Game Design

How Overworking Affects Game Developers - by Antonio Torres Blogs - 28 November 2018 - 6:22am
Many individuals within the world of technology drive themselves into the ground without noticing that their self-destructive behaviors are causing anxiety, hypertension, poor eating habits and a general sense of dread during the day.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Blood, sweat and pixels - why is it so hard to make games? - by Emilia Tyl Blogs - 28 November 2018 - 6:21am
Cool book about the making of ten great games, written in clear, accessible language, which everyone can understand. If you’re curious how game dev works and what difficulties it faces and why your anticipated game is delayed once again - just read it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Is it “Game Over” for AR/VR platform wars? - by ISABELLE HIERHOLTZ Blogs - 28 November 2018 - 6:11am
The AR/VR industry seems to have made its mind up on platforms, based on responses to Digi-Capital and AWE’s Global AR/VR Industry Survey. While there are still opportunities for nniche players and startups, clear standouts are now top of mind.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Exponential Growth and long run survival in Gaming - by kunal borhade Blogs - 28 November 2018 - 6:11am
Go Agile Or Fail !! Here is the Success Mantra for delivering AAA title games in India. Its been pleasure sharing my thoughts and learning at GameDevConference couple of months back. I am uploading the video for those who were not there at the conference
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Rolling a Ball: Harder Than You Thought (part 1) - by Nathaniel Ferguson Blogs - 28 November 2018 - 6:11am
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

Why is Game project management important? - by kunal borhade Blogs - 28 November 2018 - 6:11am
Why is Game project management important?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Five Tips For GMing Convention Games

Gnome Stew - 28 November 2018 - 5:00am

There are a lot of reasons why I go to gaming conventions. I get to meet new people, try new games, and see old friends. One truth that remains constant throughout the varied cons I’ve been to over the years: they succeed or fail based on the GMs and players that they attract.

Great GMs give players an excellent experience, which brings them back to the con next year. Great players that come back build a strong culture of excellent gaming. When those positive GM/player interactions happen, it lifts everyone up and creates spaces that grow and thrive.

I’m going to do my best to prepare you for the special challenges that a convention experience holds by sharing my top five strategies for success.

#1 Know Your Game

Convention games demand a certain level of rules mastery. I learn the game system so that I can focus on the people at the table instead of the rules. I don’t need to have every rule and exception memorized but I should have a full understanding of the game I’m running.

In a convention setting, I know that I will need to make quick decisions when questions come up and I don’t have time to look up the rule. It doesn’t need to be a perfect call but it should be in line with the spirit of the game and the story.

I am excited to celebrate every type of player that may show up to play a game that I am facilitating. I have to be prepared to guide players with no experience, make sure that players with an encyclopedic knowledge of the minutia have fun but don’t take over the game, and encourage those players that live in the middle.

#2 Be an advocate for the players

Without the players, I would live a lonely life at an empty table. I certainly have plenty of horror stories about difficult players but the reality is that they are the minority of people I share a gaming table with. Almost everyone that I meet at a conventions are wonderful, giving, and fun people.

I take my job as a game facilitator very seriously. I am there to create a safe space, make sure that players respect each other and the rules, and help tell a cool story. I help set the social contract for the group by starting each session with a talk about my boundaries and expectations for the game. Clear communication makes it easier to understand what the table needs from me.

I make sure that everyone at the table understands that I will enforce the use of the X-Card by moving the story in a different direction when it is used. I warn and/or remove anyone that doesn’t respect, or demands an explanation of why, someone has used it.

While we all contribute to creating a safe environment I recognize that I have taken on an extra level of responsibility to do my best to advocate for anyone that needs it.

If a player is trying to take agency and control away from another person then it’s my job to talk to the offender and give them the opportunity to either adjust their actions or leave the game. If someone is being rude or exclusionary the need for those conversations becomes immediate and serious. It’s important to me that I say, “We don’t do that here. I need you to stop or we can try to find you another game.”

