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28

Making sense of the world Part of the reason for this is about world-building and storytelling, which may not seem relevant in the genre or type of game you are writing but if you aren't giving your users any kind of story or world hooks, they will be creating their own to make sense of what they are playing. If you look at it in that respect, then a ...


27

I agree with your points however I would like to expand them a little further: Classes gives player identity. He can talk and think about himself as a rogue for example. Classes can give player feeling of belonging somewhere/membership. Expanded previous point - if he is a paladin, he belongs to some order of NPC paladins and also other players (often with ...


23

This answer is me taking a gamasutra article and summarizing it with the question asked in mind. As with any soft science there are disagreements even among the experts on the field so I would recommend looking into the links to specific schools of though. The Types of Players The Fictionalists: They see the game's story and fictional world as the ...


22

One thing I liked about the backtracking in Super Metroid is how your new powers allowed you to get through the areas faster, but in a more challenging way. Another way is to place items such as health upgrades (or obvious switches/breakable blocks) in plain sight but out of reach until you come back in possession of another item. The best example of this ...


18

You can balance a classless system, but your players probably can't. In addition to the other answers above, I'd suggest that giving people classes is a way to ensure that players don't sabotage themselves with a poor build. Common things people do that produces a sub-optimal build include: Choosing non-synergistic abilities. People who do this may be ...


11

You said that modifying the level beyond recognition is out of the question, but what about only small, randomized modifications to levels? This can be in form of events which only have a certain chance of happening whenever the player traverses the area. When there are multiple such events which also interact with each other, it will result in a slightly ...


10

For the same reason that you can buy a jar of curry sauce. There are some who make a meal from scratch. They know the exact ratios of spices they like and adjust them and choose meat/vegetables that they like and that combine well with their sauce. Some people don't have time for that. They know that they want to cook a satay, so they buy a jar of sauce, ...


10

I won't discuss about the evilness behind singletons because Internet can do that better than me. In my games I use the Service Locator pattern to avoid having tons of Singletons/Managers. The concept is pretty simple. You only have one Singleton that acts like the only interface to reach what you used to use as Singleton. Instead of having several ...


9

One thing I hated about backtracking in Metroid Prime was how when I first came across something new and interesting, I couldn't tell if I had the tools to interact with it or not. I'd leave, hoping I'd get the tools later. But then I'd hit a dead end. Then I'd wonder if I had the tools to navigate the dead end, if I was missing something, or if I had to go ...


8

Before I get into "why they are used in games at all", I'm going to mention "why they're useful now". Character classes are iconic, which helps with continuity and innate understanding. If I know that I like playing a mage in other games, when I pick up yours I can just say "I'm playing a mage", and I'll already understand that I'll be using different ...


7

Actually the character classes usually play many roles in the game design and the game itself. To begin with the class system will make the character attributes (as in everything from skill, durability...) much easier to design, you can make up a class background, a story which is usually a base concept for all ideas. So from the development point of view ...


7

I initialize my services in my main application class and then pass them as pointers to whatever needs to use them either through the constructors or functions. This is useful for two reasons. One, the order of initialization and cleanup is simple and clear. There is no way to accidentally initialize one service somewhere else like you can with a ...


6

Hiding stats stops some casual players from optimizing their builds. However, it will not stop hardcore players from doing so. For example BF3 had completely inaccurate and misleading weapon stats ingame. There are sites dedicated to testing and analysis of all the weapons in the game with nice graphs and charts. This is the most popular one. ...


6

Identity When you have a class based system the player can quickly identify a protayal of a character type. This is done through conscious/unconscious memory of earlier experiences in games this would make the player able to make a better decision. They all enable different play styles, and gamers do identify themselves with their play styles as well as ...


5

Yes, they are more efficient. Depending on your specific hardware and driver, massively so. The basic idea is that you want to minimize state changes. Changing the active texture is a state change. In many cases the GPU can only handle rendering with a single state at at time. If you think of all the dozens/hundreds/thousands of shader cores that a GPU can ...


