Extra Credits: Exploration appeals to basic human instincts, and the basic joy we get from discovery makes exploration a key element for many games. While the geographic discovery of finding new levels or zones is a great example of exploration in games, it’s not the only type of exploration that exists. Among others, games can provide mechanical discovery, where players try new build paths or skill combos to increase their mastery of the game; content discovery, where players seek to unlock secrets or rush to open new packs to find out what they carry; and narrative discovery, where instead of being walked through a story the player must piece together backstory and lore from evidence they find around the world. This joy of discovery comes as much from the hunt as from the finding, but the designer must reward the player’s successful exploration with new tools or insights to show that the game recognizes their efforts.
See also: Making your first game