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428 votes
1 answer
41k views

How can I effectively manage a hobby game project?

How can I successfully finish a hobby game project in my free time? How do I motivate myself to keep it up and drive right through to the finish without losing interest or motivation along the way?
320 votes
1 answer
171k views

What are good games to "earn your wings" with? [closed]

I believe that in order to become a good game developer, you need to make games. From a programmer's perspective, what are some good entry level games to get your hands dirty? What skills and ...
311 votes
14 answers
26k views

How can I find an optimum set of colors for 10 players?

I want to give each of 10 players a unique identifying color. Is there an optimum set of colors for this? How do I create one? Every set I've come up with contains colors that are too similar. ...
270 votes
11 answers
107k views

When should I use a fixed or variable time step?

Should a game loop be based on fixed or variable time steps? Is one always superior, or does the right choice vary by game? Variable time step Physics updates are passed a "time elapsed since last ...
252 votes
36 answers
36k views

How to prevent the "Too awesome to use" syndrome?

When you give the player a rare but powerful item which can only be used once but is never really required to proceed, most players will not use it at all, because they are waiting for the perfect ...
213 votes
4 answers
22k views

How can I store game metadata in a .png file?

Spore allows player-created creatures to be shared by exporting a .png file. That .png is a photo of the creature, but if it's ...
  • 2,911
206 votes
17 answers
119k views

How does a single non-artistic programmer make a game? [closed]

I'd like to try my hand at making games. In making some simple ones, I realised I can't do art! I've tried to find others to help: Most existing teams wouldn't want me because of my limited ...
user avatar
193 votes
35 answers
36k views

How do you prevent inflation in a virtual economy?

With your typical MMORPG, players can usually farm the world for raw materials essentially forever. Monsters/mineral veins/etc are usually on some sort of respawn timer, so other than time there ...
184 votes
1 answer
48k views

What is the role of "systems" in a component-based entity architecture?

I've been reading a lot about entity components and systems and have thought that the idea of an entity just being an ID is quite interesting. However I don't know how this completely works with the ...
  • 1,951
174 votes
10 answers
35k views

Why is it so bad to optimize too early?

After looking into optimization a bit, I have discovered (literally everywhere) that it seems to be a universally recognized sin to optimize a game too early. I really don't understand this, would it ...
  • 2,729
170 votes
13 answers
149k views

What math should all game programmers know? [closed]

Simple enough question: What math should all game programmers have a firm grasp of in order to be successful? I'm not specifically talking about rendering math or anything in the niche areas of game ...
167 votes
3 answers
160k views

What is Vulkan and how does it differ from OpenGL?

Khronos Group (the standards body behind OpenGL) has just announced Vulkan: Vulkan is the new generation, open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs. This ...
  • 13.3k
160 votes
25 answers
29k views

How do I get players to say "no" when they are afraid of missing out on sidequests or XP?

In my RPG, I have a companion NPC who is overconfident in his abilities and lacks self-control. I wanted to create a few situations where the player needs to reign them in and tell them "no"....
  • 1,937
159 votes
8 answers
55k views

Why are MVC & TDD not employed more in game architecture? [closed]

I will preface this by saying I haven't looked a huge amount of game source, nor built much in the way of games. But coming from trying to employ 'enterprise' coding practices in web apps, looking at ...
  • 1,721
158 votes
31 answers
168k views

Must read game development books [closed]

Let's make a list of the best books that every game developer should read. Each answer should have a single book (by title and optionally author), a link to buy the book, and a short synopsis of what ...
155 votes
18 answers
49k views

What things should an indie game developer never do?

What are some of the biggest - and better yet: insidious and unexpected - mistakes that indie game developers make? Especially when making the transition from hobbyist to full-time indie?
155 votes
3 answers
35k views

What is the point of a borderless fullscreen window?

Quite a lot of game allow user to play in a "borderless fullscreen window" instead of a "fullscreen mode". I've been wondering. Why would one prefer a fullscreen window over the "built-in" fullscreen ...
  • 1,782
154 votes
11 answers
60k views

How closely can a game legally resemble another?

Most games build on other games' successes and many are downright clones. Where is the limit of imitation before legal issues come into play? Is it down to literary or graphic work like characters and ...
  • 2,348
149 votes
22 answers
48k views

STL for games, yea or nay? [closed]

Every programming language has its standard library of containers, algorithms, and other helpful stuff. With languages like C#, Java, and Python, it's practically inconceivable to use the language ...
147 votes
10 answers
87k views

How do you generate tileable Perlin noise?

Related: Simple noise generation Understanding Perlin Noise I'd like to generate tileable Perlin noise. I'm working from Paul Bourke's PerlinNoise*() functions, ...
  • 16.9k
137 votes
11 answers
28k views

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

When creating open-world maps, a big issue to take into consideration is how "borders" of sorts are implemented. Obviously, in an open-world game, there shouldn't be invisible-wall borders, as it ...
137 votes
1 answer
97k views

What should a main game loop do?

Generally, what are the core things that one should do in the game loop, and what are some things that one shouldn't do in the game loop?
136 votes
9 answers
101k views

What are some programming design patterns that are useful in game development? [closed]

I have a few books on Design Patterns, and have read some articles, but cannot intuitively figure out which programming design patterns would be useful in game development. For example, I have a book ...
136 votes
16 answers
21k views

How to avoid players getting lost in and/or bored by the meta game?

Yesterday, I noticed something that I had never noticed consciously before, but which had "ruined" more or less all games that I have ever played: The longer you play a game, the more you get lost in ...
  • 1,383
135 votes
4 answers
19k views

What are "affordances" in game design?

