Game Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: Below The Ashen Mutant Hades - by Simon Carless

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 8:34am
This week's highlights showcase Below, Mutant Year Zero, Hades, Gris, and Ashen - all of which have standout features - with reviews in the round-up, as well as more 'best of the year' & more besides.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

I’m A Fraud – The Signed Confessions of Michael Heron - by Michael Heron

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:45am
My name is Dr. Michael James Heron.  And I’m a fraud.  Herein lies my confession, in the dying days of the Year of our Lord, 2018. 
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Rolling a Ball: Harder Than You Thought (part 3) - by Nathaniel Ferguson

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:45am
When creating the game Rollossus, I ran into more trouble than I thought trying to reach satisfying ball movement. This three-part blog series walks people through the issues I ran into and the solutions I found.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Comparing Player Motivation in the Metro Series - by Michael Palmateer

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:43am
A discussion on the flexibility of play style given to players of the Metro games, as well as the superb level design of the Metro series.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

XCOM Enemy Within (Long War Modded Edition): RNG, Tactics & Death ^10th - by Shane Francis

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
Summary of how Long War implementation of XCOM: Enemy Within enhanced features of the vanilla game
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to make your very first indie game without selling your mom's house - by Tom Safarov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
This post was inspired by the game dev who was trying to find $1.25kk to finance his very first indie game. I explain why focusing on what your team can achieve with the resources in hand is a more rational approach, than aiming for a BF-like monster.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A review of Red Dead Redemption 2's player-motivation - by Charles Domicolo

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
This blog sheds light on the various player-types that comprise RDR2 and reasons why individuals enjoy playing RDR2.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Paideia and Ludus - A Comparison of Play and Rules in Dungeons and Dragons - by Jim Spagnola III

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
An examination of the advantage-disadvantage system in 5th Edition versus the Situational Bonus system in 3.5 edition from the lens of rules and play.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Diegetic Games - by Andrew Salvaterra

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
An article about diegetic games
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Good RNG: The Binding of Isaac and Why It’s so Good - by Mike Doran

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
RNG is an important element in game balance, and The Binding of Isaac games are a strong example of that
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The immersive nature of Skyrim - by chris sum

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 December 2018 - 7:42am
This is a small blog that i am making that discusses why Skyrim is immersive to many people and the key elements as to how Bethesda made it incredibly immersive.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

3 Game Juice Techniques From Slime Road - by Olin Olmstead

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 December 2018 - 7:16am
Ever wonder how to make a game 'feel good' without adding anything that changes gameplay? Slime Road does just that with some very simple strategies.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lessons from La Rana - by Cole Thatcher

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 December 2018 - 7:16am
Here are four lessons I learned while working on my latest game project, La Rana. La Rana is a game developed by fourteen graduate students at SMU Guildhall.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Walking away from a Free-to-Play time sink - by Daryl Hornsby

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 December 2018 - 7:13am
I've quit playing my favourite free-to-play game after 3 years of daily play. Why? Do I regret it? How does it feel to leave a game that I've played so much?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Horses, Heists, and Guns... Oh My! - by Michael Carroll

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 December 2018 - 7:08am
An examination of the player motivations that are present within Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Use of Feedback Loops in Dungeons in Phantom Brave - by Samantha Wheeler

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 December 2018 - 7:08am
Constantly challenging dungeons to make characters stronger in Phantom Brave could easily become tedious and boring, but the use of positive and negative feedback loops help keep gameplay interesting.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Quick Quirks

Gnome Stew - 14 December 2018 - 5:00am

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Some games have quirks, traits, aspects, and other goods along those lines baked right into the game. I’m mainly thinking of GURPS, Hero System, Fate, and Savage Worlds. There are plenty more games that I didn’t list here that have some way to customize and define your characters beyond “I’m a dwarven barbarian with an axe.”

This article is more for those gamers playing the games without these baked-in features of the game, but it can also assist the games that do have these structures.

As a player, I’ve found that my characters are more enjoyable (and memorable) if they have a quirk or three. I generally don’t do more than three because then the character gets annoying to play and to be around. I may even adopt new quirks or allow an old one to be overcome (or simply fade away) as game progresses because of in-game activities.

As a GM, I love adding one quirk (maybe two if it’s a major character) to NPCs that I want the players to remember. It’s a mental hook for them to hang their memory on. They may not remember that “Ragnar” was the fellow with the McGuffin, but they’ll certainly remember “the fellow with the bad limp and comb-over hairstyle.” These mnemonic clues can ease the game for players. This is especially true for those campaigns that may have long gaps between sessions (like a monthly game).

