Game Design is the creation and balancing of game systems and mechanics. Not for programming questions about "design" of features, engines, etc.

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

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 ...
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3answers
799 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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What is “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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2answers
17k views

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 ...
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3answers
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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
664 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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5answers
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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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6answers
854 views

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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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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2answers
376 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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3answers
391 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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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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2answers
707 views

What is “convexity” in the context of game design?

I have overheard game designers mentioning something called convexity in games. This seems to be a game-design-specific concept, different from (although possibly related to) that in geometry or game ...
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3answers
5k views

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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3answers
2k views

Plot and Story design basics [closed]

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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4answers
3k views

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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9answers
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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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5answers
745 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
738 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
591 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
652 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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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
924 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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3answers
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Looking for some insight on programming design for attacking and attack types in a game

So, I'm starting to introduce attacking to our 2D space RTS (This is in Unity, so it's component driven). Initially it was as simple as "enemy in range, damage applied". However there will be multiple ...
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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
374 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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2answers
242 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
293 views

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 ...
12
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3answers
259 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 ...
12
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5answers
1k views

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
707 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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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
896 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
2k views

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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1answer
403 views

Why has it become commonplace for NPCs to have one weapon per class instead of variants?

For instance, in Half-Life 2 you have Civil Protection, Combine Soldier and Combine Elite. Each class has a weapon. Is there a shift away from this at all, where the NPCs are matched with the player ...
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5answers
900 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
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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 ...
11
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5answers
4k views

How to properly handle collision in a component-based game?

Trying to wrap my head around the ways to properly handle collision in a game designed around components. I see many examples have some sort of PhysicsComponent that gets added to the entity's list ...
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3answers
555 views

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
737 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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1answer
275 views

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. ...
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2answers
1k views

I have to make a game in 9 days. AHHH!

If you just want to get to the question and skip the background, go to the next paragraph if not, keep reading. O.k., so, I'm 13 and I make games in my spare time. They've never really been shared ...
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12answers
10k 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 ...