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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Methods for character design

When one begins the character design process, what are good starting points? Are there well known methodologies or systems to help in this process? How does the design process work in game industry, ...
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Bejewelled Next Best jewel selection

Is there a game design technique I can use so that I completely remove 'No more moves left' situations. ie. the game should contain no impossible scenarios. As far as I've guess It all depends on ...
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Where to hire a scenario writer for a small interactive story game?

I need a scenario for a small dialog-based game / interactive story. The game would be used as an example to be shipped with a middleware tool we're developing. I would like to buy an existing story ...
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Bomberman clone, how to do bombs?

I'm playing around with a bomberman clone to learn game-developement. So far I've done tiles, movement, collision detection, and item pickup. I also have pseudo bombplacing (just graphics and ...
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Calculating the “power” of a player in a “Defend Your Castle” type game

I'm a making a "Defend Your Castle" type game, where each player has a castle and must send units to destroy the opponent's castle. It looks like this (and yeah, this is the actual game, not a quick ...
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Is there a gold standard for touch controls in scrolling shoot-em-ups?

Is there currently a "standard" for touch controls in shooters on platforms such as iPhone or Android? I've noticed that many of them enable auto-fire by default, or control the character via direct ...
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What type of document for game design? [closed]

What type of support/format do you use to store and diffuse your game design documentation? Wiki? Doc files? Files in Repository? Shared folder? Google Doc? Please provide pros and cons for each one. ...
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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 ...
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Representing feelings such as temperature, pain, smell, taste, hunger, and thirst immersively

In a totally immersive, simulation-type role-playing game, the player should not look at bars or numbers to keep track of his or her stats, so another method of showing these stats is needed. For ...
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Keeping user's attention with tycoon style games

I'm developing a tycoon game, and with most games in the "genre", some in game things just take time. Making money, waiting for things to happen, etc. For mobile gaming (ios, android), how do I keep ...
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Design Document Contents [closed]

What is the minimum content that a game design document should have?
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What kind of system can I use to balance an RPG?

I'm developing a 2D RPG game, like Zelda. I've developed a first version, for studies. Now, I'd like rewrite it in better way The character has strength, agility, willpower, constitution, dexterity ...
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100 points between 0-1000 on an increasing scale

Basically, it's for roleplay, I need to generate 100 points along a scale. Level 1 is the starting amount, and is at point 0 on the scale. Level 100 is the highest amount planned at this point, and it ...
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When pausing an XNA Xbox game and showing a “pause menu”, which controller buttons should I use?

I'm making a simple 2D XNA game for Xbox 360. My game can be paused by pressing the Start button on the Xbox controller. While paused, a simple menu pops up with options like Resume and Exit to Title ...
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What are the pros and cons of skill trees versus skill lists in RPGs? [closed]

What are the pros and cons of skill trees versus flat skill lists in role playing games? In what situations would the usage of one be more appropriate than the other? Here is an example of a ...
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Intellectual rights to game concepts

For a client I might be making a small puzzle game about getting a item out of a puzzle. The concept will strongly resemble this game : ...
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Articles about a plot in an open world

There are plenty of articles about open world game design and writing plots. But have you guys come across articles or blog entries about designing an engaging plot in an open world game? What i mean ...
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How can I scale the number and challenge of enemies in an attack wave as the game progresses?

I'm currently making a defense game where enemies will spawn and attack the player's army. It's similar to a Tower Defense game, except there is only one level. The enemies will keep spawning until ...
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Online Game Intelligent Agent/“Bot” Development

I am currently working on a project experimenting with Artificial Intelligence design methodologies for "online world" avatars. When I say "online world", this is fairly to interpretation; "Second ...
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How does one measure and reward social aspects in virtual worlds?

Well this sounds like a pretty vague question but please bear with me. I know of how Gaiaonline gave gold to people who participated in forum posts. I'm curious if in theory these could be applied ...
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How would you code an AI engine to allow communication in any programming language?

I developed a two-player iPhone board game. Computer players (AI) can either be local (in the game code) or remote running on a server. In the 2nd case, both client and server code are coded in Lua. ...
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How to implement “identify item” feature in RPG

In many games there is an approach that you can't use item that hasn't been identified. And usualy you can't identify it by just using it. While this approach simplifies a lot of things it just ...
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231 views

How long to display each sentence?

When creating a sequence where text advances automatically, is there a metric which will allow me to calculate a reasonable duration to display each "sentence"? My intuition tells me that because of ...
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Game timings and formats

There are more or less standardized TV-show/movie formats and recommended timings: 1. By the early 1960s, television companies commonly presented half-hour long "comedy" series, or one hour long ...
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Time reverse mechanism in games

I am wondering about how time manipulation mechanisms in games are typically designed. I am particularly interested in time reversing (sort of like in the latest SSX or Prince of Persia). The game ...
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What are the common character animation techniques used in tile based hack&slash games?

