How Gameplay Loops Keep You Playing

How Gameplay Loops Keep You Playing

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The Architect isn’t the only person out there with a steadily growing backlog of games that’s impossible to ever finish- and despite that, they still go back to the same old games time and time again, but what makes a game compelling, and what makes us get bored of a title long before we’ve finished it?

The answer, is gameplay loops, a foundational game design trick designed to keep you playing for longer, but that’s not always a good thing.

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You Saw:

Starcraft 2 – 2010
Frostpunk- 2018
Astroneer- 2019
Grim Dawn- 2016
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided- 2016
Steamworld Dig 2- 2017
Transistor- 2014
Hades- Early Access
Destiny 2- 2017
Steamworld Quest- 2019
Wandersong- 2018
Pyre- 2017
Super Mario 64- 1996
Doom- 1993
DOOM- 2016
New Super Luigi Bros U- 2014
A Hat in Time- 2017
Jamestown- 2011
Furi- 2016
Bayonetta- 2009
Total Warhammer 2- 2017
Final Fantasy 6- 1996
Dark Souls- 2012
Sunless Skies- 2019
The Hex- 2018
Far Cry 3- 2012
The Lenged of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- 2016
Far Cry 5- 2018
Super Paper Mario- 2007
Pokemon Ultra Sun- 2017
Pokemon Fire Red- 2004
Pikmin- 2001
Factorio- Early Access (technically)
Devil Daggers- 2016
Bad Rats- 2007
Clash Royale- 2016
Candy Crush- 2012
Bejeweled 3- 2010
Sonic Adventure 2- 2001
Rimworld- 2016
Her Story- 2016
Ai War 2- 2019


  1. Megalogue on October 8, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Can anyone name the game at 5:29 for me? It seems like the game list skips over it.

  2. PyroMancer2k on October 8, 2021 at 8:12 am


  3. Lane Shields on October 8, 2021 at 8:13 am
  4. sneakers on October 8, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Laughs in ror2

  5. Alice Halley on October 8, 2021 at 8:15 am

    This is why I am being very cautious with Deep Rock Galactic. It’s an awesome game, and so brilliantly well made. But it does have that ludicrously addictive loop of diving into a mission, and finding arbitrary ways to keep you doing it over and over again. I realised that I had played the game as much as I enjoyed it; explored and pretty much mastered all the mission types and explored each of the characters. But the promise of more Gold, endless things to buy and unlock, a swanky new pickaxe or armour set every 10 ranks Is constantly trying to goad you into playing more and more and more, even when you’re not really having that much fun. Similar to destiny. So I do my best to only come back to enjoy the new content that drops and leave before the addictive tenancies of the game ropes me in to "One last dive…".

  6. Dipin Bk on October 8, 2021 at 8:15 am

    5:07 what game?

  7. Nj Montano on October 8, 2021 at 8:17 am

    In my search for (good) endlessly replayable (single player) games, I found Monster Hunter.

  8. Vincent Pascoe on October 8, 2021 at 8:17 am

    First time I played Hades I died and turned off the game I thought I didn’t have time to play this game. Not realizing it was a roguelike I didn’t realize it was procedural levels I just thought it was hard like dark souls . months later a friend said iw was good so I gave it another shot and it’s been my most loved game of 2020. it wasn’t till I crossed that tipping point and understood the tempo of the game then I was hooked.

  9. Jacob Cordonero on October 8, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I agree about destiny. I thought it felt off but couldn’t pin down the reason why. It makes me feel bad about warframe since the gameplay loop looked so similar to destiny I never gave it a proper try (or payed attention to the story)

  10. Daniel Rodriguez on October 8, 2021 at 8:18 am

    I think its spelled Cracktorio*

  11. Mr Elkatook on October 8, 2021 at 8:20 am

    shit, you reach deep into my soul by mentioning frostpunk , dont do me like that

  12. Adam Millard - The Architect of Games on October 8, 2021 at 8:20 am

    This is a stickup, give me the money and I’ll use it to fund more fun content you hopefully enjoy!
    Do it or I’ll force you to follow me on twitter – that website is the worst and it’s only good for SEO optimisation, you’ll go insane!:

  13. Red Hood on October 8, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I like destiny well enough, but I can only play it for a few months at a time bc it’s loop pulls me in and sucks up all my time and it burns me out

  14. Kat Back on October 8, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I’m curious as to what games like The Sims’ gameplay loop/s are.

  15. Cooper Bennett on October 8, 2021 at 8:21 am

    You should finish broforce it’s worth it

  16. BARONC on October 8, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Love how the first example of crappy mobile game that tries to trick you and cause addiction is from supercell

  17. Jaunor on October 8, 2021 at 8:26 am

    3:48 what game is this one?, looks great

  18. MaybeAnonymousDev on October 8, 2021 at 8:26 am

    im in a game jam and this will help

  19. kiiyll on October 8, 2021 at 8:27 am

    I close Hades and open up YouTube and get recommended a video that makes me want to play Hades again lmao

  20. VillinousMatters on October 8, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Just wanted to say I really enjoyed seeing the Sonic Adventure 2: Battle B-roll.

