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4 Main Aspects of Casual Game Design
4 Main Aspects of Casual Game Design
The gaming world is evolving every single day. From simple arcade Atari games that we rushed home from school to play, we went to have games available in the palm of our hands, whenever and wherever we wanted to play them.

These are just the perks of advancement in technology, but do modern games fulfil the need for joy and excitement games used to inspire back in the day?
Most games nowadays are based on instant gratification and microtransactions, making people feel FOMO - or Fear Of Missing Out if they skip a day of playing their favourite game.

It may cost them falling behind their friends and co-players in terms of levels, power and which can directly implicate the in-game performance of the player.

Unfortunately, all of these factors lead to stress and make the game feel like a chore rather than something to enjoy and relax with.
Luckily, there are still games that are designed to be enjoyed in our free time, without forcing the player to be constantly online.

Solitaire with levels being one such great example, and strive to achieve certain milestones in the game just to be competitive, or to be able to play the content that should be widely available to all players.

There are four main aspects of game design that make the game casual, and we will talk about them in more detail below.
The Way the Player Interacts With the Game 
This is the first aspect that makes a game casual. While most games today take pride in their complex mechanics, a casual game should be very simple mechanically and have few controls.

The simple mechanics and controls mean that there is a very little gap in the different player’s ability to play the game at the same level of competence.

Furthermore, simple mechanics and controls mean that the game takes very little time to learn how to play.
Control options should be few which would allow the player to play the game despite the given cognitive abilities.

Whereas the feeling of fulfilment in competitive games comes with competing and winning against other players, casual games achieve the feeling of fulfilment through different mechanics.

This can be anywhere from competing and improving yourself or your character, land or farm.
Visual Design Is a Key Factor in Making the Game Casual
Since the occasional and casual player is the main target of the companies making these casual games the visual design of the game should be eye-catching and inviting.

Using warm colours and cartoonish graphics makes the game look more casual and easy to play. Photorealistic graphics like the ones PC games normally use make the game look more competitive.

Also having the visual design connected to having less complex UI, and having more visual aspects based on everyday real-life experience makes the game easier to play, and more approachable to newer players.

The visual design should be focused on making the game have less friction in the interaction between the plate and the game.
Clear System of Progression
Casual games need to have some sort of design implemented that will allow the player to progress, and earn rewards that make the player feel like he’s advancing towards a goal without forcing the player to play for hours on end to achieve some sort of a goal.

The casual audience usually plays games while riding on the bus or train to school, to kill time on their flight or simply in between chores. Less time playing the game doesn’t necessarily have to mean fewer rewards.

Game designers could implement a system of rewards that gives players rewards for several days of consecutive gameplay, or simply have a bar that players fill when completing certain objectives in the game.

However, these milestones should not be an obstacle to gameplay otherwise they could make the player feel like playing the game is a chore or an obligation.

Cosmetic rewards are a good example of casual rewards, and power items that allow the player to be more powerful and complete tasks faster can be a sort of obligatory progress chore which can turn players away from the game.
In modern gaming, monetization is the one key point of friction that turns players away from playing a game and makes the game undesirable.

Many games implement a monetary system that requires a person to spend money to progress through the levels of the game or to be more powerful and complete tasks easier than usual.

In a casual game, banner ads which offer no benefit to the player, but make the company some cash could be a good approach.
However, the banner ads shouldn’t be invasive or take too much screen space which could result in lowering the visibility of the game by cutting the mobile screen.
A good recommendation for a casual game with a rewarding design is

If you haven’t played it before, be sure to give it a try, or try some similar casually designed games such as arcade games, word and trivia, strategy games or puzzle games.

These are just some of the options available for casual players today. Overall, casual games can be a great source of relaxation, if you pick the right one for your taste and playstyle.
4 Main Aspects of Casual Game Design

4 Main Aspects of Casual Game Design