Vlambeer Scale of Quality


At the 2013 INDIGO Classes, Jan Willen Nijman detailed Vlambeer’s tricks for creating better game feel, which is essentially how the play experience and game information hits the player, which is the result of precise details and minor tweaks. In the Talk, Jan took a game with bad game feel and applied each of his 31 tricks step-by-step until the game had what he considered to be good game feel. Some of the tricks are simply visual changes while others address actual gameplay mechanics. The 31 tips are general, genre specific, and the result of a refined personal style from this odd and idiosyncratic indie developer.

Below I have organized the tricks to create The Vlambeer Scale of Game Feel.  Jan’s category names are on the left, and I’ve added my notes on the right. Simply add these simple tricks and you’re game will have great game feel too… maybe. In the meantime, keep a look about for The Vlambeer Scale of Game Feel seal. When the seal is applied to a game, the score is calculated based on the number of tricks it implements. The higher the rating the more Vlambeer-ian (Vlambiric, Vlambeeo?) the games feel.


  1. Basic Sound and Animation – Is it entertaining?
  2. Lower Enemy HP – Is 3 shots the magic number?
  3. Higher Rate of Fire – Increase frequency of core player actions.
  4. More Enemies – Parade (large groups) of enemies
  5. Bigger Bullets – Make bullets Mega Man “lemon” big.
  6. Muzzle Flash – Make the first frame of bullet sprites a white circle.
  7. Faster Bullets – Make Bullets 5 times faster than the player. Or make bullets move half the length of the screen in half a second.
  8. Less Accuracy – Random bullet spread
  9. Impact Effects – Animated “pop” when a bullet hits a wall or an enemy.
  10. Hit Animation – Enemy flashes white when hit
  11. Enemy Knockback – Enemy gets pushed back when shot
  12. Permanence – Leave dead bodies on the ground. Have destructible environment.
  13. Camera Lerp – Camera slightly lags behind the player movement
  14. Camera Position – Position camera to highlight the focus of the game.
  15. Screen Shake – Small shake of the screen when the gun fires
  16. Player Knockback – Player is pushed backwards when firing forwards.
  17. Sleep – A slight pause to the game state when hits connect with targets. (hit pause)
  18. Gun Delay – Gun animates independently from player sprite/model.
  19. Gun Kickback – Animation flourish.
  20. Strafing – Rules that tie moving and shooting together (like stop-and-pop gameplay)
  21. More Permanence – Leave bullet casings on the floor (find at least 3 examples)
  22. More Bass – Gives the gun more kick. (audio design)
  23. Super Machinegun – Have a machinegun (or a supercharged version of core mechanic)
  24. Random Explosions – 33% chance that enemies explode on death hurting other enemies.
  25. Faster Enemies – Compensate for random explosions to increase difficulty.
  26. More Enemies – Compensate for increased fire power.
  27. Higher Rate of Fire – Compensate for increased enemies.
  28. Camera Kick – In addition to the shake, jerk the camera moves in the opposite direction of the fire.
  29. Bigger Explosions – Because bigger is better
  30. Even More Permanence – Smoke from the explosion lingers
  31. Meaning – Have a purpose for the action