from scratch, make new friends and enjoy the simplicity of this alternate reality.


The graphics are a much needed improvement from the previous edition back in 2013. This helped to increase the sensory experience of the game. In addition, this is the first time there is a multiplayer option, where you can mingle with friends and explore each other’s islands.

Lens 2: Lens of Essential Experience

The essential element of ACNH is transporting the player into a different reality, one free from worries and stress of the real world. The point is to create a relaxing gateway for the player to enjoy mindless fun, without a goal unlike in most traditional games. This gives the player to do anything he wants whenever he wants, giving him the freedom of choice to create his perfect world for his character to live in.

Lens 51: Lens of Imagination

The possibilities are endless in ACNH. Having a big imagination and the willingness to try new things will turn your deserted island into a lively paradise. By taking in inspirations from your daily lives, you can create the perfect world for you and your character to live in. Change the colors of your room to match your favorite palettes or grow a garden of your favorite flowers outside your house. Your world can only be as creative as you can be.

Lens 55: Lens of Visible Progress

The feeling of satisfaction of building up an empty, weed-filled deserted island into a perfect, vibrant paradise filled with bustling activities and adorable neighbors in ACNH is amazing. Knowing that the daily grind of collecting materials and intricate planning eventually led to your dream house and an island worthy of praise from your friends feels good. However, there is not much to do after that. ACNH tries to come up with fresh novel updates every now and then but I feel that it is inadequate to keep my attention.

Lens 75: Lens of Simplicity and Transcendence

The rules and gameplay of ACNH is as simple as it gets. This is to put the focus of the game on creating the perfect world without any stress. Add in the right amount of control for the player and the world can be anything he wants. This makes the experience much more joyful as more time is spent thinking what can be done instead of how to do it.

Game Design Analysis – Brawl Stars

Brawl Stars: No Time to Explain - YouTube
Brawl Stars


Brawl Stars is a freemium multiplayer online game and 3rd person hero shooter where players from around the world can battle against one another in various game modes. Players can select from a pool of characters (known as Brawlers) unlocked through boxes, brawl passes, the objective path (known as Trophy Road), or purchased via the Shop with in-game currency.

Lens #9: The lens of the Elemental Tetrad


  • Mostly team-based, solo options available, MOBA
  • Simple characters and skillsets, including super-powers and upgrades called gadgets
  • Limited and simple gameplay (movement, firing), with advanced strategies in a competitive setting

Brawl Stars has a low barrier to entry for beginners (even with simple brawlers/characters) to play. It is rather interesting to note that a higher amount of strategy and teamwork mechanics/dynamics is needed for more competitive gameplay across various maps and characters. Overall, it seems that the game is kept minimal and simple (limited buttons, super powers, restricted movement) to level the playing field as well as offer realistic dynamics for a mobile game MOBA as such.


It is rather apt to note that Supercell (owner of a couple of top mobile games) started off Brawl Stars after a series of successful launches – including Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. The story is similar and in-line with the lore of the past games, again with a minimal approach (not as complicated as League of Legends, Dota etc) of certain renowned characters such as the Barbarian, Archer). Similar characters were showcased but with noticeable differences in storylines.


The game is relatively well-lit, also with cartoon-like characters which introduce high levels of comfort across all level of players (beginner to advanced). Their attacks and animations are well thought, including special ones for selected skins, increasing the reactivity of players to their aesthetics and pleasure/satisfaction in well-crafted graphics and design.


Brawl Stars does not require intensive hardware which makes this mobile game easily accessible to many devices. In fact, playing online against other people across the world does not require much data usage which is a strong factor for players to increase their usage without worrying about incurring additional cost.

It is clear that the 4 elements are well integrated to cater to players of the different spectrum.

Lens #34: The lens of skill

As the game has the potential to be mechanically intensive, players with better skills will outperform and play better at different maps and game modes. Skills include map awareness, champion mastery, team communication and map/mode strategy all play a significant role in the victory of each game. Players who spend and invest more time in analyzing and learning game strategies will perform better and win more games in such a setting.

Together with their ranking system (offering trophies for each win, and losing trophies for each lost), this helps to matchmake better players together and vice versa which allows for a better levelling field of learning and improvement for all parties.