Many conventions have staff members and clear procedures in place to help GMs deal with any problematic players that won’t respect the convention’s code of conduct. Make sure you familiarize yourself with what safety procedures and policies the con you’re at has.

I’m not just there to stop negative behavior. It’s even more important that I highlight the players and their strengths so they get a chance to shine. I endeavor to provide each of them a task that is especially suited to their character. Take the time ask each person, “What do you want to do,” or “Describe what happens when you punch the cyborg ape!”

I work to help them tell a great story and create memories by encouraging the players to support each other. I support this group of strangers as they build friendships and create community by keeping the space inclusive and welcoming. I share their love of gaming and give them the encouragement they need to be amazing.

#3 Be an advocate for the story

Tabletop RPGs are, at their best, an opportunity for collaborative storytelling. This is not tied to any one particular game system. Even if I’m running a module, I can give the story room to breathe, grow, and feel personal to the players by letting them explore, interact with the world, and having the world react to their choices.

If someone at my table wants to talk to the bouncer at Club Red Herring in the game I’m going to let them. If I didn’t want characters to interact with him I shouldn’t have described him. I’m going follow along as they run down the wrong road and adjust the road so it leads where they need to be. Maybe I had a major confrontation planned for a power plant on the outskirts of the city but there is no reason that I can’t move it to the basement of the club. I make a slight adjustment that better serves the story that we’re telling.

Convention games are a one-time experience so I want them to play pretend and have a joyful time.  In your home game the life and death of your character matters because you’re coming back next week and you don’t want to start over. Players at a convention don’t need to worry about long term repercussions of their choices so they can be as reckless and heroic as they want.

The stories we tell aren’t mine alone. They belong to the table and to our shared experience. I expect a con game to go off the rails and for everyone to have fun. That’s why we’re all there and that is what the story if supposed to be, fun. If my desire to control the narrative keeps the players from having a voice then I have failed them.

#4 Time is precious

Keep track of the clock. I mean it. Don’t make me type this in all caps. Manage your time.

In a four-hour convention game I will have about three hours and 15 minutes of actual gaming if I’m lucky. Those 45 minutes are filled with bathroom breaks, late players, introductions, chatting, and cleanup after we are done. I’m left with around three hours to answer questions, tell a complete story, and build friendships. That time goes quickly if I’m not focusing on the clock. The converse happens too, where I’m speeding through content and discover that I’ve still got over an hour left despite being at the end of what I had planned.

I would rather end early than run over the time I have. I watch the clock constantly but I still make mistakes sometimes. It happens and I deal with it as best I can. I will remove portions of the adventure that aren’t crucial to overall story to save time. I cut whatever is necessary to make sure to end on an epic moment.

If things are going too fast I’ll add in another piece to the adventure on the fly. I won’t add content that ends up feeling like a chore to the players just to make the game longer. If I add something I want it to be fun

Those final moments of the game are what the players will remember about their experience with me. I try to leave them with the triumph, tragedy, or conflict of that final scene and not a disappointing moment.

#5 Be the leader your table needs

The gaming table doesn’t belong to me. It is a shared space that I have agreed to guide while we tell a story together. When does this space need me to step up and take a leadership role? When the players don’t know how to move the story forward. When someone needs me to step in and enforce an agreed upon boundary. When conflict threatens to disrupt or derail the table. What do I do the rest of the time? I get the hell out of their way.

Because of the time constraints of a convention game, the story can’t afford to bog down and stall. When that happens I step in and offer suggestions about what options are currently available to the players. If they are arguing about what to do next I will call for a vote from the players and then move forward in the direction that the majority has chosen. I’m there to support them not control them.

