38
votes
2answers
7k views

Why are normal maps predominantly blue?

Why normal maps are predominantly blue instead of a random color? I guess normal vectors of a 3D object can point in every direction, like: (1.0, 0.1, 0.5), (0.1, -0.5, 0.3), (-0.51, 0.46, -1.0) ...
38
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the purpose of a “press start” screen?

A lot of games start with their intros and vendor videos, and then show a "Press Start" screen before the actual main menu. I never quite figures out the purpose of this. Why not go to the main menu ...
38
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I create particles that react to the player and enemies?

I'm currently making a game with my own game engine which I've written in C++ and I'm using the most recent directx SDK. The game is a top down space shooter (with a pretty interesting twist) and I'...
38
votes
7answers
7k views

What are the performance difference between unsigned and signed integers? [closed]

I am aware of the performance hit when mixing signed ints with floats. Is it any worse to mix unsigned ints with floats? Is there any hit when mixing signed/unsigned without floats? Do the ...
38
votes
3answers
14k views

How do audio based games such as Audiosurf and Beat Hazard work?

Note: I am not asking how to make a clone of one of these. I am asking about how they work. I'm sure everyone's seen the games where you use your own music files (or provided ones) and the games ...
37
votes
6answers
2k views

Why use random numbers when it comes to rewards and stats?

Many games use random numbers for things like attack damage, gold loot, or monster type being spawned. It is obvious that random numbers allow you to generate content to make games more re-playable, ...
37
votes
17answers
7k views

Turn-based strategy games where action happens in real-time?

Okay, this idea has come up for the 3rd time in conversation now, and it's been bugging me for years. The idea is a game where all players make decisions/issue orders to units while the game is in a ...
37
votes
5answers
9k views

Any tips for creating cross-platform games? [closed]

Do you have any tips/recommendations when creating a cross-platform game in C/C++?
37
votes
20answers
6k views

Examples of good Javascript/HTML5 based games [closed]

Now that Flash is largely being replaced with HTML5 elements (video, audio, canvas, etc.) are there any good examples of web-based games built on completely open standards (meaning Javascript, HTML ...
37
votes
5answers
2k views

How to prepare a game for localization?

Many projects don't think about localization until the game is done. Then localization is done as a hack, and it's obvious that it was added on later. Some specific areas of concern: Text strings (...
37
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the purpose of the stencil buffer ? More precisely, what is a stencil in computer graphics?

I read the stencil word a lot, and I don't have a clue what is its real purpose in computer graphics. Seeing the picture in black and white on wikipedia, I'm still having problem with it. Why do we ...
37
votes
6answers
10k views

Analysis of Mario game Physics [closed]

I know there's a breakdown of Sonic the Hedgehog physics found here, and I was wondering, does there exist a breakdown of any of the Mario games? Something similar to this but for Mario is what I'm ...
37
votes
13answers
37k views

How do you handle aspect ratio differences with Unity 2D?

I've gotten a lot of answers to this question, but they are all generic and generally not very useful. None of the tutorials talk about aspect ratio and dealing with mobile devices and there are a ...
36
votes
5answers
8k views

How can I give the illusion of height to a ball in 2D?

In 2D top down soccer games, sometimes a ball is given the illusion of being in the air, like below: How can I achieve this?
36
votes
9answers
6k views

How can I quantify a drawn line's straightness?

I'm working on a game which requires players to draw a line from a point A(x1,y1) to the other point B(x2,y2) on the screen of an Android device. I want to find how well that drawing fits to a ...
36
votes
15answers
5k views

MMORPG design for time-limited players

I believe that there is a significant market of players who would enjoy the exploration and interaction aspects of MMORPGs, but simply don't have the time for the endless grinding marathons which are ...
36
votes
2answers
3k views

Good game design process for a do-it-all programmer

I am pretty new in game development - on Android platform and thinking about one-man game development. I know I can't professionally do everything such as graphics, sounds, and music but I think I can ...
36
votes
9answers
17k views

How do you prevent your JavaScript / HTML5 web game from being copied or altered?

I'm in the middle of planning a game built using JavaScript and HTML5. I'm having trouble understanding how you could prevent someone from simply copying the JavaScript from the web server and ...
36
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are radians preferred over degrees in game development?

I've been looking up the definition of radians and found out that mathematicians prefer them because they are derived from pi instead of being completely arbitrary like degrees. However, I have not ...
36
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
36
votes
1answer
5k views

Mouse aim in an FPS

I would like to make a First Person Shooter and move the camera with the mouse. The problem is that when the cursor reaches the limits of the screen, the camera won't turn anymore. How can I keep the ...
35
votes
4answers
14k views

Why don't we use octogonal maps instead of hexagonal maps?

I understand the advantage of hexagonal tiles over square ones. But why aren't octagons used instead? I would think they would provide better, more natural movement in eight directions. I was ...
35
votes
2answers
8k views

Why do we use the Pythagorean theorem in game physics?

I've recently learned that we use Pythagorean theorem a lot in our physics calculations and I'm afraid I don't really get the point. Here's an example from a book to make sure an object doesn't ...
35
votes
9answers
6k views

How can I make a “random” generator that is biased by prior events?

I am looking to implement a chance based system which is biased by prior event. Background: Some years back, I remember an update for World of Warcraft announcing that they implemented a new chance ...
35
votes
13answers
6k views

How can I make backtracking interesting?

