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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Pleasing isometric hexagons

What angles and long-side:short-side ratios give the most aesthetically pleasing and graphically regular isometric (squashed, flat side up) hexes; that additionally resolve to whole pixel sizes for ...
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3answers
635 views

How to represent projectiles in video game?

I'm making a simple fixed shooter game (similar to Galaga) as part of a presentation I'm doing. I'm wondering, what strategies/data structures would people use for tracking projectiles (like lasers ...
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6answers
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How is game difficulty tested/balanced?

How is game difficulty typically tested or balanced so that there's a steady progression of difficulty; how do I ensure that no level is too difficult or too easy for its point in the game? Are play ...
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How is game development different from other software development? [closed]

For a solid general purpose software developer, what specifically is different about game development, either fundamentally or just differences in degree? I've done toy games like Tic-tac-toe, ...
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4answers
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Calculating the output of two armies fighting

I am programming a strategic game using Flash. The game works very similar to the famous game "Travian". My problem is as follows: I am trying to make the calculation of the troops lost as a result ...
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7answers
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How can I let new players effectively compete with long-time players?

When new players join my strategy game, they have 3 days of protection from other players attacking them, but that's not enough time to catch up to players who have been playing for longer. How can I ...
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Puzzle design in Adventure games

Creating interesting, original, logical, thoughtful puzzles is an art. What techniques and methods do you use to create good puzzles? Do you write storyline before designing puzzles or combine these ...
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2answers
367 views

Scrambling word into least recognizable form

My goal is to present the player with a scrambled word that should be reordered back into the original form: OELHL --> HELLO I want a scrambling algorithm that takes any given word(>3or4 letters, ...
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4answers
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How do I elegantly teach players how to play?

I've been thinking about how puzzle platformers teach players how to play. I like Super Meat Boy, particularly the way in which it teaches you without noticing you are being taught. It kept me ...
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375 views

How many achievements should I include, and of what challenge?

I know this question is fairy broad and subjective, but I'm wondering if there's been any published research into what an optimal number of achievements is and what kind of challenge they should ...
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2answers
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What is a Game State?

The terminology "game state" is a bit vague to me. Could anybody clarify, what is included in the game state, please? Is it a state of all the variables and objects within the game at particular ...
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3answers
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Beat detection and FFT

I am working on a platformer game which includes music with beat detection. I am currently detecting beats by checking for when the current amplitude exceeds a historical sample. This doesn't work ...
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Plot and Story design basics

I have made several games but they have all been space invaders or mario style. Following my last question (thank you for all the great answers) I am trying to write out a plot line and a plan for ...
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How can I design an effective game object interaction scheme with a component-based architecture?

This is a design question... I'm sure this could be generalized more, but I'm having a hard time with it. I am wondering about design for game object interactions - here is my example (2D ...
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5answers
715 views

What are the makings of a good Character

What properties make the main character of a game such that players can easily identify with it? Can the same set properties be used when designing the NPC characters players interact with, or should ...
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12answers
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Styles of games that work at low-resolution

I'm taking a class on compilers, and the goal is to write a compiler for Meggy Jr devices (Arduino). The goal is just to make a simple compilers with loops and variables and stuff. Obviously, that's ...
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3answers
694 views

How do they keep track of the NPCs in Left 4 Dead?

How do they keep track of the NPC zombies in Left 4 Dead? I am talking about the NPCs that just walk into walls or wander around aimlessly. Even though the players cannot see them, they are there ...
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3answers
560 views

How do I deal with the problems of a fast side-scroller?

I'm making a side scrolling airplane game and when I begin going very fast I begin to experience some problems as a player: Elements are not distinguishable, like power-ups from bullets, etc I start ...
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8answers
629 views

Multi-disciplined: Strength or Weakness?

My last two credited titles I was Lead Programmer then moved to Lead Design role. At my current company I kinda switch between design and programming hats quite often. The bulk of my education is in ...
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3answers
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What are easing functions?

I found this cool website for game development and it has a list of easing functions: Although the site contains a description of what they're for, it goes over my head. What are easing ...
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4answers
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Best Way to Create A Map for a 2D Game?

I apologize for the subjective "best" keyword. My friend and I have started creation of a 2D adventure game. It will be top-down in the style of pokemon or zelda (just the perspective). We have been ...
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4answers
898 views

Why not show progress towards achievements/badges?

Achievements are everywhere now — Xbox Live, iOS Game Center, many individual games, and even in social communities with gaming elements like Stack Overflow. A common user request of Stack ...
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4answers
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Programming the combat sequence in a role playing game

I'm trying to write a short "game" where a player goes around and fights monsters but I have no idea how to handle the combat. For example, say I have a "Warrior" and a "Troll". How do the two fight ...
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2answers
364 views

Sounds to describe the weather?

I'm trying to think of sounds that will help convey the time of day and weather condition. I'm not even sure of all the weather conditions I would consider, and some are obvious. Like if it's raining, ...
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1answer
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Conundrum with quality and virus reports: is our game releasable?