It’s my job to be kind, attentive, and fair to everyone at the table. I set the expectations of conduct, tolerance, and kindness with my words and actions. I want to be a leader not a dictator.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Post Mortem - Destination Primus Vita - by Anne Gibeault Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 11:15pm
Anne Gibeault gives her own personal Post Mortem of making the sci-fi adventure game Destination Primus Vita. From the birth of a new IP to the release of the first game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Improving Chess with Super X Chess - by Miika Pihkala Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 11:06pm
You'll find answers to questions such as: How chess is in trouble? How Super X Chess improves chess? Why life is like a game of chess?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

FTC agrees to investigate loot box monetization schemes in games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 27 November 2018 - 3:23pm

Federal Trade Commission chairman Joseph Simons today agreed to begin an investigation into 'loot box' monetization schemes in video games and whether they take advantage of young players. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

An indie's guide to merchandise: part one! - by Lottie Bevan Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 7:22am
A three-part deep-dive into Weather Factory's merchandise experience: how we set up the shop, what the numbers were in Month 1, and some pitfalls to watch out for when doing it yourself.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Board Games and Social Isolation - by Michael Heron Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 7:07am
Board games have a powerful role they can play in alleviating social isolation. They're social experiences that are non-stigmatic, and in this post I discuss how that can be a valuable and powerful combination that could very well save lives.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Exposing the Lore Dumps - by Evgeni Puzankov Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 7:06am
Some tools and tricks to deliver and sneak information in your story. Smart exposition if you will. It's a wall of text about exposition.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How To Grow Your Games Community - by Antonio Torres Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 7:05am
This article details steps you can take to grow your game's community
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Beyond Riot Games: The Problem of Discrimination Against Women in Video Games - by Caleb Compton Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 7:04am
For decades, harmful or false ideas surrounding gender and video games have made it difficult for women to break into this industry. Riot games is one recent example, but this problem goes beyond them. This article looks at why, and how we can help.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What's in a Score? - by Rasmus Rasmussen Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 1:17am
Points and scoring in games can and should be more than just adding up numbers. Here is a breakdown of how points are scored in the upcoming newspaper sim, Above the Fold.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ocarina of Time 20th Anniversary Retrospective - by moses vandenberg Blogs - 27 November 2018 - 1:16am
21.11.2018 marked the 20th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. So, I've decided to celebrate this special anniversary by writing a retrospective for the game that made such a monumental impact on the video game industry and on my life.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Words on a Screen: Time Out

RPGNet - 27 November 2018 - 12:00am
Putting a PbP on hold (and restarting it).
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gostor: Nymph (5e)

New RPG Product Reviews - 26 November 2018 - 12:33pm
Publisher: First Ones Entertainment
Rating: 4
Gostor - Nymphs: Minor Goddesses, a new race for D and D 5E, by Jean-Philipe ‘JP’ Chapleau provides exactly what it promises, the race of nymphs, nature spirits or the most minor of goddess, inspired by Greek Mythology in a playable form.

A short background of the place of nymphs is followed by the types of nymphs. A few paragraphs on using nymphs and four paragraph length adventure seeds

Nymphs, as presented here, have three playable subtypes: underworld, forest and waterway, while wild nymph and hags are noted for story reasons, and sky nymphs appear as monsters. They seem balanced though all, naturally, have some magical abilities.They are supported by two backgrounds, whose features need clearer definition of how they should be used, and one new feat, which really seems more aimed at NPC nymphs as it makes the character an ally of hags.

Two new "monsters" round out the product, sky nymphs (which oddly, cannot fly) and wild nymphs, both which have a very minimal descriptions outside their statblocks.

While this product achieves its aims, there is so much more it could have done. It only allows for female nymphs, for example, while males would have another name there is no reason for nature spirits to be confined to one sex. Some tables for suggested characteristics to go with the backgrounds and a magic item or two would have really solidified the usefulness of this product. As it is, it seems of more use to a DM than players, but even then it would have been nice to have had more support material.

3.5 rounded up to 4.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Considerations for Obtaining Consent to Your Data Practices - by Kimberly Culp Blogs - 26 November 2018 - 7:27am
The trend is to offer end-users more choice and transparency into how their data is used. Practically speaking, that means more consent boxes will be delivered at the outset of a game. What that looks like will vary based on your data practices.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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