I keep hearing the word "affordance" in terms of game design, most recently in the movie Indie Game: Life After. I also vaguely remember it from a UX class in undergrad. But I have no idea what it ...
  • 5,281
125 votes
13 answers
141k 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 ...
  • 1,853
124 votes
12 answers
17k views

Has piracy ever resulted in a developer getting shut down?

Has piracy EVER resulted in a developer getting shut down? That is, has piracy ever been so detrimental that it brought about the downfall of a game studio? If I were to release a game, should I be ...
  • 1,257
123 votes
20 answers
46k views

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

In several games the AI is designed to give the player an easy time without their knowledge. This can be having a 0% chance to hit the first time you appear, enemy letting you sneak up on them by not ...
  • 1,240
120 votes
10 answers
20k views

How does entity communication work?

I have two user cases: How would entity_A send a take-damage message to entity_B? How ...
  • 7,522
118 votes
28 answers
28k views

How to deal with "Scrooge McDucks" in my fixed-currency-amount game?

I'm currently working on a very small scale MMO game planned to support approximately hundred players per server, but we're having trouble with our economical model. For various reasons we have ...
  • 7,720
115 votes
21 answers
76k views

Why is it so expensive to develop an MMO? [closed]

I want to develop an MMO, like World of Warcraft, but some basic research says that it is going to take a lot of time and money. I'd like to know why. Why is it so expensive to develop an MMO?
  • 5,115
114 votes
7 answers
257k views

How do I get started making Android games? [closed]

I am new to game development. I am interested in developing 2D games for the Android platform. What is the best place to start with (i.e) What are the basics and how to proceed? I already have ...
113 votes
13 answers
33k views

Why are people developing and publishing games online without charging money?

What's the incentive of sharing games one designs themselves for free online such as itch.io? I see people doing this and I don't understand.
  • 1,233
113 votes
6 answers
43k views

Version control for game development - issues and solutions? [closed]

There are a lot of version control systems available, including open-source ones such as Subversion, Git, and Mercurial, plus commercial ones such as Perforce. How well do they support the process ...
111 votes
4 answers
23k views

What is actually moving in an endless runner?

For example the famous Flappy Bird game, or anything that sort really, is the player(in this case the bird, or the camera whichever you prefer) moving forward or is the whole world moving backwards(...
111 votes
10 answers
8k 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 ...
user avatar
111 votes
2 answers
37k views

How can I create a "see behind walls" effect?

Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a beautiful see-through system. When I go behind walls, a splash mask will appear, and when I move around the game, it changes. It's like a dissolve shader, and has a ...
110 votes
7 answers
64k views

How can I simulate a bad internet connection for testing purposes?

I am developing an online multiplayer game. It works well when I test it on the local area network, but before I release it I would like to test how the user-experience works out for someone who has ...
  • 115k
107 votes
13 answers
29k views

What are the advantages of putting cheat codes into a game?

Some games have cheat codes in them, but I'm not sure I want to add some to mine because I fear they'll ruin the game by making it too easy to beat. What would be the advantages of putting cheat ...
  • 1,819
107 votes
11 answers
39k views

Good resources for learning about game architecture? [closed]

Are there any good resources for learning about game architectures? I am looking for high level overviews of different architectures. I tend to find information about the various pieces of a game such ...
105 votes
3 answers
15k views

How can I create a 'flaming' effect like in Ocarina of Time's title screen?

I'd like to recreate a flaming effect like the one from the logo on the title screen of the N64 game 'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,' shown below: A quick look into the textures used in the ...
  • 1,163
104 votes
5 answers
21k views

Why are games built on cross-platform engines sometimes exclusive to Windows?

If an engine supports Windows, OS X, and Linux, why do we sometimes see games using these engines, like Space Hulk: Deathwing, restricted to Windows only?
  • 1,075
103 votes
6 answers
166k views

What is the proper way to handle data between scenes?

I am developing my first 2D game in Unity and I have come across what seems an important question. How do I handle data between scenes? There seems to be different answers to this: Someone mention ...
102 votes
12 answers
72k views

What are some good podcasts for game developers to listen to? [closed]

This could include specific game dev, general dev or general game podcasts. Please provide a brief description along with links.
98 votes
7 answers
6k views

How to deal with (bad?) player suggestions

Every game which builds a community while still being in active development will soon be confronted with players who post suggestions for new features on its forum. Most of these suggestions, however: ...
  • 115k
98 votes
4 answers
77k views

How should a one-man team do game audio?

Most game development (game design, art, programming, etc.) can be done by one person with relatively little equipment: A game designer needs a pencil and paper, an artist Photoshop or Paint, a ...
96 votes
12 answers
15k views

What data-type should I use for in-game currency?

In a simple business simulation game (built in Java + Slick2D), should a player's current amount of money be stored as a float or an ...
  • 1,317
94 votes
9 answers
56k views

Why do we move the world instead of the camera?

I heard that in an OpenGL game what we do to let the player move is not to move the camera but to move the whole world around. For example here is an extract of this tutorial: OpenGL View matrix ...
  • 5,641
93 votes
2 answers
24k views

How do modern game engines achieve real-time rendering vs Blender's "slow" rendering?

I'm new to both gamedev and Blender, and there's something I can't shake: In Blender, a single render (even using the more advanced Cycles renderer) can take up to 45 seconds on my machine. But ...
  • 1,045
93 votes
3 answers
15k views

How can I clean up excessive player-created rubble?

In my latest game I'm making, you can slice a 2D object arbitrarily, demonstrated in this gif: You can continuously cut it into hundreds or thousands of pieces. This doesn't create a lot of lag, ...
  • 1,029

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