Game Design

Awaken: The Blood of Salvora RPG Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 2:00pm
Awaken! Awaken! Awaken! Awaken! Take the land that must be taken! Man, just all sorts of musical references these posts. Anyway, in this case, it’s a new book for the Awaken RPG. In this case, it’s a new sourcebook called The Blood of Salvora to flesh out the overall world, giving you more details in […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kitten Casualty Remastered Edition Coming To Kickstarter This Month

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 1:00pm
There are paw prints on everything I own! The cat nip is dryin’ on a layer of mice! Kitten memes to which I never reply! My eyeballs absorb only fuzzy-colored light! Kitten Casualty! Kitten Casualty! Alright! … So, Kitten Casualty is coming back to Kickstarter later this month with a remastered edition. From the announcement: […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mashed Battle Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 12:00pm
I could attempt to try some potato-related puns for this story, but the campaign-creators have already done all of that heavy lifting, and anything I did would pale in comparison. So, I’ll just let you know what the potatoes are marching to war. Grab your commander and legions of potato soldiers and hit the trenches, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Don't Miss: Designing EVE Online's intelligent music system

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 May 2018 - 11:47am

CCP Games' Baldur Baldursson (and Erkitonlist founder Kjartan Olafsson) explain how the soundtrack of EVE Online was designed to intelligently complement the actions a player takes. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Monday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 11:00am
As is always the case, we’ve circled back around and the weekend has given way to the start of the work week. It’s going to be a busy one, too. It’s CMON Expo this weekend, and, as always, there’s still a ton to do (that’s just the nature of conventions, as anyone knows). But before […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

2nd Edition of Dig and New Expansion Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 10:00am
Dig in the dark is a gas. Baby, can you dig it? Mangrove Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a new edition of Dig. They’re also bringing along a new expansion, the Dragon set. Two guesses as to what you’ll be able to find down in those dark caverns with that one. From […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

My Library of Free GameDev Resources, Tutorials, and More - by Trent Polack

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 9:13am
Details on the GitHub repository where I keep a variety of free game development resources: assets, UE4 content, git and OS scripts, experiments, UE4 C++ code, sample World Machine files/output, etc. So: here's all that and why/what it is.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Modiphius Releases Space 1889: Mercury Sourcebook

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 9:00am
Due to being tidally locked, only one side of Mercury ever faces the sun. This side is blasted by perpetual sunlight and is thus a huge desert, filled with lakes of liquid rock. Meanwhile, on the other side, the perpetually-night side is frozen solid, with methane glaciers. But just in the middle, where the day […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery so successful - by Vadim Bulatov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 8:08am
The secret of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery success
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pathfinder/5th Edition Adventures Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 8:00am
Having pre-made adventures to toss at your players is always a handy thing for a GM. It really helps cut the prep time for games, and makes it so they can enjoy what’s going on as much as the players do, since a lot of the heavy lifting is done. Dark by Design is currently […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Static Analysis in Video Game Development: Top 10 Software Bugs - by Irina Zamogilnaya

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 7:37am
Although video-game development includes a lot of steps, coding remains one of the basic ones. In this article we gathered top-10 bugs from the video gaming industry, which were detected using a static analyzer.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

China could beat America in AR/VR/XR long-term - by Tim Merel

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 7:36am
America delivered more AR/VR/XR revenue than China last year, but Chinese growth in the next five years could see it dominate AR/VR long-term — and not by a small margin. China could take more than $1 of every $5 spent on AR/VR/XR globally by 2022.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Creating Winning Video Game Theme Songs – Part 2 - by Matthew Myers

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 7:36am
A second article in my series about vocal theme songs in video games. In this post I showcase a recent project and feature work-in-progress audio examples to illustrate points about approaching the project.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Four ways to handle UI text in Unity - by Dylan Wolf

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 7:35am
Unity gives you a lot of control over what your game's UI text looks like, but not all the built-in options are interchangeable. Here's a comparison of the (very) basics of the choices.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The case for supporting better keyboard navigation in Unity - by Ashkan Saeedi Mazdeh

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 7:35am
In this post I'm trying to provide convincing reasons for better keyboard navigation in Unity
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Previews 3 New Races From Unlimited Power

