Secrets of Game Feel and Juice | Game Design Basics


Some game designers use words like “game feel” and “juice” to describe the abstract and often invisible factors that make the best action games surge with life and energy. In this episode of Game Maker’s Toolkit, we try to figure out what those words mean, and how you can capitalise on them to make your game feel more fun and satisfying.

Support Game Maker’s Toolkit on Patreon –

Have Mark talk at your studio, university, or event –

Jan Willem Nijman (Vlambeer)’s “The art of screenshake”

Jonatan Söderström (Cactus)’s “The 4 Hour Game Design”

Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho (Grapefruit)’s “Juice it or lose it”

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance):

Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games, 2012)
Random Heroes (Ravenous Games, 2012)
Super Time Force (Capybara Games, 2014)
Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games, 2013)
Super Meat Boy (Team Meat, 2010)
Castle Crashers (The Behemoth, 2008)
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Nicalis / Edmund McMillen, 2014)
Super Mario World (Nintendo, 1990)
Super Mario 64 (Nintendo, 1996)
Nuclear Throne (Vlambeer, 2015)
rymdkapsel (Grapefrukt, 2013)
Ridiculous Fishing (Vlambeer, 2013)
Gunbrick (Nitrome, 2015)
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (Capcom, 1992)
God of War (Santa Monica Studio, 2005)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo, 2002)
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (WayForward, 2014)
Guacamelee (Drinkbox Studios, 2013)
Shank (Klei Entertainment, 2010)
Gun Godz (Vlambeer, 2013)
Super Crate Box (Vlambeer, 2010)
Peggle (PopCap Games, 2007)
Alien Hominid HD (The Behemoth, 2007)

Music used in this episode:

Miami (Hotline Miami)
Main Theme (Super Mario 64)
Forest Funk (Super Meat Boy)
Luftrauser (Luftrausers)
Construction Yard (Super Crate Box
Decade Dance (Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number)

Clip credits:

“God of War 1 – Part 1 of 11” – bdcool213


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  1. I looked up this subject after recently playing The Binding of Isaac and while in the middle of playing Rogue Legacy… because I think those are 2 games that have weak game feel.
    I can't tell if their inclusion in this video's background is because they're good or bad examples!!

  2. I love games that make you feel that you’re good at them, when you’re not. Games that make you feel like you’re in the game. The only game I can use to describe this is doom. I love moving around in this game, dodging projectiles, shooting enemies. It makes you feel so much adrenaline, but even if you die, you don’t care. Because it’s so much fun. I love those games.

  3. I just finished playing Gris and that is one amazing game without enemies to fight, points to score but is immersive and just beautiful. You should do a video on its design, story and gameplay.

  4. On the topic of accessability in games. I have ADHD. While this may not be case with other people, when I have lots of visual and/or auditory stimulus I can get a little overwhelmed and it affects my reaction time and gameplaying abilities. So I actually really dislike lots of camera shake and flashy animations – they make it so I can't play the game very effectively.

  5. Ok, so, apparently I've been following a good dev practice and I didn't know it :p

  6. I think it was Hollow Knight that made me really stop and give this a think.
    Every time you're hit, a massive CRACK appears on the screen, the entire world stops for a second, and then you fly away. There is NO mistaking that you've been hit, no matter how many enemies are on the screen. And you have just enough to see the keyframe that connected with you, before you go flying.

  7. Не нужно писать каждое слово в кавычках с заглавной буквы, ну

  8. this is one of the worse videos on this channel. There is so much "wrong" information. It just depends on what you want, hollow knight with lot of screen shake wouldnt be great. Big explosion and loud bullet sounds arent always something good.

  9. With how much games are becoming all about story and nothing else this video is gonna be useless in a year or two.

  10. I love hitting those stupid Vikings in Castle Crashers
    feels so good, just by seeing it on scream made me pay attention to the video again


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