Game Design is the practice of creating and balancing systems and the mechanics which the player uses to affect those systems. This is not to be used for programming questions about the "design" of features, engines, etc.

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How should I structure a design document?

Should the design document be a continuous line of text, with real sentences, more like a description of the entire game, or should I structure it in simple points? What are the benefits, and are ...
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6answers
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How can I introduce time pressure on the player's decisions?

I am designing a hacking game, in which the player usually can take his time thinking about how to overcome the obstacles that he/she currently faces. However, I decided that besides coming up with ...
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5answers
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Lag compensation with networked 2D games

I want to make a 2D game that is basically a physics driven sandbox / activity game. There is something I really do not understand though. From research, it seems like updates from the server should ...
22
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13answers
3k views

How to implement “bullet time” in a multiplayer game?

I have never seen such a feature before, but it should provide an interesting gameplay opportunity. So yes, in a multiplayer/real-time environment (imagine FPS), how could I implement a slow ...
22
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4answers
773 views

What kind of gaming experiences does hiding game play stats and formulas cultivate?

There are varying degrees of providing players with information on their characters abilities - including but not limited to showing players their character's stats and how they tie into formulas such ...
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4answers
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Randomly generated story

I'm developing a game at the moment and I had an idea where the game's story line would randomly generate as the player progressed and their actions would affect the story. Would this be a bad idea ...
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11answers
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Approaching the Fun Factor in Game Design

As designers there has to be some ways you've approached establishing the 'fun-factor' in your games. You've likely done something in one game that may very well transfer into the future games you've ...
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15answers
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How to discourage micromanagement in strategy games?

When designing a strategy game (or one in a similar genre), how do you avoid having your players focus almost entirely on micromanagement? What should be done and what avoided in gameplay mechanics?
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6answers
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Algorithm for dynamically calculating a level based on experience points?

One of the struggles I've always had in game development is deciding how to implement experience points attributed to gaining a level. There doesn't seem to be a pattern to gaining a level in many of ...
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2answers
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Who kept a blog for a year with a new game idea every day, and where is it?

There's this indie game developer who tried to come up with a new original idea for a game every day for a year - and he put all his thoughts on his website. +200 ideas so far, if I remember ...
21
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6answers
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Game planning and software design? I feel that UML is not convenient

In my university, they always emphasize and hype about UML design and stuff, in which I feel it is not going to work well with game structure design. Now, I just want a professional advice on how ...
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5answers
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Spreadsheets in Game Design?

There have been two instances from the past two weeks that I've heard from well known successful game developers that they use spreadsheets when designing games. The first being David Whatley in ...
20
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3answers
697 views

How do you choose the right price of items in your games?

I have a game in which the player earns money for wining races and, then, he can spend that money to unlock new levels or to improve his vehicle. Now, I am choosing the money you earn and the prices ...
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2answers
3k views

A good way to prototype game ideas?

We, as in my 4 person indie group, have an entire whiteboard that looks like graffiti for prototyping our game ideas. We look at it every day and choose which idea draws us in the most when we near ...
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19answers
1k views

What would most games benefit from having? [closed]

I think I've seen "questions" like this on stackoverflow but sorry if I'm overstepping any bounds. Inspired by my recent question and all the nice answers (Checklist for finished game?) I think ...
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18answers
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How can I make the “Strength” attribute more attractive to Wizard/Caster classes in a RPG game? [closed]

I have a game where, among many attributes, is Strength and Constitution. In Ultima Online, Strength was used for hit points. However, I would like to avoid this- as Hit Points are so incredibly ...
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7answers
1k views

Fight with creativity burnout [closed]

I have big creativity burnout :/ Do you have any ideas how can I fight with it ??
19
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8answers
1k views

Are hidden stats a good idea? [closed]

I'm thinking of and RPG, FPS or a turn based game (does not really matter), where the player does not know his character(s) exact stats. Of course they exist as random variables of normal distribution ...
19
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6answers
6k views

Enemy Spawning method in a Top-Down Shooter

I'm working on a top-down shooter akin to DoDonPachi, Ikaruga, etc. The camera movement through the world is handled automatically with the player able to move inside of the camera's visible region. ...
19
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3answers
933 views

Making a game as a tutorial?

I am in charge of a game development club at my school and I'd like to work on a project this summer that I could use as a tutorial next semester. I have never done anything quite like this so I was ...
18
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9answers
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How do/should MMOs handle disconnection during PvP?

In an MMO (not even necessarily an MMORPG) what are some techniques for dealing with players disconnecting in the middle of PvP? In particular - how do you avoid adversely affecting people who get ...
18
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2answers
995 views

Kickstarter “last minute cold feet”

today I scheduled the publication of a video on Kickstarter requesting approximately $5,000 in order to complete the iPhone shooter game I started 1 year ago after quitting my job. I invested more ...
17
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8answers
825 views

Does it make the game more fun when the user is forced to progress through the levels sequentially rather than letting them pick and play?

For the first time in my game, I'm stuck with a real design dilemma. I guess that's a good thing ;) I'm building a word puzzle game that has five levels, each with 30 puzzles. Currently, the user ...
17
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3answers
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What is the purpose of adding non-gameplay elements to a game?

As an example, I'll reference scientists in Jetpack Joyride. I do understand there are achievements that involve scientists, that you can kill them or you have a nerd repellent, but I am not asking ...
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14answers
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Advice for a first year CS major

I'm coming to the end of my first year of CS which has been primarily a Java based course. I'd like to get my feet wet with some game development but I'm not sure where to start. Some people have ...
16
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6answers
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Handling player logoff and logon in a persistent world without breaking immersion

One problem I've never seen fixed in any persistent online game is how to handle player logon and logoff without the characters just popping in and out of the world. My first thought is to simply ...
16
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4answers
857 views

It is worth adding 'futuristic' features to our game, or should we put our focus elsewhere?