Lens #55: Visible Progress

Progress is one of the keys in Brawl Stars in maximizing retention of players while ensuring accomplishment through the games. As a beginner, one would only have access to a small pool of (basic) characters with limited upgrading options to allow beginners to practice and learn more. However, this is strongly supported with trophies and levels which correlate to how well you play the character or game as a whole. This is always listed on the homepage whenever you started the mobile game on the top left. Brawler trophies are also listed on the top of the character.

Brawl stars account, Toys & Games, Video Gaming, Video Games on Carousell

Upgrading a character essentially means your character does more damage, has more health, and has more access to better special powers (such as gadgets and supers). Hence, the process of upgrading a character signifies a gradual journey to groom one’s skills and abilities and provide a strong sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when a certain level is obtained. Ultimately, this serves as a metric for social comparison, allowing you to check out leaderboard across social groups or clans to compete for standing and position in their skillsets.

Lens #98: Community

Finally, the community may be the strongest aspect for Brawl Stars. One reason why Brawl Stars shot to fame was because of the multiplayer MOBA that attracted friends to team up and play with one another, raising the level of fun from just individual to a communal one across classmates, colleagues, and family. Players are mostly expected to team up and join clans which promotes group inclusive effort and maximizing together-time across many games played in Brawl Stars.

Unsurprisingly, Brawl Stars is one of the most successful games of Supercell yet, having a strong audience due to its prior successes, yet not neglecting innovation and trend towards MOBA games while leveling the playing field for both experienced and inexperienced, young and old.

Game Design Analysis: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Gameplay Reveal @ E3 2014

Rainbow Six Siege is an online tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. Gamers who want to play the game can purchase it on various gaming platforms like EpicGames, Steam or UPlay. The game is available for purchase at various tiers, and the difference between various tiers are determined by the operators that are unlocked immediately upon purchase. The game is available on PC and Console, and cross platform is not available; separating the console and PC players.

Find out more at:

Analysis through Lens #7: Elemental Tetrad


Match Procedure:
Team-based 5v5, where each team takes turns to play both Attack and Defence on the same map.

First to reach the required amount of rounds won wins the Match.

Game Modes:
Multiple game modes to choose from, eg. Hostage, Diffuse the bomb, etc.

Unlike mainstream competitive FPS games like CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege enables a more dimensional approach to outplay through its environment.

5 Tips to Rank Up in Rainbow Six Siege - Articles - Dignitas
Figure above shows the breakable walls in the game.

By giving players the ability to change the environment, players will have to be quick on their feet and adapt to these changes that can happen anytime during a match.

Physics/Player Actions:
Players are able to choose from a wide plethora of Operators dependent on which side they are currently playing on (Attack or Defence). Operators are divided into these 2 types as they come with abilities specialised in these 2 mentioned areas.

Overall, I feel that Rainbow Six is one of the most mechanically challenging games I have ever played. The developers definitely were successful in making it not just a first person shooter, but a tactical shooter game.

Since the game’s concept revolves around the idea of an attacking team infiltrating an area to secure their objective and a defending team trying to prevent the attackers from reaching their objective, all of the playable maps are of buildings of some sort.

Rainbow Six Siege Villa map: how to defend and how to attack | Rock Paper  Shotgun
Figure above shows a player playing on the defence and choosing his spawn location within the Villa Map.

Powered by AnvilNext2.0, the game also utilizes Ubisoft’s RealBlast technology to create destructible environments.
Due to the game heavily revolving around destructible environments, a graphics card is required to run the game at its minimum. This is a very different case compared to other competitive games like CS:GO and League of Legends where they are way less intensive in terms of graphics processing.

Analysis through Lens #21: The lens of flow

– Players can choose between Casual and Competitive modes.
– Casual allows for different game modes while there’s only one game mode for Competitive play
– Competitive games are matched by the player’s individual Match Making Ratings (MMR)
– The quality of play increases throughout the ranking system. Since we have established that Rainbow Six Siege is way more than a point and click shooter, more experienced players are able to outplay their opponents without even aiming their guns at them.

Like every other competitive game, I do agree with the way they made their ranking system. However as this game is on a whole new level of mechanically intensive games, the problem of smurfing is prevalent as 1 insanely experienced player on a team can easily pull of a 1v5 due to having superior map knowledge and awareness.

Video above shows professional players outplaying their opponents by changing the environment.

