A subsystem of the game that regulates interaction with a game state.

Designers deliberately apply and invent new game mechanics, but the term has some subjective and customary aspect to it in relation to the rules (understood as elementary parts of a game system). Mechanics are distinguished from one another when their aim or effect is recognized. Sometime one rule introduces one mechanic, but single rules might take part in formation of multiple mechanics and at the same time you may need many rules to provide just a single game mechanic.

Existing mechanics (some great, some bad, some situational) is a vast area of knowledge which probably will be just touched at Games for Music. Check out the article Board Game Mechanics for Music for some more info.

Other game design terms:

Mark for clarification

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