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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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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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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2k views

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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2answers
895 views

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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694 views

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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Time based movement Vs Frame rate based movement?

I'm new to Game programmming and SDL, and I have been following Lazyfoo's SDL tutorials. My question is related to time based motion and frame rate based motion, basically which is better or ...
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356 views

Designing for visually impaired gamers

Globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind. — World Health Organisation, 2010. (That's 4.2% and 0.6% of the world ...
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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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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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5answers
691 views

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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1answer
816 views

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 should be contained in a game scene graph?

Would you help me to clarify, please, what what exactly should be contained within a game scene graph? See the following list, please: Game Actors? (obviously yes, all the objects changing state ...
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335 views

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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302 views

Why do adventure game puzzles often have a single clue/solution?

When recently playing an adventure game (Dreamfall Chapters) it hit me that most adventure games I've played have had only a single solution to the "puzzles" they require you to solve. This frequently ...
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4k views

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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485 views

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 : http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/355972089/...
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703 views

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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2answers
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How do I choose the scaling factor of a 3D game world?

I am making a 3D tank game prototype with some physics simulation, am using C++. One of the decisions I need to make is the scale of the game world in relation to reality. For example, I could ...
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Example of Data Oriented Design

I can't seem to find a nice explanation of the Data Oriented Design for a generic zombie game (it's just an example, pretty common example). Could you make an example of the Data Oriented Design on ...
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293 views

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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4answers
803 views

Die Roll Mechanics

I'm developing an RPG (goodness, I'm doing a lot actually.) and I'm trying to come up with a decent die roll mechanic for skills. In d20 systems, it's usually Die Roll + Skill + Bonuses - Penalties &...
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645 views

Skill vs. Luck, the ratio and its measurement

Gamer buddies, is there a term to describe the level of variance in a game, in comparison to luck. The card game war would have 0 skill and 1.0 luck because the player cannot affect the game. I can't ...
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893 views

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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637 views

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 doesn'...
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Game designer in need of career advice

I've been working in game industry as a game designer (and lately as a producer) for 5 years, with over 20 projects under the belt. However, all of the games that I've worked on we're free2play online ...
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Random generation of interesting puzzle levels?

I'm making a Sokoban-like game i.e. there's a grid that has some crates on it you can push and you have to get the crates on crosses to win the level (although I'm going to add some extra elements to ...
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324 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
907 views

Bringing a Box2D, Physics Enabled game Online?

Lets say, to simplify the problem of online games a bit, my goal would be to run a near identical simulation on multiple computers in sync. Would sending commands be a good idea? Now if only sending ...
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1answer
950 views

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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1answer
889 views

Rule / validation design pattern

What design patterns can be used to create a rule / validation system for a game like chess (this is just a simple example, the actual game needs more difficult sets of rules) I've read several ...
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1answer
261 views

Entity component system - game progression

I'm quite new to game development (but not to programming) and I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to handle inter-world communication. What I mean is this: I've been reading about ...
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487 views

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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296 views

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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611 views

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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6answers
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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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389 views

What's an appropriate difficulty scale for weapon efficacy vs difficulty to obtain?

I'm writing up a design document for a voxel based adventure game, similar to minecraft, but fixing a lot of fundamentally broken game mechanics, or at least updating those mechanics to be more suited ...
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441 views

What is the line between a serious game and an application with points? [closed]

Gamification has become a buzz word lately and is being applied to everything from applications to meetings. In many cases it is being done as an afterthought and sort of game-washing. What are the ...
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6answers
367 views

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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635 views

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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6answers
341 views

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, etc....
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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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2answers
446 views

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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2answers
392 views

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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3answers
568 views

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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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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759 views

What is a game mechanic?

I am trying to understand exactly what defines a game mechanic, and whether it is the same as a gameplay mechanic. There are many different sources online that try to define this but they appear to be ...
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How can I distribute powerups “fairly”? [closed]

I'm implementing a Bomberman-esque game in which players try to eliminate each other on a square tile-based arena. I'm currently implementing powerups that give the player who collected them a bonus (...