So, let’s get on to some tables you can roll on to generate some quirks. As always, random generation tables are going to produce some really odd results, so use them to spark your imagination. In other words, don’t take the results literally…. Unless that really works for you and your group.

Physical

To find a physical quirk, roll a d4 to determine which list to use. Then roll a d20 on that list.

    1. Adaptable
    2. Aggressive
    3. Animated
    4. Antsy
    5. Careless
    6. Cheap
    7. Colorful
    8. Comical
    9. Conventional
    10. Creative
    11. Cultivated
    12. Debonair
    13. Destructive
    14. Dignified
    15. Disciplined
    16. Energetic
    17. Excessive
    18. Extravagant
    19. Fanciful
    20. Farsighted
    1. Fastidious
    2. Flamboyant
    3. Flashy
    4. Flexible
    5. Formal
    6. Gentle
    7. Glamorous
    8. Grandiose
    9. Gregarious
    10. Hardworking
    11. Hyper
    12. Idle
    13. Inactive
    14. Industrious
    15. Inflexible
    16. Intense
    17. Irritating
    18. Lackadaisical
    19. Lazy
    20. Loutish
    1. Meticulous
    2. Militant
    3. Nearsighted
    4. Nervous
    5. Orderly
    6. Organized
    7. Ostentatious
    8. Peculiar
    9. Plain
    10. Polished
    11. Pompous
    12. Precise
    13. Professional
    14. Proper
    15. Provocative
    16. Pushy
    17. Resourceful
    18. Respectable
    19. Restless
    20. Rough
    1. Savage
    2. Sensual
    3. Shallow
    4. Showy
    5. Simple
    6. Sleazy
    7. Slothful
    8. Slow
    9. Sluggish
    10. Sneaky
    11. Sophisticated
    12. Swaggering
    13. Threatening
    14. Tireless
    15. Unassuming
    16. Unblemished
    17. Uncouth
    18. Vain
    19. Versatile
    20. Weak
Mental

To find a mental quirk, roll a d6 to determine which list to use. Then roll 2d20 on that list.

