A set of rules that govern an in-game experience. Game design is an effort to come up with game mechanics that allow for players to have a fun and engaging experience.

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88
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9answers
4k views

What makes a computer opponent feel alive?

Are there any recommended blogs or whitepapers that talk about making the AI in an RPG game feel more real? (Specifically in turn based combat.) I know something must be out there, but I am only ...
67
votes
11answers
26k views

How to develop RPG Damage Formulas?

I'm developing a classical 2d RPG (in a similar vein to final fantasy) and I was wondering if anyone had some advice on how to do damage formulas/links to resources/examples? I'll explain my current ...
35
votes
6answers
5k views

What's a way to implement a flexible buff/debuff system?

Overview: Lots of games which RPG-like statistics allow for character "buffs", ranging from simple "Deal 25% extra damage" to more complicated things like "Deal 15 damage back to attackers when hit." ...
30
votes
9answers
2k views

Is it possible to calculate or mathematically prove if a game is balanced / fair?

This question is not focussed on video games but games in general. I went to a boardgame trade fair yesterday and asked myself if there is a way to calculate the fairness of a game. Sure, some of them ...
28
votes
11answers
1k views

How to encourage players to level up multiple characters? [closed]

In my game, it is possible to make multiple characters. You can make as many as you desire. What I usually do (and almost all players do) is just make a single character and level it up a LOT, and ...
28
votes
7answers
10k views

How does pathfinding in RTS games work?

[crossposted from stackoverflow] In a game such as Warcraft 3 or Age of Empires, the ways that an AI opponent can move about the map seem almost limitless. The maps are huge and the position of other ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

In-Game Tutorial Decisions

I'm working on a game with confusing mechanics such as energy storage and the coolant temperature. What is the best way to get a new player learned quickly? What are the pros and cons of different ...
25
votes
20answers
2k views

Are there many games involving the manipulation of water?

I'm in the very, very early brainstorming stages of a game which centers around the manipulation of water and the terrain around it. (i.e., changing the water's state between solid, liquid, gas; ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I introduce time pressure on the player's decisions?

I am designing a hacking game, in which the player usually can take his time thinking about how to overcome the obstacles that he/she currently faces. However, I decided that besides coming up with ...
21
votes
15answers
2k views

How to discourage micromanagement in strategy games?

When designing a strategy game (or one in a similar genre), how do you avoid having your players focus almost entirely on micromanagement? What should be done and what avoided in gameplay mechanics?
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Spreadsheets in Game Design?

There have been two instances from the past two weeks that I've heard from well known successful game developers that they use spreadsheets when designing games. The first being David Whatley in ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I make a character capable of walking on walls?

I am trying to get a character to move like a spider: Given a rising slope which a ball would normally not be able to roll up, the spider would slowly crawl up. Similarly, given a mid-air rectangular ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Reasons to disable game save during combat (e.g. Mass Effect 2)

So I've been playing Mass Effect 2 (PC) and one of the things I've noticed is that you can only save your game when you're not engaged in combat. As soon as the first enemy shows up on your radar, ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

“The Game Object” - and component-based design

I've been working on some hobby projects the last 3-4 years. Just simple 2d and 3d games. But lately I have started a bigger project. Soo in the last couple of months I've been trying to design a game ...
19
votes
5answers
748 views

Level Design, Implying a path to the player

I am looking for articles on level design and particularly for techniques to imply a direction the player to go in, instead of another. Like which game mechanics can be used, how graphics, sound, ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Best strategy (tried and tested) for using Box2D in a real-time multiplayer game?

I am currently tackling real-time multiplayer physics updates for a game engine I am writing. My question is how best to use Box2D for networked physics. If I run the simulation on the server, should ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I encourage players to “talk to” to each other in team-based games?

With the goal of attracting a certain kind (highly sociable, that is) of players, I have wondered what game mechanics require, or at least encourage, players to verbally (I'm assuming an advanced text ...
17
votes
3answers
905 views

In modern AAA games with open environment and lot of static content (eg : crysis), how is occlusion culling performed?

Two ideas i have in mind : 1) Scene is rendered to a invisible buffer, using low resolution and low polygon count models (or even using only bounding volumes like cubes or spheres). The buffer is ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

A list of game mechanics

I'm trying to compile a list of game mechanics, by which I mean high-level/meta game mechanics like Cooperation, Resource Management, Chance and Time Manipulation rather than low level mechanics like ...
15
votes
5answers
954 views

Game actions that take multiple frames to complete

I've never really done much game programming before, pretty straightforward question. Imagine I'm building a Tetris game, with the main loop looking something like this. for every frame handle ...
14
votes
3answers
916 views

Peer-to-peer hostless competitive games of chance?

I'm wondering - have any games been ever created that are: peer-to-peer without one peer being designated as host competitive (not cooperative, players play against one another) provably fair (there ...
14
votes
1answer
853 views

Elevation model for hexagonal game grids

TL;DR: Where should elevation be anchored on a civ-style hexagonal grid? Center, side or vertex? (Or more complex?) Question proper: Consider for a moment a classic game we all know and love ...
12
votes
2answers
648 views

Formula for three competing heroes, each has one they can beat and one they're beaten by

I am trying to design a game for a project I have, The main idea is: 3 Types of heroes 3 Stats per hero There are no levels involved so the differences must be located on stats. Fight logic - The ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
11
votes
6answers
506 views

How do I fairly distribute resources among factories when resources are near exhausted?

