Weight as a versatile mechanic

I haven’t posted here before but I’ve played a lot of TF/WG-type of games so figured I could let out some of my thought here. I’m also an aspiring video game designer and programmer so I’m very interested in game design and such.

I’ve been thinking about weight gain as a mechanic and how it is often very similar across games. It’s typically a stat that either does very little or basically nothing in relation to the game rules and I think that can be a bit of a waste. So I’ve tried to think of ways to make the weight of the character actually have some weight in the game. Pun very much intended.

Perhaps it could be seen as some sort of class among many. Like someone in a party who eats people, fights with their body, expands and so on. Though the downside is of course that one would have to put in a lot of work to make the classes that is not based on weight gain but perhaps other transformations.

Another one that I have thought about is weight as level. This would probably work best for slower gaining or it might get very out of hand. But to then create classes around different types of gaining. Like perhaps one class uses their ass to fight and the weight/levels focus on that, while another might be more sumo-like and a third perhaps focusing on slob and damaging their enemies with foul odors and such. The problem here is of course making it all fit well together and also that it requires a lot of work with a multitude of classes.

The third one is essentially a game about weight as status. You start by gaining weight but soon you might be rendered immobile but the having worked up enough to have people come to you instead, shifting the focus a bit and making it a bit more manager-like. Having to balance your resources to get the most gains. Perhaps you end up as a moon, or as a new planet yourself, changing up how and what you can focus on. The issues with this might of course be having to create a multitude of ways to play depending on what scale you are on, but if you are clever I think it might be able to fit it within one system.

Mechanics could of course also be combined but I think we could gain (lol) more by looking at how to use the weight gaining itself rather than creating games around it.

I have never created a game like this but from personal experience I’ve always felt that the best stuff comes from using the least amount of things to create the most amount of game, making the things that exist more versatile rather than adding more things.

Hopefully this could be interesting to some, and I would love to hear other creative ways to mechanically use weight gain in games!


For the most part, I think people are afraid to genuinely integrate weight into their game because, realistically, it only ever comes with negatives. Sure, the “bad ends” that come from being too big to fit through a door, too gluttonous to stop eating the magical trap-banquet, too out-of-shape to escape a predator, or too heavy for a bridge are… Gratifying, but only once or twice. Then they’re annoying content-gates or frustrating auto-fails.

For my two cents, I’d say the best way to make weight a positive stat is to make your player character and combat system grapple- and slam-focused; one in which the player literally throws their weight around, as you suggest. I’ve done a little brainstorming in the past for a game in which your character is a monk of a mystical-yet-hedonistic order, allowing lots of design space for martial arts and spell-like abilities. Nothing will likely ever come of that, but… Yes, there are ways to make weight matter besides being frustrating.


I think another approach to adding more purpose to weight in a game is by approaching a problem and making a solution out of it.

For example, say an opponent wants to eat player. Usually the counter to it might only be speed, which tends to get worse as the player gains. To counteract this problem, maybe the target player has to be slow enough and small enough. Once getting to a certain weight class, the player becomes too big, making them unable to be eaten, and possibly stunning the enemy. Now it might be risky getting to that weight class, but once you get there, you will be rewarded, and the higher the weight could yield greater rewards, encouraging gain.

A solution to the issue of attacks could be giving possible base moves to players encouraging gain. Say you could teach a player, let’s say, “slam”. Slam may start out as an incredibly weak move and not seem worth it, but as time goes on and the player you gave it to puts on the pounds, the move grows in power, increases chances to hit with it and the overall damage it deals.

As for KQ’s example of a bridge being too small, you could add a quest to strengthen the bridge, or add an alternate route to go around, with the potential for harder enemies, but greater rewards you might not have been able to take before.