    1. Absent-Minded
    2. Academic
    3. Adaptable
    4. Adventurous
    5. Alert
    6. Ambitious
    7. Analytical
    8. Apathetic
    9. Argumentative
    10. Arrogant
    11. Artistic
    12. Bewildered
    13. Bookish
    14. Boring
    15. Bossy
    16. Braggart
    17. Brainy
    18. Bratty
    19. Bright
    20. Broad-Minded
    21. Bullheaded
    22. Calculating
    23. Callous
    24. Carefree
    25. Careless
    26. Cautious
    27. Charitable
    28. Clever
    29. Close-Minded
    30. Colorful
    31. Composed
    32. Confident
    33. Considerate
    34. Contemplative
    35. Controlling
    36. Conventional
    37. Cooperative
    38. Corrupt
    39. Crafty
    1. Cranky
    2. Creative
    3. Critical
    4. Curious
    5. Dauntless
    6. Deceptive
    7. Decisive
    8. Dedicated
    9. Deep
    10. Defiant
    11. Dense
    12. Dependable
    13. Determined
    14. Devoted
    15. Diligent
    16. Disciplined
    17. Dishonorable
    18. Disorganized
    19. Distracted
    20. Doubtful
    21. Down-To-Earth
    22. Driven
    23. Droll
    24. Dutiful
    25. Eccentric
    26. Eloquent
    27. Enthusiastic
    28. Exact
    29. Fair-Minded
    30. Faithful
    31. Faithless
    32. Fanatical
    33. Fearful
    34. Flighty
    35. Focused
    36. Foolhardy
    37. Forgetful
    38. Frugal
    39. Generous
    1. Gentle
    2. Gossipy
    3. Greedy
    4. Gullible
    5. Hardworking
    6. Hasty
    7. Headstrong
    8. Heartless
    9. Heedless
    10. Hesitant
    11. Honest
    12. Honorable
    13. Hospitable
    14. Hostile
    15. Humane
    16. Humorless
    17. Idealistic
    18. Illogical
    19. Imaginative
    20. Impolite
    21. Impulsive
    22. Inactive
    23. Indecisive
    24. Industrious
    25. Inflexible
    26. Ingenious
    27. Inquisitive
    28. Insecure
    29. Insightful
    30. Intense
    31. Introspective
    32. Introverted
    33. Inventive
    34. Irresponsible
    35. Keen
    36. Knowledgeable
    37. Lackadaisical
    38. Learned
    39. Logical
    1. Long-Winded
    2. Loyal
    3. Manipulative
    4. Materialistic
    5. Meddlesome
    6. Meditative
    7. Meek
    8. Melodramatic
    9. Merciful
    10. Meticulous
    11. Militant
    12. Mischievous
    13. Miserly
    14. Modest
    15. Naive
    16. Neurotic
    17. Nosy
    18. Obedient
    19. Objective
    20. Obliging
    21. Oblivious
    22. Observant
    23. Obsessive
    24. Obstinate
    25. Open-Minded
    26. Optimistic
    27. Orderly
    28. Organized
    29. Orthodox
    30. Patient
    31. Peaceful
    32. Perfectionist
    33. Persistent
    34. Pious
    35. Polite
    36. Possessive
    37. Positive
    38. Practical
    39. Pragmatic
    1. Precise
    2. Prejudiced
    3. Proactive
    4. Professional
    5. Proper
    6. Prudent
    7. Prying
    8. Radical
    9. Rash
    10. Rational
    11. Realistic
    12. Reasonable
    13. Rebellious
    14. Reckless
    15. Refined
    16. Relaxed
    17. Reliable
    18. Resentful
    19. Reserved
    20. Resourceful
    21. Responsible
    22. Restless
    23. Restrained
    24. Reverent
    25. Rude
    26. Ruthless
    27. Scatterbrained
    28. Scheming
    29. Secretive
    30. Sensible
    31. Shallow
    32. Simple
    33. Skittish
    34. Slow
    35. Snooping
    36. Speculative
    37. Spineless
    38. Stingy
    39. Structured
    1. Stubborn
    2. Studious
    3. Submissive
    4. Subservient
    5. Systematic
    6. Thick-Headed
    7. Thorough
    8. Thoughtful
    9. Thoughtless
    10. Thrifty
    11. Tolerant
    12. Truthful
    13. Two-Faced
    14. Uncertain
    15. Uncooperative
    16. Uncouth
    17. Understanding
    18. Unreliable
    19. Unstable
    20. Untruthful
    21. Vain
    22. Verbose
    23. Versatile
    24. Vigilant
    25. Visionary
    26. Vulgar
    27. Wary
    28. Wasteful
    29. Watchful
    30. Weak
    31. Well-Mannered
    32. Wicked
    33. Willful
    34. Wily
    35. Windbag
    36. Wise
    37. Wishy-Washy
    38. Witty
    39. Workaholic
Emotional

To find an emotional quirk, roll a d6 to determine which list to use. Then roll 2d20 on that list.

