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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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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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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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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364 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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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 ...
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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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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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Turning a board game idea into a browser based, slow paced gameplay

Suppose I want to create a strategy game with global mutable state shared between all players (think game board). But unlike a board game, I don't want it to be real time action and/or turn-based. ...
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653 views

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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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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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 ...
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Some theory questions about classic endless arcade games

I had read in the book "A theory of fun for game design" that once the player realizes that he cannot overpower the computer in anyway (or) the AI is unbeatable (badly designed/coded) he will leave ...
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Things that make a game more interesting for kids

What makes a game more interesting or fun to play for children ages 8 to 14+? Does the age of the consumer play an important role in his/her interest in the game? What can I put in a game to make it ...
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Where do you search/look for game developers for an indie game startup? [closed]

I just recently saw stackoverflow had a game dev sister site so here I am, wondering if you experienced fellows know where one can search/look for game developers for an indie game startup? In other ...
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Discussion about Serious Games : Their lacks and forces

I would like to start a little discussion about serious video games. Do you think serious games DO have their place in today's world ? What kind of serious games do you think the most interesting in ...
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Collision Detection Game Design and Architecture

I've reading some articles about collision detection. My question here is about ideas on the design for it. Baically I have a C++ game that has a main loop with entities with an update method. Based ...
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Do you fill all your game data in huge excel tables? Are there any better method?

I really want to know how many game designers prefer to work with a huge table for all items, another table for all skills, and even another table for all mobs in a MMORPG. And these tables may grow ...
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Realtime multi-player game design principles for Node.js

I've been reading the Valve article on multi-player networking which has been adapted from Yahn Bernier's 2001 paper called Latency Compensating Methods in Client/Server In-game Protocol Design and ...
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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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Level Implementation

I recently started to create a sidescroller game, for learning purposes. While creating several levels for it, i stumbled upon the question, how to implement these levels into my game. I made (and i ...
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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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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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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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Pairing algorithm for the Elo rating system

Imagine a 1 on 1 (not teams) competition between AI bots, like the Google AI Challenge. The various bots are assigned an ELO rating based on the outcome of the various versus matches. The reason I ...
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How can I handle a bunch of achievements in a game? [duplicate]

Take for example Team Fortress 2. There are a huge load of achievements, and I'm wondering how the manages all of them. And since there's a lot of achievements, I'd also like to know how it "knows" ...
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The Thin Red Line. What to present to get interest without showing too much?

I am Dalilean and I am a gamer. There I have said it. Damn, feels like a weight is lifted from my shoulders… They say the first step is to admit the problem. Now the second step is doing something ...
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In FPS's what is the primary reason for unused ammo in a removed magazine returning to the ammo pool?

All FPS's I know of return unused ammo in a removed magazine back to the users overall ammo count. For example, I have 3 magazines with 30 rounds in each, I fire off 25 rounds and do a magazine ...
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470 views

Set Checkpoints vs. Player Saves

I'm making a top-down action / horror game, and I'm in the process of adding a "save game" feature. However, I'm torn between having automatic checkpoints throughout the level and letting the user ...
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211 views

Adding a new highscore before or after an equal score?

I'm making a highscores list for my 2048 replica. An entry in the list consists of a name and a score (e.g. "John" and 2100.) When I add a new entry, the code runs through the list and inserts the new ...
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Ideas for attack damage algorithm (language irrelevant)

I am working on a game and I need ideas for the damage that will be done to the enemy when your player attacks. The total amount of health that the enemy has is called enemyHealth, and has a value of ...
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339 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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GamePlay Patent

Do you know any patents of GamePlay model? I mean behavior between User as Player and the System? In another words Patent of GamePlay rules. For example "when player's character dies -> the system ...
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In a casual top-down racing game, should collisions affect the car's engine? [closed]

Is there a way to deter players from colliding with obstacles in a top-down casual racer which keeping the game fun and lighthearted and yet make player's skill matter? Should collisions affect car ...
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What is the story of game programmers beside gaming history?

Nowadays, game programming is like a big business-ish, technological, academical, programming havoc. There are dozen of engines, free or not, don't-reinvent-the-wheel dos and don't, plenty of ...
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990 views

Methods of player retention and conversion in MMO games?

What are other retention and conversion (free to play to paying to spender) strategies in MMOs? I know some like promotions, social viral, content generation, intentional imbalance, perks and ...
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Developing interesting game mechanics when not an avid gamer

I've realized that though I like playing videogames, I find it much more entertaining to actually make them. This makes me wonder, if I'm planning to develop an [X]* game, do I need to be an avid [X] ...
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Is story more important or the gameplay more important?

Read this Slate article. In particular, the following struck me: When he looks at video games from a critical distance, Bissell is concerned mainly with their lack of narrative meaning. Games ask ...
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How can I put Google Ads in a flash game?

What I want to do is put Google Ads in my flash game. The first question is how can I do that? The second question is the best place to put it; while loading, after finishing the game?
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What is the line between a serious game and an application with points?

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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Simplest most effective way to rank and measure player skill in a multi-player environment?

I know of the Truskill algorithm, it's quite complex but effective. My question is there other algorithms/methods to determine a players skill for accurate measuring for multi-player competitive ...
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Applications programmer - Where to start?

So far I've done web design/development and applications programming and of course video games has always been one of those things that I've wanted to take a stab at but never tried outside of a few ...
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How can I refactor “attack cooldown” into “attack speed”?

I'm building a game where the player's character can attack bad guys and vice versa. I built this with the concept of an "attack cooldown" because I don't want units to be able to attack each other ...
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OpenGL ES 2.0: Using VBOs?

OpenGL VBOs (vertex buffer objects) have been developed to improve performance of OpenGL (OpenGL ES 2.0 in my case). The logic is that with the help of VBOs, the data does not need to be copied from ...
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How should I plan the inheritance structure for my game?

I am trying to write a platform shooter in C++ with a really good class structure for robustness. The game itself is secondary; it is the learning process of writing it that is primary. I am ...
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Most Efficient way to read a Settings Configuration File

I have been working on a game for quite a while, and I am using Ogre3D for the rendering engine. It is getting to the point I need to move adjustable settings to a configuration file such as video ...
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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 ...
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Best way to implement achievement system?

I'm currently trying to implement achievement system for my game. However, I can't find a better way to realize some complex ones like: The player has collected x coins, complete level with time least ...
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What is the best way to render a 2d game map?

I know efficiency is key in game programming and I've had some experiences with rendering a "map" earlier but probably not in the best of ways. For a 2D TopDown game: (simply render the ...
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2D pathfinding - finding smooth paths

I was trying to implement a simple pathfinding, but the outcome is less satisfactory than what I intended to achieve. The thing is units in games like Starcraft 2 move in all directions whereas units ...