The main resource in my game is mass, stored as a floating point number that changes over time. Resource nodes increase mass and factories drain it. For example, if I have a resource node yielding 5 ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How do they made Pokémon games so flawlessly balanced?

I find it hard to believe how well balanced the Pokémon games are. Not just within the games, where you'll find amazing balance from the very beginning to the very end, but, surprisingly, even when ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How to implement buffs / debuffs / temporary stat changes in an RPG? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s a way to implement a flexible buff/debuff system? In the context of creating an engine for a RPG I want to implement a generic way to give effects / buffs / ...
11
votes
6answers
634 views

Persistent Browser Based Game: To Captcha or not to Captcha?

I've been working (off-and-on) on a pbbg that's pretty old school. If you've ever played Carnage Blender then you get the idea. If not, it's a simple idea that's been done a lot: A player is ...
11
votes
4answers
13k views

Logic behind a bejeweled-like game

In a prototype I am doing, there is a minigame similar to bejeweled. Using a grid that is a 2d array (int[,]) how can I go about know when the user formed a match? I only care about horizontally and ...
11
votes
5answers
798 views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
591 views

What are the reasons for MMOs to have level caps?

In many MMOs players character progression is artificially capped, e.g. by level 60 or 90 or 100 or whatever. Why do MMOs have these level caps in the first place? Why not just allow characters to ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How to Simulate Height in a Tiled Top-Down Game

How can I simulate height in a top-down tiled 2D game? One way I thought was to make tiles which are supposed to be higher brighter, but I was wondering if there was a standard or better ...
11
votes
3answers
420 views

As an indie game dev, what processes are the best for soliciting feedback on my design/spec/idea? [closed]

Background I have worked in a professional environment where the process usually goes like the following: Brain storm idea Solidify the game mechanics / design Iterate on design/idea to create a ...
11
votes
1answer
915 views

Moving an Object along a Curve while Rotating it

I woud like to move an object along a curve. At particular points on the curve, I wish the object to change speed and rotate itself along its axis. Imagine an airplane flying to a destination. It has ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do modern games not feature extra lives? [closed]

In the late 80s and early 90s, most games had an extra life mechanic. The player started with limited lives (often three) and dying depleted one of them. If they still had some remaining, they would ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I ensure an appropriate payout ratio for a slot machine?

I have done a lot of research into random number generators for slot machines, reel stop calculations and how to physically give the user a good chance on winning. What I can't figure out is how to ...
10
votes
1answer
395 views

Why has it become commonplace for NPCs to have one weapon per class instead of variants?

For instance, in Half-Life 2 you have Civil Protection, Combine Soldier and Combine Elite. Each class has a weapon. Is there a shift away from this at all, where the NPCs are matched with the player ...
10
votes
4answers
821 views

Game mechanics patterns database? [closed]

Do you know http://tvtropes.org ? It's a kind of wiki/database with scenaristic tropes, patterns that you can find in tones of stories, in tv shows, games, books, etc. Each trope/pattern have a ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Balancing game difficulty against player progression

It seems that the current climate of games seems to cater to an obvious progression of player power, whether that means getting a bigger, more explosive gun in Halo, leveling up in an RPG, or ...
10
votes
2answers
409 views

Showing range on hexagonal grid

Here is the situation. I have hexagonal board,and a unit on it,with speed or move value 4.Diffrent terrain has a diffrent cost.When i click on the unit,game should show me a move range. My solution ...
10
votes
2answers
522 views

How do I make good guy attacks only hit bad guys and vice versa?

My game has many different type of good guys and many different type of bad guys. They will all be firing projectiles at each other but I don't want any accidental collateral damage to occur for ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How does 20Q work internally?

Ever since childhood, I've wondered how the 20Q electronic game worked. You think of an object, thing, or animal (e.g. potato or donkey). The device then asks you a series of questions such as: Is ...
9
votes
3answers
489 views

How to add a sound that an enemy AI can hear?

Given: a 2D top down game Tiles are stored just in a 2D array Every tile has a property - dampen (so bricks might be -50db, air might be -1) From this I want to add it so a sound is generated at ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Other games that employ mechanics like the game “Diplomacy”

I'm doing a little bit of research and I'm hoping you can help me track down any games, other than Diplomacy (online version here), that employ all or some of the mechanics in Diplomacy (rules, short ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to implement the logic of a trading card game's “special effects cards”?

I am trying to write a kind of a trading card game here, in some way, it is similar to Magic The Gathering, or the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game. For those of you who are not familiar with it, basically, in ...
9
votes
6answers
594 views

Designing rules to fight smallpox in Civ-style TBS games

TL;DR: How do you design a ruleset for a Civ-style TBS game that prevents city smallpox from being a profitable or viable strategy? Long version: Civ-style games are pretty great. Bringing a ...
9
votes
2answers
976 views

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 ...
8
votes
7answers
633 views

How to create a mathematical mechanism in order for a game to be balanced?

For example, in a game like Diablo, how did they decide how much damage each skill does? Is it the amount of clicks that the player needs to do? Or maybe the expected lifetime of a player? Maybe ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I render terrain in a 2.5D perspective, like in the game Don't Starve?

I have experience in making 2D side scroller games such as Terraria, but now I want to challenge myself and make a game that has a 2.5D perspective. The game I am trying to mimic is Don't Starve. ...