72

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 ...


60

This is something you simply must get used to when you create any creative work. Not everyone will like your work. Not everyone must like your work. There are plenty of world-renowned artists who receive plenty of negative feedback and are still widely successful. It doesn't matter, because that negative feedback comes from people their work isn't made for. ...


54

Generally when there's a common convention that your audience may already be familiar with, the question isn't whether it's mandatory, but whether there's any reason to deviate from it. If you use a colour scheme compatible with the ones used in WoW, GW2, Destiny, etc. then players who have played one of those games will have one less thing to learn to ...


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 ...


38

My first suggestion would be to just stick with A = Counter-clockwise and D = Clockwise movement. It is not very confusing and is pretty much the "standard" (i.e. most common) choice when it comes to orbital movement like this. Another way would be to change the way your game moves. Instead of moving the player when they are on a planet you could rotate the ...


37

Yes, when you want your game to run on PC, you should think from an early design stage on how to best utilize the mouse. The same applies to the input features of all other platforms you consider targeting. One of the main differences between a good port and a bad port to a different platform is how much effort you invested into accommodating the different ...


34

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 ...


34

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 ...


28

This is Matt, the creator of Trainyard. @DMGregory summoned me here! :) It sounds like you're working through the same issues I had to deal with. It's a tricky problem where there isn't necessarily a perfect solution. One thing to consider is the constraints of the problem. I was targeting a 50mm wide screen on the early iPhones, and Apple's recommendation ...


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!


21

The advantages to sticking with convention are: it works, and users are already familiar with it. The disadvantage is that you may be ignoring ways to improve and be unique. But on this subject, there's not much convention. This topic is covered at Giant Bomb and TVTropes, and from their analysis, generally grey/white items are the lowest tiers, but after ...


18

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). It is defined that 1dp is the size one pixel has on a 160 PPI screen. Now coming back to fonts, try to make this test: put your ...


16

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 ...


16

When the character gets out of the ship, reorient the view so the character is on top of the planet, and then move the view with the character as they walk around. This way the character is always on top with respect to the view when on a planet, so the left/right controls can stay consistent no matter where you land.


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

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 ...


11

A very common method is to disable achievements when gameplay-affecting mods are enabled or cheats are used. Players want those achievements. But when they are using overpowered mods or cheats, they become meaningless anyway, so disabling them is completely reasonable. This encourages the player to try everything in the game in vanilla mode at least once. ...


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 ...


10

From the SDL Docs: SDL_WINDOW_FULLSCREEN_DESKTOP for "fake" fullscreen that takes the size of the desktop This sounds like what other games call Borderless Mode, Borderless Windowed Mode, or similar. I'm sure, gamers will understand these terms.


10

I suggest you take a look at a similar concept but then in 3d: Super mario galaxy. https://youtu.be/_8eJC4gIAm4?t=19m At short movements the reference frame stays the same, the universe doesn't move, get beyond a certain threshold the universe moves along/shifts along so the reference frame is back in the middle. You might wish to "movement blur" the ...


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

In my experience, such integrated cutscenes (that is, using the in-game renderer) tend to use camera angles & perspectives that differ from the game play. For instance, if the game is played in 1st person mode, the camera shifts to a 3rd person view for the cut-scene. You could adjust the display to use letterboxing, pillarboxing or windowboxing during ...


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 ...


7

Make sure that there is a visual cue that the player is currently not in control. When it is a non-interactive cutscene, you could remove the GUI during the cutscene and bring it back as soon as the player is in control again. When the users control is impaired (but not completely disabled) during normal gameplay, for example because their character is ...


7

Use A/D to move the character in the direction towards the leftmost / rightmost point of the planet, respectively, and W/S to move the character towards the topmost / bottommost points. In this way, the player is always moving the character in the same direction as the input movement -- e.g. D always moves right, S always moves down, regardless of the ...


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