I'm lead programmer in a medium-sized indie game studio. This is our first game as a team. We're working on a futuristic FPS game, with a profit-sharing buisness plan. Anyway, we have some very good ...
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12answers
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Balance in online PvP games

I don't know if there's an accepted solution to this wicked problem. I'm thinking about the design of an online PvP game. A key aspect of the game, something that is just a given, and not my choice, ...
16
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4answers
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Is there any harm in having the main game loop run uncontrolled?

I was wondering if there is any possible harm when my game loop runs as fast as the system allows? I currently have a loop, that, by measuring passed time in nanoseconds, runs the game logic and ...
16
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4answers
623 views

How can I design lots of different attack types that can be combined?

I'm making a top down 2D game and I want to have a lot of different attack types. I'd like to make the attacks very flexible and combine-able the way The Binding of Isaac works. Here's a list of all ...
16
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3answers
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Guidance for building a proper in game economy

I'm seriously thinking of building a space opera game which would share some of Machiavelli The Prince aspects regarding commerce: each player will be able to extract/build/buy/sell/donate a wide ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Are games designed to be addictive? [closed]

When I was younger I used to play games a lot for hours. I would say I got addicted to them. Now I'm a software developer and was wondering if games are explicitly designed to be addicting? Game ...
16
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2answers
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Is there a definitive reference on Pinball playfield design?

I'm looking at designing tables for Future Pinball but I'm not sure where to start as I've little background in game design per se. I've played scores of pinball tables over the years so I've a fairly ...
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7answers
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What makes Minecraft so great?

I believe everybody has heard of Minecraft. It is a deceptively simple game, that was made by a single indie developer, and sold more than 500k copies - despite having no active marketing and being ...
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7answers
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It is worth planning before jumping in the code?

I always thought that planning is important for a game. But i don't know at which point. Some are telling me to code instead of planning but i feel like its still important because when you will be in ...
15
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6answers
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Should developers make their games easier with new versions?

It seems that the game Angry Birds is becoming gradually easier with new versions. Maybe so people get the illusion of progress and satisfaction of breaking new records? I would like to know if ...
15
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6answers
18k views

What does a Game Designer do? what skills do they need?

I know someone who is thinking about getting into game design, and I wondered, what does the job game designer entail? what tools do you have to learn how to use? what unique skills do you need? what ...
15
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2answers
868 views

Multiplayer Implementation, Can I implement it later if I chose to?

I plan to use XNA to build a game project. I'm not entirely sure at the moment if I want to add multiplayer functionality or not, bearing I have a lot of other problems to solve that I'm still new at. ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Should the game host be the authority, or another dumb client?

When designing a networked multiplayer-game where one player hosts and others connect, there are two strategies I'm aware of: Have the host-player's game be the authority, with all other players as ...
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5answers
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How do I implement a programming system in my game that is both accessible, powerful, and fast to code in?

I'm currently working on a space-based sandbox game which will heavily feature the ability to custom program your systems. I want to implement this in a way that is both accessible, powerful (bare ...
15
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2answers
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Would studying psychology give an advantage to a game designer?

I've recently read The Art of Game Design and am currently reading Why Reality is Broken and am wanting to learn more about the psychology behind game design. I'm a computer science student but I'm ...
15
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5answers
938 views

I have an “amoeba” game mechanic. Any idea on how to implement it?

Outside of a tetris clone, a crappy 2D top-down shooter, and some messing around with stuff like Unity and Flixel, I realize that I have yet to complete a single, polished, bells-and-whistles game. I ...
15
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4answers
2k views

What makes puzzle games addictive? [closed]

I'm currently developing a puzzle game for Android that is sort of along the lines of Alchemy. I was wondering what makes games like Alchemy or Bejeweled so addicting? How do I keep players ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Can and should a game design be patented? [closed]

I have an idea for a game that I want to develop and I feel is unique, and I'm wondering if I should patent it. I read on the web that games can be patented, but just because it can be done doesn't ...
14
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11answers
778 views

When dealing with a static game board, what are some methods to make it more interesting?

Let's say you have a game board that you look at. It does not move but there is some action going on. For example Chess, Checkers, Solitaire. The game I'm working on is not one of these but it's a ...
14
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4answers
3k views

(RPGs) Drop table design

I guess this question pertains more to games like MMO and Diablo-like games. What are the usual designs for implementing a drop table, where a monster could drop different type of items depending on ...
14
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6answers
820 views

Is there a site where people discuss game concepts and questions in general?

I like making game concepts for fun, as a hobby. I don't think that all my game concepts are amazingly awesome and have to be created and would revolutionize the industry. I just want some people to ...
14
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3answers
749 views

Is there a rule of thumb to scale up the environment by 33%?

I was reading an article on Gamasutra called A Rational Approach to Racing Game Track Design, and I found the following: A commonly acknowledged rule for third person games is that the ...
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2answers
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OpenGL ES 2.0: Setting up 2D Projection

This article describes in general, how to draw sharp OpenGL 2D graphics, using fixed function pipeline. http://basic4gl.wikispaces.com/2D+Drawing+in+OpenGL Because OpenGL ES 2.0 has some ES 1.x ...
14
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2answers
461 views

Does game development have its own types of modeling?

In general computer science there are modeling "languages" (read: standardized diagramming techniques) such as UML 1,2, in databases there are things like ERD3, in business there are other types such ...