Rule of Loop

The Rule of Loop can be summarised in one quote:

"The more times you test and improve your design, the better your game will be."

For games that can be iterated on quickly, like a card or board game, then you should test it and change it until it's fun. However, for a modern videogame, that isn't going to be possible. Therefore, the team needs to get creative with how they prototype and "loop". For example, can we prototype parts of the gameplay on a simpler engine or even on paper? Can we run experiments to test the graphics engine limit with simple scripts?

The questions you should ask yourself during prototyping are:

  1. How can we "make each loop count"? In other words, what form of a prototype will quickly surface issues without design to the surface?
  2. How can we make each loop as fast as possible? This affords us the chance for more lessons.

Schell (2015) (pg. 94)

Closely related to Iterative Development, and prototyping exercises like Spike in Scrum and XP, which aims to make us more familiar with a problem or technology through a prototyping exercise.

Cover image by Colin and Sarah Northway on Flickr.


Jesse Schell. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. CRC Press, Boca Raton, second edition edition, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4665-9864-5.