What's the spice that makes the secret Hybrid Casual sauce recipe pop? Let Design Lead Sofia unlock the world of Game Design.

When designing a Hybrid Casual game, it’s important to focus on creating a balance between the different elements of the game. This means finding the right combination of all the elements that will keep the player engaged and interested.

One way to do this is to start with a clear understanding of the player’s motivations and goals. “Players always come first to us,” says Lightneer’s Design Lead Sofia. We want to match the players’ desires and goals to create the ideal interactions in our games.”

Sofia starts by stating how hybrid casuals come to life; , from the other world comes Hyper; the basic superficial function and action in the game, which is enjoyable and nice to repeat. And then from Casual comes a bigger purpose for simple replayability and entertainment, a value that circulates there in the game scaling up with you. A bit like a player’s own project.”

Another important aspect of game design in Hybrid Casual Games is creating a user-friendly interface. Players should be able to easily understand how to play the game and navigate the different elements. This can be achieved through clear instructions, intuitive controls, and simple game mechanics. Finally, it’s important to consider the overall look and feel of the game. The graphics, sound effects, and music should all work together to create a cohesive gaming experience that engages and immerses the player.

Elements of Game Designing

Let’s review some elements of game design Elements of Game Design. The elements of game design include mechanics, which govern game operations, player interaction, response to player actions, and win/loss conditions. A strong story or theme adds depth and meaning to the game, enhancing engagement and memory but “also adding a lot of clarity. When there is clarity how thematically labeled elements compare to each other, players can instantly assume what the value of those elements are for them and for their future gameplay. For example, when a player gets wood and stone, they know they’re very omnipotent but also normal resources. Or when a player gets a key, they start looking out for treasure chests and expect them – giving value to the key instantly.”

If things get too abstract or obscure, players have to learn, without a theme, what the function and value is. Art and graphics are the visual elements that create an immersive and visually appealing experience, while sound and music add atmosphere and enhance immersion.

A user-friendly and clear user interface is important for easy player control, and the connections between challenge, reward, difficulty, and accessibility must be balanced with player’s feedback. The game design process also involves quality assurance, which is an iterative process of testing and making changes based on feedback and results.

And now Sofia, Design Lead of Lightneer, will take over.

Million Dollar Ideas

Sofia, what were your first thoughts as a Designer, when you heard about this new strategy change? “I felt that we are well prepared for it.” Hyper casual games typically have a lot of momentary trends and themes that can have a very short life, and these games can be made by smaller teams. “Our luxury is that we have a lot of talent and specialized people, so we have the opportunity to compete in another league.”

Even before the change, there was already a certain ability and perspective, especially on the part of the Designers, to be able to create much deeper player experiences. “It always seemed to attract designers, and I see a lot of easily applicable work in design that can be deepened and broadened. Although the switch to hybrid casual games brought in some questions and confusion, I strongly believe that the transformation will be smooth”.

“Hyper Casual games remain very superficial, whereas in Hybrid Casual games we work on the longevity and lifetime of the product by designing experiences that create more value for you to come back to enjoy the game”.

We now know that we have an excellent chance of succeeding in producing Hybrid Casual games. We already have the evidence and the ability to create products that are more appealing over a much longer period, than those that lose their appeal in a day.

Companionship between Players and The Game

When opening the concrete making of games from brainstorming to design, how does the meet differ with Hybrid Casual from the previous one?

“First, when the Core Game is hybridized, the Meta Game is imported into it from the Casual side. The best function of these is to add value to the Core Game”. When you bring in additional gameplay to support the core, it expands the game while creating value which deepens the experience, and it scales up.

Second, monetization that is less intrusive to the core game. In a hybrid, you create broader sub-areas that players find value in and can expand upon. “Players will always have that core game, but if they’re interested in, say, an extra space in their backpack, they can expand on that, rather than having an ad slapped on the screen mid-game.”

“The best thing is that we can give players a choice, as we also enjoy our games very much. Now we have the opportunity to offer better interactions for the players. This will create a healthier partnership between players and game.” Sofia also opens on the inclusivity aspect. “If you are very monotonous in monetizing, you will definitely step on someone’s toes in that, with the player experiencing suffering”.

Here comes a concrete example of a Hybrid Casual game design process in transformation:

“Before, you might have pitched the idea of a Grappling Hook guy with levels and skins. Nowadays, you still have that guy and skins, but it continues as you collect new weapons, you get to build your own hut in the process, you compete on the leaderboard to see who is number one. You’re adding layers of value to the game in different directions, in this example while you’re clearing challenges with the Grappling hook, you’re moving up in the rankings.”

Outside of The Visual Box

In a previous blog post, we talked with leaders Henri and Avi about the investments that the change brought. Beyond the tangible changes, even more important are the mental investments. Are Sofia’s thoughts in line with theirs?

“From a Game Design perspective, I would say that the thought process needs to change a bit. If today you have two components for a game, you must be aware that they are not going to be the only ones in the future, you just start with them. So, you have to be aware that you don’t choose an idea that is going to lead you to a dead end.” Point for the games is not to disappear from the market overnight, but to go there and create space and value for players to come back. This also helps to open up ideas, and if necessary, you can go back from an idea that’s already deep in design to a very specific and one-off experience, thinking about how you can shape it and help it grow. “In a way, ideas have to be evaluated more critically in terms of what their future scalability is.”

Sofia continues, “The design loop doesn’t spin small anymore, and you can add chains that grow games all the time, that’s certainly the deepest difference in how you look at the product and how you think about the design work.”

And of course, Hybrid Casual Games are taking up more resources, when you can also rethink how you use that time and where you don’t want to reinvent the wheel. “Now we have more components that we can innovate with.”

When designing games, you want to maximize clarity and innovate at the right parts. Which then leads to the nice part of market importance and value for designers themselves. “It’s important to learn from the market, you can’t always pluck good ideas from the innovation side, you also need to understand what has driven the gaming community recently, what they’ve learned from other products.”


Combining elements to create an enjoyable and engaging experience for players of all levels, we believe that Hybrid Casual games offer the best of both worlds. With the right combination of elements, hybrid casual games have the potential to captivate and entertain players for hours on end. There is your future favorite Hybrid Casual game waiting for you to discover, created by a team who is dedicated to bringing you the best gaming experience.

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