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 7:00am
The Star Wars galaxy is filled with hundreds of different alien species. Each one has their own proclivities and abilities that they got from having evolved on their planet. The Star Wars RPG does its best to give you the ability to play any of those races, and each sourcebook usually has a couple you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sponsored: Why Montreal data centers are the best choice for video games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 May 2018 - 6:23am

Fast speeds, low costs, and lots of flexibility: These are the reasons to consider Montreal data centers for your next-generation video games. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Codex: Deathwatch Available to Preorder From Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 May 2018 - 6:00am
Humanity is beset on all sides by foes. The Xeno. The Witch. The Heretic. All of them would undo the empire in an instant if they could. That’s why the Deathwatch are there to keep us safe. They head where no one else will and fight of things that nobody else could. The new codex […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: We don’t need a mapper, but …

Gnome Stew - 7 May 2018 - 2:00am

The Map!

Back in the day, like when polyhedrals were high tech, a role undertaken by one of the players was that of a “mapper.”

If you didn’t want your fellow adventurers to get lost, you needed an accurate rendering of where you’d been. Corridors of a dungeon run deep, twist around, reach dead ends and are magically tricked. Without a good map, finding the exit became problematic.

Rarely is that sort of adventuring considered “fun.” By today’s standards, we want story. We assume the characters know where they are going, even if the players don’t. (As someone who has accompanied Boy Scouts on many hikes, I can say that even with a compass, this presumption would be misplaced in real life).

But I admit, if you are gaming with a table with a projected map or sitting behind a computer console with a digital rendering of the adventure space, having a designated “mapper” does seem superfluous.

Today’s adventure games sometimes require other jobs from players that may or may not be specific to their character but helpful to the party as a whole. Consider having a member of your table pick up one of these duties to make for better gaming:

Party quartermaster.

Basically, someone to keep track of the gear. This person can track encumbrance, if you use that rule, and equipment that might be kept on mounts, in carts, or stored at the headquarters. That way, when a player announces they will pull out their 10-foot pole, the DM can ask “from where” and get a reliable answer. A player who has stats for vehicles handy is always appreciated.

Wizard’s apprentice.

Similar to the quartermaster, but the wizard’s apprentice keeps track of all things eldritch in nature. Yes, this includes magic items (including descriptions of the item’s magical effects, should some particularly nagging rules question surface). But it’s also good to know how supplies are running on magical components, from bat guano to diamonds. Especially diamonds. The apprentice also knows the rules governing spellbook and scroll construction.

Downtime tracker and calendar keeper

What is today’s date? What is the weather? How did our various businesses fare while we were off adventuring? A diarist of this sort is a big help to the GM. Time passes, seasons change, days spent in Undermountain or the Underdark start to blend together without someone keeping track.  

Accountant.

What’s the party loot? How do we divide up the shares? Who gets what? In the course of adventuring, the party might see more treasure than they ever would playing Monopoly. Doesn’t it make sense that the adventuring party have a banker? The accountant and wizard’s apprentice will soon be fast friends, especially when they need to make a withdrawal to cast a heroes’ feast.

NPC tracker.

Ideally, you say, this is the GM’s job. Yes, it is. But how the PCs perceive the characters they encounter — and who they actually are — well, there can be differences. (Sometimes NPCs are disguised, use aliases or die — details that can be forgotten on the spur of a moment).  If keeping track of experience is also part of your game, this character can help check behind the GM, should a particularly XP-heavy encounter be forgotten. Mostly, though, this is less about keeping track of adversaries than it is allies. “Didn’t we know someone in that town we’re coming back to?” Yes, you did. And the answer is in these notes.

 

If you have any suggestions for other adjunct jobs the PCs can do to take a load off the GM, share them in the comments.

 

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Simple A* pathfinding alternative with interesting side-effects - by Milan Babuskov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 May 2018 - 1:20am
A* pathfinding is computationally expensive. In this article I'm talking about my experience with one of the alternatives: Obstacle avoidance and steering behaviors. I provide bunch of examples regarding simple pathfinding, group behavior, etc.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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