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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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 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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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687 views

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 ...