Analysis through Lens #21: The lens of skill

– Skill in the form of Operator Mastery: Knowing how to use your operator’s abilities allow you to perform optimally in a game
– Skill in the form of Map Knowledge: Knowing which walls are soft (not bullet proof) / hard (requires a hard breaching device to breach) allows for better rotations and surprise kills on opponents.
– As players rise up in ranks, the possibility of getting outplayed by a more experienced player becomes higher. This presents and opportunity for players to learn new tricks from their kill cams after getting outplayed.
– Spending more time in the game also gives players a better knowledge of the various maps, improving their map rotations and quality of strategies.

In this department, I find the game very rewarding for the time and effort I put into the game. The game has done a good job in raising the importance of map and game knowledge to a point where raw aim is not enough in bringing a player to the highest levels of competitive play.

Analysis through Lens #53: The Lens of Balance:

Every competitive game with different Characters that bring about exclusive abilities to the game experiences the problem of balancing.

Balancing Operators
Rainbow Six Siege brings about balance in the form of counter-play mechanics that players can bring by choosing the right Operators for the job.

Video above shows counters for a Shield Defence Operator called Clash.

Balancing Sides
Apart from balancing Operators, Rainbow Six Siege also have to take into account the balancing of side advantage. Ever heard of the term CT-sided and T-sided? These terms come from the classic CS:GO where certain maps are known to be better for either the Counter-Terrorists or the Terrorists.

Rainbow Six Siege deals with this problem by designing different Operators that specialise in different scenarios so that there can never be a fixed way for anyone to play the game.

“The map is too small and its impossible for attackers to breach! This map is so defence-sided!” – Angry newbie that has less than 5 hours of gameplay

Maybe pick an Operator that can breach hard walls like Thermite? Or pick an Operator that can disable enemy traps with their drone? Or you could just look at the video below!

Video above shows Fuze, a character with the cluster charge ability that allows him to drop bombs through walls to damage opponents. Best use when opponents are camping in a tight corner.

All in all, Rainbow Six Siege is one of the best tactical shooters I have ever played. With no option to pay to win, the only way to get good at the game is to spend time and effort into learning its mechanics.

Game Design Analysis: Among Us

Among Us 🛩️ The Airship Map 🛩️ Reveal Trailer


Among Us is an online multiplayer social deduction game developed and published by American game studio Innersloth.

Steam Page:

Lens #4: The Lens of Surprise:

Imagine that you are a Crewmate, working hard to complete your task…At this time a Impostor come from behind and kill you! A red assassin picture and sound effects can scare you, and the Impostor may be your best friend!

Lens #9: The Elemental Tetrad:


The game takes place in a space-themed setting, in which players each take on one of two roles, most being Crewmates, and a predetermined number being Impostors.

Players suspected to be Impostors may be eliminated via a plurality vote, which any player may initiate by calling an emergency meeting (except during a crisis) or reporting a dead body. Crewmates win if all Impostors are eliminated or all tasks are completed whereas Impostors win if there is an equal number of Impostors and Crewmates, or if a critical sabotage goes unresolved.


  • Goal of the Crewmates: identify the Impostors, eliminate them, and complete tasks around the map.
  • Goal of the Impostors: covertly sabotage and kill the Crewmates before they complete all of their tasks.


  • If a player dies, they become a ghost. Ghosts can pass through walls, are invisible to everyone except other ghosts, however, dead Crewmates must still complete their tasks.
  • If an Impostor dies from being voted off, they can still sabotage to help the other Impostor(s).
  • All players except ghosts have a limited cone of vision, only allowing them to see other players within a certain unblocked distance around them.


Cartoon pixel characters achieve a better picture with minimal hardware overhead.


It was released on iOS and Android devices in June 2018 and on Windows in November 2018, featuring cross-platform play between these platforms.

Lens #17: The lens of The Toy

  • The game can even forget the goals. You can also play hide-and-seek with your friends, turn off the lights and enjoy the darkness.
  • Among Us is easy to get started, the rules and goals are simple, the only thing you need to practise is to make up the story when you are a Impostor.

Lens #21: The lens of Flow

  • Goals are different between Crewmates and Impostors. Even different Crewmates have different tasks to complete.
  • Because that the game can win in different ways: identify and eliminate the Impostors, complete tasks around the map, sabotage and kill the Crewmates… If some players forget their tasks, the others can also win!

