RoDney Infinite – Dev Log #4 – My Ideas on what makes a game fun.

In this post I’ll go over some of my ideas I have for RoDney Infinite. I’ll talk about how I’d like the game to flow and some of my thoughts for level design, to keep the game fresh.


I’ve been playing games for a really long time, with Super Mario Bros. being my first major game. That’s about 30 years of gaming. I couldn’t have been born at a better time, I was growing right alongside technology.

I think I know a lot about game design, throughout my life, I’ve read about what makes a game work behind the scenes, I know what makes a game work. How controls impact fun, how a single simplistic sound can change the overall feel of a level, best of all, I’ve experienced it. The Super Mario Bros. series has been a big part of my life, and it is Shigeru Miyamoto that has inspired me most with designing RoDney.

Shigeru Miyamoto’s Influence on RoDney Infinite

All Hail Shigeru Miyamoto!

What makes a game fun? I’ll talk about Super Mario Bros. First let me just get this out of the way, and how genius the creators were to make the first level into a tutorial, (check out this video on youtube).

A Single Button

On his own Mario walks at a decent speed, fast enough for the game to be fun, but a little on the slow side. You can probably get pretty far by playing this way but, you don’t know any better, you accept this as the games rules.

There is a second button on the NES controller, B. By introducing a button you can hold, it makes you run faster. This changes the whole game, it’s almost as if you are playing an entirely different game. Now you feel the game more, your immersion also increases, it almost creates a stronger bond to you and Mario because by pressing and holding one button in the whole time, you are connected and now you can feel risk with upcoming pitfalls, which creates excitement, which creates a stronger bond.

One small gameplay element, one small button, can change everything in how a game feels, plays, and how it immerses you.

The XBOX Controller has about 7 buttons.


RoDney is a platformer first, and I have to find a way to keep its gameplay fresh with unique gameplay so that players don’t get bored. In 2023 Super Mario Wonder was released, every level in it, introduces a new gameplay feature to keep it fresh, this goes on for an amazing 69 levels. I can’t imagine coming up with that many changes. I stopped playing it because I tend to take ideas from other games, and I didn’t want it to influence RoDney’s game design.

Changing up the platform gameplay, there’s an obstacle course where you bounce a ring off of your head while jumping off certain points to get the highest score possible.

Finally, I have an idea for a level about rock climbing up the side, when you reach the top, you then parachute down the side, collecting objects on you’re way down to land on a point-based platform. Like the SNES Classic, Pilotwings. Hopefully, I can get it in 3D.

Addictive Gameplay

There’s a lot of feedback going on in Super Mario Bros. When you jump on a Goomba you bounce up a little, and a sound effect plays. You can almost feel the jump through the controller, this is one that creates a small addiction. An addiction is created by receiving a reward in the form of a small jump animation when squishing the Goomba, you also bounce a tiny bit off of its head, and also a small sound effect clip plays, it’s a very satisfying reaction, this is a nice example of visual and sound feedback.

Here’s a Goomba being jumped on:

Addiction Example, in RoDney, include introducing a gust of wind, on the open water map, where you control a ship, the player could seek out the gust, and it propels the ship forward, complete with sound effect, creating a small addictive gameplay element.

That wraps up this development update. Thank You for reading!