Hot answers tagged

65

Assets such as sound, video, models, and textures are a majority of the download and for each of these assets there are multiple versions. These multiple versions are to support various graphic options. By sending the assets needed for a low graphics option first (which also happen to be the smallest ones). You have everything you need to play the game ...


52

This lets the user choose the game's quality versus its performance. Some prefer higher-quality graphics settings on a lower resolution, others the opposite. Some computers can handle maximum settings on everything, some can't. Devices with homogenous hardware (PlayStation, Xbox, iPhone...) usually don't offer graphics settings for this reason.


43

Depends on the game. In a obstacle course/parkour type game against a time limit it's common to add checkpoints that add to a time limit which is tight enough to that a big mistake will cause failure. In a puzzle game however like your example then just letting the time run out is a better idea. It's probably also a good idea to let them undo actions that ...


36

Although you are targeting desktops, there will be players on (gaming) laptops and for some of them, it will be an inconvenience to get a mouse before being able to play your game. It would sound like a good thing to me, if you were to support alternative control schemes or customizable controls. This is not a very "sciency" answer - I've just run into this ...


29

There is no way to completely reliably detect the correct screen resolution. One approach is to simply leave at the user's desktop resolution. This is annoying, as I know a number of people (some with visual impairments) who prefer to run their desktop at a lower resolution to make things look larger, but still prefer games at the native resolution where ...


24

I find myself most satisfied when I see what appear at first glance to be prime numbers. If the score always just adds a 0 (10, 20, 50, 200, 300 etc.) at the end, I feel cheated. Multiples of 5 (5, 25, 45, 80, 95 etc.) are a bit better, but you quickly catch on to the fact that your accomplishment is worth 1/5 of what's being shown. Numbers like 47, 76, ...


23

I once implemented this for MMOs. One weekend while attempting to install WOW for my daughter took 48 elapsed hours, (patches, download errors, etc.) so I decided to make my own better solution. The game usually needs say 10 GB of data before it will run. Not all files are actually needed right away, but games used to wait until all files were locally ...


22

It really depends what you mean by "assume". Are you making this assumption at the point of designing your gameplay mechanics? Or at the point of deciding whether or not to implement fully customizable key bindings? You could mean "I assume real gamers have a 3 button mouse, therefore I don't need to offer the option to rebind bayonet-thrust to a keyboard ...


21

Kill the player Death is an easy way to tell the player they have made a big mistake. And you save them the trouble of restarting by restarting for them. An easy way to retro-fit death into a scenario is to introduce a deadly time-constraint, like water flooding, or walls closing-in. Your imagination is the limit!


18

From left field: Don't allow the player to give direct orders to his units The idea is that you give the player's troops the same AI capabilities as the enemy, and then provide him with a goal setting system and a state toggle system. The player can set goals/objectives attached to enemy units or map locations, such as: Destroy this Guard area Clear ...


17

There's a comprehensive question on UX about touchscreen button sizes. The recommended size depends highly on your game, but the minimum size is quoted as 9-12mm, about half an inch, and this is based on the size of fingers. Keep in mind that this is a guideline, and the cost of ignoring it is that your users will tap the wrong thing on occasion. Depending ...


14

You propose running each separate "system" in parallel. The problem with this is that you will have to lock every single piece of shared state. CLARITY EDIT: When you have two parallel operations using all of the same data, lock contention and synchronization is going to slow things down so that you're not gaining many benefits from the parallelization. ...


12

A "you have no chance" message can be a pretty jarring break of immersion. If the user is really trying to figure out how to beat the level, his/her mind is deep in their mental model of what is going on. Such a message would be interrupting. If you do want to do this my advice would be one of: Bring the message up slowly, perhaps as just a warning blip ...


12

You already answered your own question: If now a user plays without sound or listens to music it might be that he doesn't realize that he tries to use it without realizing why it won't work. That's the most important reason. Games feel better when audio and visual feedback are combined.


11

I would say the main reason why some games use such high numbers is, because they don't want to deal with fractions. "0.375 Experience Points" just isn't as catchy as "375 Experience Point". Those numbers have a wider range and variation for balancing without the need of fractions. The developer can still decide later in a patch to use 1015 points as damage ...