Lens #44: The lens of Cooperation

The Crewmates need to cooperate to win, if all the Crewmates play separate, the Impostors are easy to kill them and it’s hard for the Crewmates to recognize and expel the Impostors. But watch out! Not all the guys following you are good, the Impostors can gain your trust by not killing you.

Game Design Analysis: League of Legends

LoL Season 2021 Trailer


League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Riot Games. It is inspired by a modified version of Warcraft III:Defense of the Ancients (DOTA). The game is free-to-play, and is monetized through purchasable character customisation (skins, icons etc). The game is available on PCs (Windows/Mac), but has recently released a mobile version (LoL:Wild Rift). The following focuses on the PC version.

Link to game’s website: 

Lens #9: The lens of the Elemental Tetrad


  • Team-based, 5vs5 MOBA game
  • Extensive character and item choices (over 140 characters and different in-game items for the characters)
  • Strategy and mechanically intensive (Character synergies/counters and quick decision making is required)

However, LoL is designed such that casual players or beginners are able to join in the fun as well. Players have item suggestions and tips to assist them in-game. Personally, I feel that this eases casual players into the game. As they play more and get better, they start to explore the deeper mechanics in-game and improve.


LoL started out with a basic lore of the game, with players commanding champions to fight to avert a catastrophic war. 

  • Lore expanded as the game became more successful; Branched out into alternate universes, such as the K-pop styled K/DA universe
  • Such content was integrated to purchasable content, such as character skins

I feel that the lore makes each character more interesting than just an in-game avatar. It is also an opportunity for the developers to monetise on its success by catering to players who are also fans of similar genres.


The map of the game is brightly lit which gives it a colourful, bright and visually appealing aesthetic. The character animations are carefully designed, especially certain skin editions that have special interactions in-game.

  • True Damage Senna: Prestige Edition was a skin for the character Senna in the True Damage edition, and was designed in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, with the character carrying the LV branding.
True Damage Senna: Prestige Edition


LoL does not have intensive hardware requirements which makes the game easily accessible to a wide audience.

  • 4GB RAM, 16GB memory space 
  • Decent processor and GPU is sufficient for the game to run well

Overall, the 4 elements are integrated well to provide players a different experience each time they play the game. They can use different strategies, champions and playstyles to best their opponents. They can equip the champions with different skins to achieve unique in-game interactions.

Lens #21: The lens of flow

  • Match making rating (MMR) ranks players and matches them to others with similar skillset
  • The cycle of “tense and release” is felt when they improve, the game becomes easier (at the same MMR) but challenging at a higher MMR. 
  • Goals of the game are clearly defined: Defeat the enemy’s Nexus.
  • However, sometimes players are too distracted with their own goals in game: Making good plays and killing many enemies, for example.

It is frustrating to see that while it is a team game, players are too focused on their individual gains and lose out on the big picture sometimes. Often my teammates will not realise that focusing too much on fighting individually (while we can fight as a team) has caused them to lose their lead and fall behind in the game. 

Lens #34: The lens of skill

  • As the game is mechanically intensive, players with better skills are able to perform better for the games
  • Some skills required are: Champion mastery, communication, decision making skills, being able to consider opponents’ strategies
  • Over time, players who play more and analyse their games tend to improve their skills.

Personally, I feel that the MMR system makes it fairer for players as they can play with others of different skillsets. It strikes a balance between the game being “too easy” and gives players a challenge to keep the game interesting.

Lens #39: The lens of meaningful choices

  • The game provides a plethora of choices for the players. They can choose to secure objectives, neutral monsters, to hang back and get more experience (farming) or choose to fight their opponents
  • Players have to weigh and choose the best choice which can help them secure a lead and snowball to victory

For example, my team prefers to secure buffs that can empower our team and let us push for a lead when we are able to. Else, our dominant strategy is to hang back and secure more gold and experience to better equip our champions so we can fight another time.

In-game neutral monsters

Lens #45: The lens of Competition vs Cooperation

  • As aforementioned, LoL is a team-based game, yet players are sometimes too focused on their individual playstyles and being too competitive to forget the cooperation aspect of the game.
  • They want to come out ahead of everyone in the game but forgot the rest of the team.
  • However, I feel that at a higher MMR level, players generally understand the need for cooperation and communication, and are able to embody the appropriate skills required to win games.
  • Experienced players are better able to balance the need for cooperation and competition which allows users to have fun on both fronts. They can cooperate with their team to win games and at the same time come out ahead of their opponents.