Gameplay vs. Mechanics

Apprentice
Posts: 17
Joined: 2011.10
Post: #1
In past developments, I have seen my team struggling between coming up with mechanics and putting the mechanics together to make the gameplay work. I have also seen people coming up with the gameplay and then work on the mechanics.

In both cases, problems are seen as sometimes they are unable to put gameplay and mechanics together.

In addition, is it a good idea to start of with the story to create the experience of the game and you want the players to have, and then move on to work on the mechanics of the game, or vice versa?

Do you meet these problems as well? Feel free to share your experience!
^-^
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Moderator
Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #2
hmmm, I'm afraid I'm not seeing the difference between gameplay and mechanics. Could you give a concrete example? As far as I'm concerned, they are the same thing.
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Member
Posts: 338
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #3
I've also seen them referred to as mechanics and dynamics. Mechanics are the basic blocks of the gameplay, and dynamics are the more complicated patterns that emerge as a result of all the mechanics working together. So in Centipede, moving and shooting are mechanics, and mushroom farming is a dynamic.

I've found that when I design a game I start with mechanics but also usually have an idea of what dynamics I want to see. Sometimes they come out right the first time, other times mechanics and variables need to be altered until that behavior starts occurring. And sometimes dynamics emerge that you could never have foreseen.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Apprentice
Posts: 17
Joined: 2011.10
Post: #4
Probably it boils down to the definitions that we have here. Over at our studio, mechanics simply means the actions that players do in the game, while gameplay or dynamics as what JustinFic mentions, is the overall vision of what the game should be.

For instance in Super Mario, the mechanics of the game is jumping and running. The gameplay is the character running across obstacles to collect items and reach its destination within a limited amount of time.
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Apprentice
Posts: 15
Joined: 2011.11
Post: #5
without going into semantics, i think gameplay is a superset of mechanic.

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Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: 2013.06
Post: #6
Gameplay stems from mechanics IMO
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