Game Design

Digital Tulip Warriors: The story of Turkey's video game pioneers - by Felipe Pepe Blogs - 12 September 2018 - 7:43am
A fascinating interview with Özgür Özol, designer of "Legends of Istanbul: Tulip Warriors" (1994), one of the first games developed in Turkey.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Comparison and Analysis of GPU Resource Update Strategies - by Egor Yusov Blogs - 12 September 2018 - 7:41am
This article discusses different strategies to update GPU resources in Diligent Engine (a modern cross-platform low-level graphic library) as well as important internal details and performance implications related to each method.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Brass Tactics: Evolving classic RTS interactions for VR - Part 2 - by Patrick Lipo Blogs - 12 September 2018 - 7:40am
In Part 2 of this Postmortem of Brass Tactics, we explore the evolution of unit manipulation and learn some of the things that worked surprisingly well in VR.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Object Design for Web-based Games - by Curtis Poe Blogs - 12 September 2018 - 7:00am
Many strong developers building their first Web-based game quickly discover that constructing items is not an easy task. This post shows how to modify the game loop driven Entity-Component-System pattern for click-driven games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: Two Pages That’ll Save Your Session

Gnome Stew - 12 September 2018 - 12:01am

The big, bad villain.  

You know, your Black Knight, Puppet Master, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothes or Evil Mastermind.

Not every adventure requires one. But if you’re stuck for ideas and you want to assemble a session that concludes on a memorable note, then you can’t go wrong having the PCs unravel the plans of a villain and close with a boss fight.

The trick is coming up with a villain’s scheme on the fly.  If you’re a good-hearted person — like me — you might be hard-pressed to come up with the schemes and methods of a black-hearted villain.

Thankfully, there are resources to help.

Regular Stew readers will know I’ve long relied upon the Kalamar Villain Design Handbook for such work. It’s dependable, expansive in scope and detailed in its examples — just chock full of stuff regardless of game system.  The Pathfinder GameMastery Guide has several pages devoted to villain archetypes you can build an adventure around.  The Ultimate Toolbox is full of many charts that cover this ground, but there is a lot of page-turning involved. Trail of Cthulhu’s recommendations for Spine and Skeleton provide a spot-on framework for devising a path the PCs can take toward confronting a villain. (I’d also be remiss in saying that stories of true crime work too; check out the police reports in your local newspaper.)

Like I said, all good, and they still have utility.

But my new go-to spot are two facing pages in the fifth edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. (And having the charts on facing pages is a big plus. Hats off to the layout and design team for making that part happen.) These are the Villain’s Scheme table and the Villain’s Methods table on pages 94-95.

Better yet, the material is system neutral. These charts will work with any rpg. (System neutral goodies always make us gnomes happy.)

Both charts are branching charts. So, a d8 role on the scheme chart will require a secondary d4 or d6 roll that expands on the result. For example, say a result of 3 puts you on “Magic.” The villain’s scheme involves magic. But how? Well the next roll answers that. A result of 2 means the villain wants to “Build a construct or magical device.” Ah-ha! Now we’re getting somewhere.

The second chart — Methods — is where things get really interesting. The results here are intended to amplify the scheme chart by giving the GM ideas for how nefarious/cruel/villainous the big bad can be. This d20 roll will inform you on how the villain achieves their misdeeds. Assault, coercion, lying, torture, vice, theft, stalking, and politics are all examples of what’s possible.

The secondary roll gives further examples: There are 10 types of theft/property crime, six types of torture, 10 ways to murder, eight types of magical mayhem, just to name a few.

Now, not every result on the methods chart fits as neatly as a puzzle piece with the results of the schemes chart. But between the two, any GM is four random rolls from coming up with enough villainy to make a single rpg session work.

Once you’ve got a villain’s scheme and ploy, the rest is selecting minions, monsters, victims, a crime scene and maybe a hideout and stats for your villain. Drop those in a dungeon, city or surrounding wilderness and you’re set.

So keep pages 94 and 95 bookmarked. You never know when your PCs need a villain to match their heroics.


Categories: Game Theory & Design

Superseeds: The Other Side, Part One

RPGNet - 12 September 2018 - 12:00am
A Cold War between two parallel Earths.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How much do indie PC devs make, anyways? (Part 8) - by David Galindo Blogs - 11 September 2018 - 10:02pm
A look at the launch and year long sales and details of Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Welcome to the Magic Circle - by Caleb Compton Blogs - 11 September 2018 - 7:55am
The Magic circle is a magical world that players step into when entering the world of the game. However, it is also very misunderstood from a design perspective. This article looks at some misconceptions and new ways to design games with the magic circle.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

VR Headphones Update 2018: Video Game Music Composers - by Winifred Phillips Blogs - 11 September 2018 - 7:54am
Video game composer Winifred Phillips explores headphones designed for VR use, including promising new models, and previously-discussed products that failed to hit retail. Includes an examination of popular misperceptions concerning surround-sound in VR.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Creating Video Game Characters That Are Easier To Write With. - by Jesse Monroe Blogs - 11 September 2018 - 7:05am
Writing and designing story scripts for video games can be hard, but having well-designed characters can make it a whole of a lot easier.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Political game done right - by Christos Perchanidis Blogs - 11 September 2018 - 7:05am
Let's explore the topic of political video games and how to overcome possible ethical issues.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Are MOBAs dead? - by Taniv Ashraf Blogs - 11 September 2018 - 7:05am
We can now assume that the MOBA fad is officially over when it comes to mainstream gaming. That is not to say that MOBAs are not popular anymore. That would be a dumb thing to say considering the immense popularity of Dota 2, League of Legends and Heroes
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The RPGnet Interview: Jacob Ross, Triskelion Space

RPGNet - 11 September 2018 - 12:00am
About the new Exodus System game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Nintendo: Restrictions on cloud saves for certain Switch games are to curb cheaters

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 10 September 2018 - 11:08am

While most Switch titles support cloud saves, some games have disabled the feature in order to prevent players from manipulating online features. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

PUBG logs 1 million peak concurrent players for 365 days in a row, a Steam first

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 10 September 2018 - 10:35am

According to the third-party Steam tracker SteamDB, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has attracted over one million players at daily peak for one year straight, a first for any game on Steam. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Now's the time to submit talks for the GDC 2019 Educators Summit!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 10 September 2018 - 8:59am

Next March, GDC 2019 will again host the Educators Summit, a program of talks dedicated specifically to game education. If you have a great talk in mind, now's the time to pitch! ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dude, Where’s My Money? Bundles, Funds and Crowdfunding (part 3) - by Nikolay Bondarenko Blogs - 10 September 2018 - 6:46am
What to expect from bundles, funds and crowdfunding in 2018. Is there anything left for a developer when all those sales are over and who can help?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #2 - by Kenneth Liu Blogs - 10 September 2018 - 6:45am
Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Space, Place, and the Art of Designing Deep Levels - by Justin Reeve Blogs - 10 September 2018 - 6:43am
Ever wondered what powers environmental storytelling? Placemaking. This article takes a look at how the process of placemaking can be used to help design deep video game levels.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The challenges and opportunities of designing a game without words – the case of My Brother Rabbit by Artifex Mundi - by Daniel Gizicki Blogs - 10 September 2018 - 6:36am
Lead Artist Łukasz Sałata and Chief Game Designer Daniel Gizicki talk about the of My Brother Rabbit and share with fellow developers the process and challenges of creating a game that has no verbal communication.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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