When a player navigates a space for the first time, it is very interesting: the content is new, the dangers are unknown, paths need to be found. However, various situations force the player to ...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I procedurally render irregularly shaped health bars?

The issue of the traditional rectangular or heart-based health bar is something well-understood and easily solved. But what is the accepted solution for more "creatively-shaped" health bars, like the ...
35
votes
6answers
5k views

Do I need to ask Microsoft for permission to use their products logo?

I am currently making a trailer of my game for my college project, I would like to note that my game is cross platform. Do I need to ask for permission to use those images in such situation? - When I ...
35
votes
2answers
7k views

Water/Ocean simulation and physics

I'm looking for some references about water simulation, and how to model it's interaction with bodies (like boats, ships, submarines). I've found a lot of references on the visual aspects of water (...
35
votes
4answers
37k views

Using multiple shaders

I'm currently studying opengl shaders but I can't figure out something: how to apply different shaders to the objects, for example, a teapot rendered using toon shader and another one in the same ...
35
votes
6answers
6k views

What should developers do when they receive conflicting feedback about their game?

I've been working my first mobile game (I have done a lot of web and PC games before). I wanted the idea to be simple but fun. The thing is, I received feedback from friends and family and I have ...
35
votes
5answers
7k views

Maximum audio delay before the player notices?

Given some event in a game, what is the maximum delay to producing audio that the player will properly associate the audio with that event (and not perceive lag)?
35
votes
3answers
3k views

In which directory to write game save files/data?

I need a definite list of directories, one or more per platform, of where to put game save files and other game generated data. Either based on the OS developer specification, or because it is common ...
35
votes
2answers
12k views

How exactly does XNA's SpriteBatch work?

To be more precise, if I needed to recreate this functionality from scratch in another API (e.g. in OpenGL) what would it need to be capable of doing? I do have a general idea of some of the steps, ...
35
votes
5answers
24k views

How can I draw outlines around 3D models?

How can I draw outlines around 3D models? I'm referring to something like the effects in a recent Pokemon game, which appear to have a single-pixel outline around them:
35
votes
6answers
13k views

Learning To Create Better Art (2D Games)

Until one of my games "makes it" big, or I get flooded with gold ingots, I will have to handle most or all of my game art myself. The crux of my question is: how can I learn enough art to get beyond "...
35
votes
4answers
5k views

How to design the attack class in an RPG game?

I am in the planning phase of a small RPG style game. The character will have have a set of attributes, like strength, agility, etc which are represented as integers. The character also will have a ...
35
votes
2answers
6k views

Will there be any more books in the Game Programming Gems series?

It's been more than three years now that the last Game Programming Gems book was published. The official website isn't updated anymore, and this page of Mark DeLoura's website seems to imply that the ...
35
votes
5answers
24k views

Workaround to losing the OpenGL context when Android pauses?

The Android documentation says: There are situations where the EGL rendering context will be lost. This typically happens when device wakes up after going to sleep. When the EGL context is ...
35
votes
5answers
15k views

How can I achieve a good fire effect with alpha blending and particles?

Using the following setting for the OpenGL particle effect: SRC: GL_SRC_ALPHA DST: GL_ONE Creates an additive blend, which looks spectacular on a black background but terrible on brighter colours, ...
35
votes
5answers
1k views

Does the gender of a game's protagonist affect sales?

Most protagonists of games are male. I imagine the conventional wisdom is that this is because We live in a patriarchal society, especially when it comes to game development, and The target ...
35
votes
4answers
3k views

Movement prediction for non-shooters

I'm working on an isometric 2D game with moderate-scale multiplayer, approximately 20-30 players connected at once to a persistent server. I've had some difficulty getting a good movement prediction ...
34
votes
3answers
12k views

Why don't game developers release their source code?

I was wondering why don't developers of AAA games release their source codes after their game has sold out and support is long gone? Of course there is this list, where you can find a lot of AAA ...
34
votes
13answers
2k views

what is the best way to eliminate grinding in games? [closed]

This is a very persistent question in game design, especially in games where you need to hold/retain players like MMO or social games. (On a side note grinding can easily calculated so its easy tool ...
34
votes
9answers
24k views

Texture packing algorithm

What is a good texture packing algorithm? Technically, bin packing is NP-hard, so a heuristic is what I'm really after.
34
votes
3answers
3k views

When should I hard-code data versus load external data?

I'm a thousand or so lines of code into making my own 2D space-based game, which creates networks of randomly generated star systems and populates them with a random selection of planets, stations, ...
34
votes
5answers
13k views

What are the pros and cons of incorporating Lua into a C++ game?

I have a C++ game programming book and it has a Lua section in it. I've started to read the Lua section, and it sounds interesting, but I can't determine the pros and cons of using Lua in my C++ game. ...
34
votes
4answers
16k views

Difference between orthogonal map and isometric map

I am laughing at myself ignorant on this. Google didn't produce an obvious answer. Could someone explain what orthogonal map and isometric map are, and how they are different?
34
votes
2answers
2k views

How does a game without loading times work?

We're talking about an expansive game that is not divided in levels or checkpoints. A 3D adventure, for example.
34
votes
6answers
10k views

What is a good file format for saving game data? [closed]

I need to save some custom game data. Map, player, etc. All of them will have "sub objects". For example, a map and map will have an "array" of tiles. ie, hierarchical data. Hopefully nothing ...

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