11

Tell the player, then save them. A good example how to do this well is the Portal series. Despite the very well thought out puzzle designs where most mistakes can either be fixed or results in immediate death, there are a few situations in the game where the players can trap themselves or screw up the puzzle in a way that it can not be solved. The ...


10

It's easy: Fonts do not need to match resolution, they need to match pixel density. Pixel density is measured as pixels per inch(PPI), or pixels per centimeter. There's also a measure unit called density independent pixels(DP). 1dp is the size one pixel has on a 160 PPI screen. Now coming back to fonts, try to make this test: put your laptop to run on ...


10

Many laptops lack a middle button, especially those with a trackpad, and you need special software to emulate it. Mac laptops have only one button. Right-click is pretty easy (two finger click) and not uncommon in Mac games, and the two finger drag to scroll isn't bad, but only in slower paced games. However, there is no concept of a middle click in the ...


9

What about splitting the the weather into more detailed parts? Precipitation - none/light/moderate/heavy Wind - none/light/moderate/heavy Type - rain/hail/snow You can still store this in a single SQL column if you want by making it a simple enum with 48 (4*4*3) possible values (removing any strange conflicts you don't like).


9

The game mechanic where the player is prompted to press a certain button during an otherwise non-interactive scene is called a Quick-Time Event or QTE. From the point of view of a game designer, it is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is an effective and very simple to implement tool to keep the player engaged during cutscenes and give them something ...


8

Don't allow it. Give the player a specific role, and that's it. The guy who gives the orders to attack a group of enemies to the north isn't sitting there at the fight telling each guy who to shoot, he's back at base giving more orders to other soldiers. For a more realistic/immersive experience, and to discourage/prevent micromanagement, allow the player ...


8

The iTunes App Store already has a process in place for adding custom terms and conditions to any app you upload. http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#documentation/LanguagesUtilities/Conceptual/iTunesConnect_Guide/8_AddingNewApps/AddingNewApps.html Scroll down to "Providing an End User License Agreement". Tell your lawyer about this if he doesn't ...


7

I agree with thedaian but would like to expand upon his point. Most micromanagment is done to make up for the AI being inefficient. When I micro its usually because either: my troops won't kill weak units before targeting stronger ones, they won't target high dps units before lower dps units, they won't concentrate fire to take out individual units (kind of ...


7

It sounds like a Hidden Markov Model might be useful to you. These define certain states with statistical probabilities of transitions from one state to each of the other states based on relative frequency in observations. You can define some weather states for instance 'rainy' and 'sunny' and probabilities of transitions from rainy to sunny and sunny to ...


7

There are a VAST number of reasons to allow the user to control the settings for their game. MANY people have 2 (or more) monitors these days. The user should be able to determine which one to play the game on. There are thousands of different devices a user could be using, and no way to reliably tell what setting would be optimal for every one. Some users ...


6

The standards should be, "whatever the code department needs, within reason". This may involve the coders writing exporter plugins for artists. But there is no standard way of distributing art since there is no standard way of consuming or using art. It's just down to what the technology pipeline requires. However, as some rough guidelines: First, ask ...


6

Preamble: As Patrick Hughes noted, for the "correct" answer to your question, take a sample of test playes. Give one group your game with standard scores, and a second group the same game but with 100x/1000x the scores. Fractions: Depends on your Game, really. Commenter Joe provided an example of where rounding can occur, but that's about Hit Points rather ...


6

Our life is frittered away by detail . . . simplify, simplify. (Henry David Thoreau) My answer is similar to those that suggest picking a clear role for the player. What they're really saying is to simplify I think. The reason micromanagement happens is because there are very many choices to make during play, and in general they only really matter in ...


6

There is no standard. About as close as you get to one is using the left stick to move and the right stick to look around or aim and using B for Cancel/No options (but no general standard for the Accept/Yes option!). Other than that it's all over the place. A number of popular modern games have used all of the following for a primary fire button: A X ...


6

The lowest framerate you can get away with depends on the game. In chess, a still image is just fine until someone makes a move! In a fast-paced FPS, you'll typically want >30 frames per second. This comparison of an animation at 15, 30 and 60 frames/second should give you a rough idea, but it's best just to try it out -- every game is different.



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