  21. AOG on October 8, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Hey my Initials are AOG

  22. Caoilfhionn Dunbar on October 8, 2021 at 8:30 am

    The loopiest ™ game is the Shadow of Mordor series, its one thirty minute loop repeated ad naseum, and yet its such a good loop people are still playing the game on to farm better Orcs going on five years later

  23. C. O. on October 8, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Music at 4:30 is from where? It sounds so familiar to me but I can’t put my finger on it.

  24. T L on October 8, 2021 at 8:30 am

    3:58 booba

  25. Bingle on October 8, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Well you see, it’s called a loop for a reason…

  26. Oldstalk on October 8, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Man, that’s the exact opposite for me. I couldn’t finish any Super giant games, as I find every of them to be so boring and just, uninteresting.

  27. hsinto on October 8, 2021 at 8:34 am

    What’s the song used during the Total War segment?

  28. jiminfested on October 8, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Are you a time traveler, wasn’t Hades released in 2020?

  29. Reathonax on October 8, 2021 at 8:38 am

    What’s the song at 4:08?

  30. Lucca Bibar on October 8, 2021 at 8:38 am

    i guess this is one of the reasons why i keep playing league of legends

  31. God of nothing on October 8, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Factorio has more than just a “few hour session length”, whenever I open the game, after what I think was about an hour or two I look at the clock and find that suddenly ten hours have gone by. (Though this is by no means a bad thing)

  32. Wing Hong Wong on October 8, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Mankind Divided actually does have a good combat gameplay loop (you get rewarded for performing certain actions, get XP points, upgrade to get even more awesome powers, repeat). What really hurts it is the weak and incomplete story narrative, missing that story hook to make people give it a chance. It has good RPG mechanics, but misses the mark on story which is still a vital part of being a RPG

  33. Kerosin on October 8, 2021 at 8:40 am

    I played destiny 2 for about 1000 hrs throughout the years, and I loved the story and all that… but the only thing retaining me past when I finished the newest campaign or whatever was that time period they give you to get the best loot that’s just long enough so I can get my new loot before the next story is released but not too long that I can go take a break. And if you can’t take a break from destiny it gets really boring

  34. Eugeni Auna on October 8, 2021 at 8:42 am

    "Just… make sure they aren’t stealing from you" *proceeds to promote his patreon*

  35. Ridku13 on October 8, 2021 at 8:43 am

    3:48 what game is that??

  36. Vineasaur on October 8, 2021 at 8:46 am

    I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I cannot stand for any disrespect on the 2009 video game ‘Bad Rats’ developed by Invent4. Bad Rats is one of gamings true masterpieces, and I don’t say that lightly. It has changed the way that I view video games, and life in general. It is a revolutionary experience that I believe everybody and their mothers should enjoy. If you have not picked up Bad Rats on steam, I would highly recommend doing so, and I can assure you you will not regret it. Sincerely, A Big Bad Rats Fan.

  37. Vallen Shield on October 8, 2021 at 8:48 am

    when gameplay loops are extendind to pay to win is when i drop a game as PAY TO WIN IS FUCKING STUPID

  38. SerrynRS on October 8, 2021 at 8:49 am

    I just spent an hour trying to figure out the loops in old school runescape… im stumped my guy

  39. Kg the almighty on October 8, 2021 at 8:52 am

    You forgot to add the best Schmups in your video description

  40. Iluvlittenanimations2.0 on October 8, 2021 at 8:52 am

    I’m working on a semi open world RPG with a heavy focus on a feedback loop of exploring to find dungeons to get weapons to find more dungeons to get more weapons to prepare for main dungeons to up the world level and progress the story to get more weapons
    Most of the systems feed back into encouraging the player to explore to find new dungeons for more unique weapons.

  41. The Communist Accountant on October 8, 2021 at 8:52 am

    So in a game like WoW rotation is short loop, quest/boss fights are medium loop, and gearing is long loop, while guilds are the meta game loop? Just checking to see if this interpretation holds

  42. DonDonConCon on October 8, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Grim Dawn is a weird one. The gameplay loop of actually going on a quest, killing stuff and getting the reward is bland (like it is for most diablo type ARPG’s), but the character progression system is honestly the best I have seen in a video game. There is so much variation in how you can create your character that it makes the rather bland combat worth it in my opinion. I have put over 140 hours in the game and I intend to put even more as there are still builds that I want to explore.

    As someone who plays DnD regularily, no other game has given me the feeling of being so free in how I want to create my character, not even Divinity Original Sin and D:OS 2

  43. Tyler on October 8, 2021 at 8:59 am

    at 3:27 not sure if anyone saw the subtitles, but it’s just great

  44. Ian Briggs on October 8, 2021 at 9:01 am

    pet the pupper

  45. Nekroneko on October 8, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Fire Emblem Three Houses keeps loosing my interest because the gameplay loop keeps getting interrupted with the open world stuff.. at least that’s how I feel

  46. 20x20 on October 8, 2021 at 9:03 am

    What’s that music that starts at 4:10? It’s so familiar…

  47. H guy on October 8, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Nobody likes Destiny 2, not even Destiny 2 players

  48. Owen Burke on October 8, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Ff6 music :]

  49. lonelyPorterCH on October 8, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Talks about that Open world pokemon wouldn’t work.

    1 year later: Pokemon Arceus gets announced ;P

  50. CANBOY on October 8, 2021 at 9:08 am

    that is a lot of games if I was you I would be quite happy.

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