5

In Portal, the developers intentionally introduced back tracking into the game. They did this for a couple of reasons: Player Immersion: It happens after you have broken out of the initial portion of the game and have been running around 'behind the scenes'. Bringing you back reminds you that you are still stuck in the facility, still 'in' the game. It ...


4

This is my first post on this stack, so bear with me! This is just my simple opinion. Hidden I am a huge believer in hiding certain mechanics in a game. This is mainly to add some mystery to the game where I--as the developer--am not showing my entire hand to the player. When I say hand, I'm referring to the game of poker. It's me against you, you ...


4

What you are talking about is not easy to do. If you are going to send the player back through an area then you can still make a lot more game experience there by making new things happen on their journey back. Consider the original Halo where the second half of the game was effectively a fight back through the locations of the first half, but confronted by ...


3

In addition to the points made above, there's also the fact that nearly all RPGs take place in societies that have experienced the Agricultural Revolution. This might not seem important, but one of the effects of the Agricultural Revolution was specialization of labor. For this reason, specialization forms a major part of settings and of how characters ...


3

You're focusing a lot on what the character CAN do as opposed to what the character CAN'T do. Having a player to choose a character class forces them to make an interesting decision by restricting access to game elements. And as famed game designer Mark Rosewater would say, "Restrictions breed creativity." If you implement a classless system, you'll find it ...


3

Why are character-classes used in game design? They are a realistic representation of peoples' skill sets. The classic example is Dungeons and Dragons, which came originally from a medieval table top combat game by Dave Arneson called Blackmoor. Blackmoor came from a wargaming background and so was intended to be a (perhaps loose) simulation of ...


3

From the players point of view classes can help with establishing a play-style and simplicity in resource management. Imagine all the skills from World of Warcraft were available to all players. The skills in many classes use resources that collect in different ways (Mana, Rage, Concentration, Runes, Combo Points.) Providing all those resources to every ...


3

If a game is relying on static values such as fixed player/enemy stats, allowed moves or frequency and effect of power-ups, those are usually refined through extensive beta / play testing until a good balance is found (those values might be adjusted for different difficulty levels within a game). One thing to take into account when defining "good" starting ...


3

Time! Let the environment develop over time. Time is a resource that's missed by pretty much all games throughout time and genres. Small, random, changes to the environment, over time, can lead to massive changes. Letting time and some randomness guide the development of the games environment also increases replay value and it can do so quite a lot, ...


3

There has been a lot of suggestions in terms of powerups, time decay and ETC. My opinion is a mixture of all of these elements to form a living breathing world that can be both cheap and expensive for development depending on the level of complexity and scale. However, there has been too much emphasis on going backwards. It's not just about going back, but ...


2

This is simply a design decision that you, as the developer, will need to make on your own terms. There isn't a correct answer to the question. Some paths you could consider: Poll the users on an established game's forums and determine what their communities prefer. Implement different difficulty levels in your game: Easy lets you rotate, Hard does not. ...


2

Yes, using texture atlases is more efficient than using individual images. It largely boils down to two things: The images have to be transferred onto the GPU in order to be drawn to the screen. Sending one large image is going to generally be faster than sending a ton of small images. State changes on the GPU are expensive, and switching textures is a ...


2

This is one of "truths of old days" and no longer important (that much important). While using one texture is definitely more efficient(switching texture, as every operation, introduces some overhead), on today's hardware is not that big difference and the extra performance is generally not needed. If you have hardware capable of rendering millions textured ...


2

Although there are some very good explanations about the actual usefulness of character classes from a game design point of view, I wanted to act the actual historical original of character classes. Character classes were invented by role-playing games... as a mean to play roles. On this Wikipedia article we can see how D&D is referenced as the first ...


2

Randomized worlds exist to improve replayability. Any gameplay element can be a nuisance for some people, which is why the focus should be on minimizing the nuisance without damaging the whole gameplay, not removing it completely. You achieve this with mechanics that balance your "possibly annoying" mechanic. You gave Diablo 2 as an example, so I'll stick ...



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