I wonder what kind of animation techniques are used for creature and character animation in modern hack&slash type tile based games? Keyframing for different actions may be one option. Skeletal ...
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what should the size of a flash game in Facebook be

I'm developing a flash game and i want to put it in Facebook ,My question is the Proper maximum size for it. 500 KB 1 MB ??
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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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What is realism?

Beyond the obvious something that seams real, realism in games is a hard feature to hit. In some cases, things that are completely impossible in real life are seen as realistic by gamers. For ...
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What do you do when you are at an impasse in the design phase?

I own a small web dev shop, and in our down time, I plan on having my guys work on a game (I will be paying them anyway, right?). A few buddies and I started talking about this game, and have been ...
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Game companies - Involvement of programmers in the design process

This is a question basically to programmers with experience working in game companies. How common is it that game coders participate in the design process of the game? Both gameplay design, and ...
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Programmers/Designers: working with artists

Expanding on this question, what information do I need to communicate my artistic goals for a game to a professional artist? Assuming I'm an indie programmer. and I've found or hired an artist to for ...
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Per-Frame Function Calls versus Event Driven Messaging in Game Design

The traditional game design, as I know it, uses polymorphism and virtual functions to update game objects states. In other words, the same set of virtual functions are called in regular(ex: per-frame) ...
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Usage of standardized syntaxes in gaming: yea or nay?

TL;DR: Using CSS as an element in defining rulesets in Civ-style turn-based strategy games: Madness or just plain old insanity? Real question: Designing ruleset parse rules is a pain. Every single ...
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Do we need tutorials? [closed]

Children learn through play, which by it's core nature is subversive. In digital games we can enforce and feedback any arbitrary rules and do not require "conceptual rules" like don't step outside the ...
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How to make something happen every N seconds in game?

I want to have something happen every N seconds, how would I do that? Maybe use a timer but how?
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How to determine an “Assists” statistic

My game is a top-down multiplayer shooter where you control a space pod with 4 different weapons that do varying damage. We have all the usual stats like Kills, Deaths, and Damage Inflicted/Taken, ...
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How do I inform the end user about cheat codes?

I have added an interface to input cheats, and of course the backend of this. Current cheats include: unlimited health unlimited time faster movement no need to use keys (I have a door/key system) ...
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Why should I separate objects from rendering?

Disclamer: I know what an entity system pattern is and I'm not using it. I've read a lot about separating object and rendering. About the fact that the game logic should be independent from the ...
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How many levels should I make?

One issue I grapple with across many of my games is trying to decide how many levels to put in my game. This is across genres and platforms. In general, constraints that may decide -- although they ...
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Really simple video games, how to design games for the non-gamer market?

With the boom of mobile and social games reaching more and more people and new technologies like the wii, kinect and geolocation hardware and gadgets appealing to a bigger market than the hardcore ...
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When should I start designing levels? [closed]

I'm working on a puzzle game. I thought of a core mechanic, implemented it, tuned it and now I have something I'm happy with. I'd really like to build a few levels before I work on stuff like UI and ...
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Calculating Experience Points earned after a battle

I'm developing a simple text battle game and having some issues calculating how much XP should be earned after a battle, theres a few factors that i want to consider: 1) Players should of course earn ...
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Game Characters vs Characters in other medias

How do a characters designed for a game differ from characters made for books or movies? When a book or a movie is converted into a game, what are the differences and similarities that have to be ...
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Why would one have “waves” in each stage of a tower defense game?

For example, in Plants vs Zombies, the zombies come in waves. If I recall, there's always at least two waves. The first and easier wave and then when you get 90% through the stage there's a "final ...
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Java 2D game programming: Different approaches to make a game loop

I am new to Java game programming, but the more I read the more I'm confused, because I've seen several different approaches to make a game loop: 1. The standard approach, that uses the Timer class ...
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Accuracy vs distance formula

Consider a shooter and a target. My question is if there is any realistic approximation of calculating with which probability the shooter hits the target. Neglecting the weapon and shooter skill, I ...
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Team brainstorming

I want to ask developers who work in small teams, like 5-6 people, how can brainstorming accomplish as much as possible? What does brainstorming look like on your team ? I ask, because I remember my ...
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Simultaneous game states

I think I understand the basic idea behind a Finite State Machine-based game loop. But I'm trying to write a little game in which the same object can simultaneously be in multiple, independent states. ...
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Balancing upgraded units vs. non-upgraded ones

The essence of this question is basically this: consider a strategy, RTS or a tower defence game, where you have the choice to build a new unit or to upgrade an existing one. The upgraded unit is ...