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Game design with mandinga

There is a Brazilian word I learned by practicing Capoeira: mandinga.

Like many words from Brazilian Portuguese, its origin goes up to Africa. The original “mandingueiros” were Muslim literates who compared to other enslaved people knew how to read and write. That’s why they were considered like magicians, almost.

“Mandinga é fazer com pouco, muito!”. Old Capoeira masters speak these words: mandinga is to make a lot with a few things.

This knowledge from the history of our World can be adapted to game design, too:

  • When you have budget 10, it’s better to design a game for budget 3. Your team will thank you later. Explain mandinga to the voices telling you you are not being ambitious enough.
  • When you don’t have access to all the best talents in the World, remember that games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, and Candy Crush Saga were not created by people with huge tracks.
  • It’s better to do one-two things very well than five-seven average. Remember that the value is in the IPs you create, not in the features you add.

Put a little bit of mandinga in your game design!

Published inGame Design

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