I've just got done talking to the CEO of our independent game studio about one of our projects nearing completion. We're considering canning the whole project for a number of reasons: There are ...
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1answer
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Programming a climbing system like tomb raider

I was wondering if anyone knew or had knowledge of how to program a climbing system like the one found in tomb raider/uncharted. I had thought of just having bounding boxes at all the climbable ...
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3answers
250 views

Player fatigue for tablets?

I'm thinking about making games for tablets. Coming from a PC/console background, I'm keenly aware of the huge differences in the user interfaces, and that I need to design it with the target platform ...
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5answers
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Practical balance of “chance” video game mechanics

I've been a small games developer and designer for years, and I've recently begun working on more serious design documents for bigger projects. A common theme I'm running in to is imbalance when it ...
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6answers
675 views

What is the difference between a bonus and a power-up?

What is the difference between the notions of "bonus" and "power-up?" I have in-game some objects and the player has the ability to pick up some bonuses/power-ups that allow the player to create an ...
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10answers
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What are the other three “game dynamics”?

Seth Priebatsch recently gave a tedtalk entitled “Building the game layer on top of the world.” In it, Seth described four “game dynamics,” techniques used by game designers to make games fun and ...
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4answers
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How can I find the valid words in a grid of characters?

I am creating a game similar to Tetris, with two main differences: the screen already begins filled with tiles (like in Puzzle Quest for Nintendo DS and PC) and each individual tile has a letter in ...
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3answers
845 views

Can Achievement systems be implemented later in development?

I'm undecided if I want to implement this feature in my game at the time or not. I don't want the project to get to far out of control so I'm focusing on core mechanics first. Is this a feature that ...
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5answers
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How do they made Pokémon games so flawlessly balanced?

I find it hard to believe how well balanced the Pokémon games are. Not just within the games, where you'll find amazing balance from the very beginning to the very end, but, surprisingly, even when ...
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7answers
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How do I design very difficult games? [closed]

I would like to design games with very high difficulty levels. I have read these questions: How is game difficulty tested/balanced? What is an optimum failure rate that will keep people coming ...
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5answers
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Custom Content Package for Files

I am about to purchase quite a few model packs from a website for prototyping my game. In the contract it states that I must protect them as to prevent the public from gaining access to them. I ...
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1answer
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Unit Testing a C#/XNA Game Project

I have been dabling in game development since I started programming, but never very seriously. I work as a business app developer, but I'm working on some games in my spare time. In the business ...
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5answers
827 views

Do any games have this type of mechanic?

This question got closed on gaming SE as off topic. I hope it's on topic here. Many years ago, a friend and I prototyped a simple 2d rpg with what we thought was a unique idea for the combat ...
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4answers
852 views

What are the reasons for MMOs to have level caps?

In many MMOs players character progression is artificially capped, e.g. by level 60 or 90 or 100 or whatever. Why do MMOs have these level caps in the first place? Why not just allow characters to ...
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3answers
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As an indie game dev, what processes are the best for soliciting feedback on my design/spec/idea? [closed]

Background I have worked in a professional environment where the process usually goes like the following: Brain storm idea Solidify the game mechanics / design Iterate on design/idea to create a ...
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2answers
715 views

Are any 3D-design skills required for game development?

God knows I am no graphics designer! Aside, I'm a good developer with much experience. So, my quesiton is the following: Are any 3D-design skills required for game development? If no, how to write ...
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3answers
985 views

Turn-based board game server references? [closed]

Are there any good references/books to recommend about how to build a turn-base game server? It's something like a chess server for pairing chess players and keep game states. In the past, for example ...
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2answers
230 views

How to make a market test for the game?

I'm making a casual game on iOS platform. But I'm not sure Do the consumers like my game. How can I make a market test for my game?
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1answer
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How can you meaningfully market test microtransactions?

For a number of reasons I have chosen to use Microtransactions to monetize my current project. However, like all make or break features I am concerned about how they are received in-game. ...
10
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12answers
8k views

How can I make video games if I don't like programming? [closed]

I am studying C++ code in my school (my major is computer programming). Honestly, my grades are not so good, and assignments are really hard. Sometimes I feel sad that I will spend 8-10 hours per day ...
10
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8answers
582 views

How do you decide when your feature list is long enough?

I know a bit about this question but I find that there are quite a lot of diverse opinions on the subject? I know from a players perspective that more options is almost always good. But on the other ...
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6answers
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Why do modern games not feature extra lives? [closed]

In the late 80s and early 90s, most games had an extra life mechanic. The player started with limited lives (often three) and dying depleted one of them. If they still had some remaining, they would ...
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8answers
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What should a game have in order to keep humans playing it?

In many entertainment professions there suggestions, loose rules, or general frameworks one follows that appeal to humans in one way or another. For instance, many movies and books follow the ...
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6answers
653 views

What's a good alternative to colored tiles to account for color blindness?

I have a game with tiles. Each tile is a number, and each number is one of six colors. The color is important to the game play, and I want to make the game available to those who are color blind. ...
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3answers
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Algorithm for determining random events

I'm struggling with coming up with an elegant solution to generating random events in the game that I'm working on. Say there are 4 classes of events that can happen, with varying events in those ...
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4answers
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How detailed and/or complete is/are your game design documents before starting a project?

What I'm wondering is how complete your design documents typically are before beginning the implementation of a project? I'm talking about medium to very small projects with a very small team here ...