Game Design Break Down: Gang Beasts

I have been playing a lot of couch competitive/party games recently, the most popular among my roommates and I being Gang Beasts. I started wondering, what actually makes this game fun? Why has it grown to be so popular among my otherwise non-competitive roommates?

Having just revived the RIT Game Development Club, I had the perfect opportunity to ask fellow developers/designers what they thought. I asked people a couple of questions:

What is the goal of this game?

  • Be the last player alive and kill your enemies!

What are some obstacles?

  • Other players
  • The environmental hazards

Is this game fair?

  • This game is fair to all those who have played before, but if you are a new player going up against people who have played before, the game does not make it obvious what the controls are. This can lead to some new players being a little confused.

The group came to a couple conclusions about how the simple mechanics of the game can lead to some very fun dynamics between players.

The basic mechanics of the game are to punch, grab, and therefore kill the opposing players. You win by being the last person alive. Each map has a different environmental hazard, that allows for more varied ways to be victorious.

If you were to break down all these things into the types of fun as defined by the MDA Framework, then we came up with the following:

Fellowship

Being a local multiplayer game, the people that you are playing with can either make or break the experience for you.

Discovery

This is mainly for newer players, that have to discover what each of the buttons on the controller does for themselves. Along with discovering how to play the game, each map offers new ways to defeat the opponents, which you need to find out for yourself.

Challenge

If you are playing with more experienced players, then the matches can last quite a while. This will invoke some more challenging strategies in the game.

If you are looking for a great competitive game to play with your friends of all skill levels, then Gang Beasts is a fantastic addition to the ol’ Steam library.

Author: Ben Hoffman

RIT Game Design and Development student