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comment Large scale iterative design
Iterations are time boxed, so their length is dictated by how frequently you can get feedback. Iterations are not supposed to become longer. That is waterfall.
comment Is there such thing as a design pattern for game character attributes?
Before you code away on the details of a flexible attributes system, make sure you have a good idea of the requirements for your game. Developing a game from the software is perhaps not so productive. For example, if you only need to support two attributes (strength and speed), you don't need a generic system. Do your game requirements necessitate a complicated design?
comment Is there a pattern for handling multiple game states?
@TimothyGroote State pattern would be bad if there are a lot of states. Just because the word "state" appears in the problem doesn't mean you'd use the State pattern. As a matter of fact, there is one subclass for each state. Is that what you'd want in a game that can have hundreds of different states?
comment How can I make backtracking interesting?
+1 for Elder Scrolls fast travel, done with way-point discovery. Basically, you can fast travel to any way-point you've been to before, if no monsters are present.
comment Inconsistent movement / line-of-sight around obstacles on a hexagonal grid
I recall encountering this workaround in some pathfinding I did for the AI in my own version of Steve Jackson's Ogre. You can tweak a pathfinding sort to account for both hex distance and Euclidean distance when it's really important.
comment How should I implement the “Observer” pattern with respect to a game world?
Patterns are solutions to recurring design problems. It sounds like you're looking for a problem to apply a solution, which I think is backwards.
comment How to avoid circular dependencies between Player and World?
Why do you think a circular dependency is a bad thing? stackoverflow.com/questions/1897537/…