    1. Abrasive
    2. Accepting
    3. Affable
    4. Affectionate
    5. Aggressive
    6. Agreeable
    7. Aloof
    8. Amicable
    9. Amorous
    10. Amusing
    11. Annoying
    12. Antagonistic
    13. Antisocial
    14. Anxious
    15. Appealing
    16. Appreciative
    17. Arrogant
    18. Assertive
    19. Audacious
    20. Authentic
    21. Bellicose
    22. Benevolent
    23. Big-Hearted
    24. Bitter
    25. Bloodthirsty
    26. Boisterous
    27. Bold
    28. Boorish
    29. Brave
    30. Bubbly
    31. Calm
    32. Carefree
    33. Caring
    34. Caustic
    35. Cautious
    36. Cheerful
    37. Childish
    38. Chivalrous
    39. Clingy
    1. Cocky
    2. Cold
    3. Colorful
    4. Compassionate
    5. Composed
    6. Compulsive
    7. Conceited
    8. Confrontational
    9. Congenial
    10. Considerate
    11. Contemptuous
    12. Content
    13. Constrained
    14. Courageous
    15. Courteous
    16. Covetous
    17. Cowardly
    18. Crabby
    19. Critical
    20. Crude
    21. Cruel
    22. Cynical
    23. Daring
    24. Dashing
    25. Dauntless
    26. Deep
    27. Demanding
    28. Demure
    29. Dependable
    30. Depressed
    31. Destructive
    32. Detached
    33. Devoted
    34. Dignified
    35. Diplomatic
    36. Direct
    37. Disciplined
    38. Discourteous
    39. Discreet
    1. Disdainful
    2. Docile
    3. Doting
    4. Dour
    5. Earnest
    6. Easygoing
    7. Ebullient
    8. Edgy
    9. Egocentric
    10. Encouraging
    11. Energetic
    12. Entitled
    13. Envious
    14. Erratic
    15. Evasive
    16. Excessive
    17. Excitable
    18. Extroverted
    19. Exuberant
    20. Faithful
    21. Fervent
    22. Fickle
    23. Finicky
    24. Flippant
    25. Flirtatious
    26. Frank
    27. Free-Spirited
    28. Friendly
    29. Frigid
    30. Frisky
    31. Frivolous
    32. Fun-Loving
    33. Funny
    34. Fussy
    35. Gallant
    36. Garrulous
    37. Gentle
    38. Genuine
    39. Gracious
    1. Grateful
    2. Gregarious
    3. Grouchy
    4. Guarded
    5. Gutsy
    6. Happy
    7. Happy-Go-Lucky
    8. Hateful
    9. Haughty
    10. Helpful
    11. Heroic
    12. Hopeful
    13. Humble
    14. Icy
    15. Ill-Tempered
    16. Immature
    17. Insolent
    18. Intense
    19. Jaded
    20. Jealous
    21. Jovial
    22. Judgmental
    23. Kind
    24. Lighthearted
    25. Lively
    26. Loving
    27. Macho
    28. Magnetic
    29. Mean
    30. Mercurial
    31. Merry
    32. Meticulous
    33. Militant
    34. Moody
    35. Morbid
    36. Nagging
    37. Narcissistic
    38. Negative
    39. Nervous
    1. Neurotic
    2. Nurturing
    3. Ornery
    4. Outgoing
    5. Over-Confident
    6. Overbearing
    7. Oversensitive
    8. Paranoid
    9. Passionate
    10. Pensive
    11. Peppy
    12. Persistent
    13. Pessimistic
    14. Petty
    15. Phony
    16. Playful
    17. Pompous
    18. Private
    19. Protective
    20. Proud
    21. Provocative
    22. Pushy
    23. Quarrelsome
    24. Raucous
    25. Relentless
    26. Resolute
    27. Respectful
    28. Romantic
    29. Rowdy
    30. Savage
    31. Scornful
    32. Sedate
    33. Selfish
    34. Selfless
    35. Sensual
    36. Sentimental
    37. Serene
    38. Shifty
    39. Showy
    1. Silly
    2. Sincere
    3. Sleazy
    4. Sly
    5. Sneaky
    6. Sociable
    7. Sour
    8. Spirited
    9. Spiteful
    10. Spoiled
    11. Spontaneous
    12. Spunky
    13. Sulky
    14. Superficial
    15. Swaggering
    16. Sympathetic
    17. Tame
    18. Temperamental
    19. Tenacious
    20. Tender
    21. Threatening
    22. Timid
    23. Touchy
    24. Trusting
    25. Trustworthy
    26. Uneasy
    27. Uninhibited
    28. Unruly
    29. Unstable
    30. Upbeat
    31. Vengeful
    32. Vindictive
    33. Volatile
    34. Weak-Willed
    35. Whimsical
    36. Whiny
    37. Wholesome
    38. Withdrawn
    39. Zealous

A side note: Yes, I’m aware that 2d20 on a “linear list” isn’t a fair chance for each item on the list, and I didn’t cultivate the list to make oddball quirks more or less likely. I just decided that it’d be easier to lay it out the way I did rather than a d12 followed by a d20, which would be more mathematically fair. It would also give us a chance to use those rarely-rolled d12s. Ah well, such is how I have things done.

I hope you’re able to use this list of quirks and traits in your various games!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Business of Gaming Retail: Basic Technology Needs

RPGNet - 14 December 2018 - 12:00am
Technology can\\\'t be an afterthought.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Blizzard pulls devs off Heroes of the Storm and cuts eSports support

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 13 December 2018 - 4:33pm

Today Blizzard announced plans to pull developers off of its free-to-play MOBA Heroes of the Storm and discontinue Heroes eSports events in a bid to position the game for "long-term sustainability." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Twitch sells Curse Media after two years

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 13 December 2018 - 1:46pm

Wiki hosting service Fandom (formerly known as Wikia) announced that it is currently in the process of acquiring Curse Media, which hosts a collection of gaming websites. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

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