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

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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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2answers
535 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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11answers
835 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 ...
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4answers
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(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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
14
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6answers
895 views

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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2answers
981 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
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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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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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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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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
734 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 ...
13
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6answers
935 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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5answers
818 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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2answers
383 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
424 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
3k views

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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3answers
1k views

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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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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3answers
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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
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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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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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3answers
789 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
622 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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4answers
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Games where the story continues via progeny [closed]

In Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom for the Sega Genesis you periodically marry and then the story carries on through your sons/daughters. In Rogue Legacy when you die you again play on through ...
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8answers
686 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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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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5answers
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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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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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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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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
389 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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5answers
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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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2answers
755 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
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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
253 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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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 ...
12
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1answer
310 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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4answers
298 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 ...
11
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6answers
738 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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3answers
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Attack vs Defence and who is the winner? [closed]

I am in the process of creating a new simple game in mobile and I've spent several days on the following part. For simplicity, let's say that I have two fighters. The only attribute of them is ...
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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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6answers
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What makes a game a game vs something else like a puzzle or a toy?

Famously the Sims and similar games have been described by some designers as Toys and not "really" games. I'm curious if there is a good answer to what makes something a game. For example many ...