Our Game Design Philosophy

Striving for the NEXT Level

At Spriteworx, our mission (and tagline) is "Creating NEXT Level Entertainment".  

Not "Mediocre Entertainment" or "A Rehash of What's Already Out There Entertainment" but NEXT LEVEL Entertainment.  

That's not only a catchy pun on the name of the Sinclair NEXT computer but it's the very essence of our philosophy. 

How do we reach the Next level?  You've heard the expression "Shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars"?  Ok, that's a bit of a paraphrase (and seems slightly reversed since the stars are a lot farther away then the moon) but it embodies the sentiment nonetheless.  

Rule #1 - Imagine the Impossible

We start off by coming up with the germ of a cool idea for a game.  After all, the games are what it's all about, right?  The next step is to forget what's possible. If you have ever bought an actual physical game back in the day, you will be all too familiar with the anticipation you felt seeing the cool graphics on the front of a game box and reading the enticing description on the back - only to be let down by the actual game.  We believe the first step in creating something really great is imagining something truly mind-blowing.  

But, what if we don't achieve it? Guess what - WE NEVER DO!  You know what else? We don't expect to. If we achieve everything we imagined in our original game design then we have set our sights too low.  By not limiting ourselves to what we know to be possible we allow ourselves to start with a vision of something incredible and hopefully end up with something at least really special. While it is necessary to be aware of the technological limitations of the hardware, if you always focus on what can't be done you are likely to end up with a result that is safe, predictable and probably not all that earth shattering. Remember, we are aiming for Alpha Centauri in the hopes of landing on Jupiter (still pretty cool) - not aiming for Universal Studios Florida and landing in, well, Universal Studios Florida.

Rule #2 - No Platform Games

Hey, what's wrong with platform games? Nothing, I guess. Well, then why.... We've just seen enough of them.  Does the world really need another Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog? (Ok, Manic Miner / Jet Set Willy). Sure they're cool and fun and people love them but they've been done - to - death! That dead horse has been beaten, flogged and pummelled into a fine powdery pulp a multitude of times over. If we ever think of a new and exciting way to make a platform game that absolutely must be brought to life then we may change our minds but for now it's just not our thang. 

Rule #3 - No Remakes

Ok, this one we need to qualify a bit. It should really say, "No remakes just for the sake of doing a remake".  An existing game re-done with upgraded sound and graphics and possibly some added functionality or extra levels may seem worthwhile but, again - not our thang.

Rule #4 - The Fun Factor

What defines a game? It's gotta be fun right? That's pretty much the definition of a game isn't it?  Low res graphics, color clash and weak sound? All forgivable - to a degree, but if it's not fun what's the point? Smooth gameplay, interesting dynamics and engaging storyline / mission objectives. These are the things that keep you coming back for more and pushing to make it just a little farther to reach the next level and ultimately the end of the game. That's the measurement of fun. Ever played a game partway through the first few levels and thought "Meh, that's enough. Maybe I'll come back to this later"? How about a game that kept you up all night because you were determined to finish it?  The fun factor must strive to motivate the player to do everything in their power to make it to that final End-of-Game screen!

Rule #5 - No Anti-Fun Factors

A long list of complicated rules? Not fun. Awkward user interface and twitchy player controls? Not fun. Bugs and coding errors that make the game unstable and/or unpredictable? Not fun. How about a game that's just too dang difficult to win? You guessed it - NOT FUN.  A game with even one anti-fun factor can be like that hair in your dessert at the end of an otherwise fabulous meal. Even if the game is crammed full of innovative, impressive and truly Next level features, if it's not fun, it's not done!

Rule #6 - The Cool Factor

So the game is impressive, original and fun. Isn't that enough? Countless games don't even achieve those goals let alone the added cool factor. What is the cool factor? It's just that. Anything that makes the player think (or better yet, say out loud) "Hey, that's cool!" It could be an unexpected animation, sound effect or surprise game element. It doesn't even need to be (and usually isn't) critical to the gameplay. In fact the game could probably easily get by without it, although it wouldn't be as... cool.

Rule #7 - The Wow Factor

Another factor? What could possibly be left? The title of this section might actually be a bit misleading as the wow factor is not one thing but a combination of many. It's going the extra mile and taking the care and effort to add those extra special touches that show we really put our heart into the game.  A boring solid red health bar? Let's animate it with some shimmer effects. The character's not being moved at the moment? Maybe he can tap his foot or look around while he's waiting. Two shades of brown for that box? Hmm, looks ok but how about four... or six? These details combine to give the game the added polish that helps in making the gaming experience just that much more immersive for the player.

Rule #8 - Go Deep!

Ok, so we've followed all the rules and made a game that is a shining example of originality, ingenuity, programming wizardry, is visually stunning and joystick-breakingly addictive.  Surely we must be done!  Are we? Hmm, I dunno. How about:

  • A deluxe version of the game with added features? 
  • An expansion pack with extra levels for hardcore fans?
  • A physical boxed version for collectors who want something to hold in their hands and display on their shelves?
  • Some added fun stuff like stickers, fold-out maps, posters & collectibles?
  • A booklet/online resource with hints and tips for players who get stuck or want to squeeze every ounce of playability out of the game?
  • Cheat codes and easter eggs?
  • Walk-through gameplay videos?
  • An online group or community for people to share their gaming experiences and/or ask questions about the game?
  • A sequel with updated graphics, gameplay and storyline?


At Spriteworx we respect the art of game development and are committed to continually improving our capabilities while following these guidelines in order to produce ever better games and in doing so, make the world a tiny bit brighter.

From our family to yours,

Stay safe... and have some fun.

- Spriteworx Team.