Game Design

From the video game music of EA's Spore Hero to Avengers Endgame: Composing the Hero Theme - by Winifred Phillips Blogs - 7 May 2019 - 7:19am
Composer Winifred Phillips presents a mini-postmortem on the evolution of a single melodic theme - first composed for EA's Spore Hero, undergoing several in-game variations, and eventually appearing in a trailer for the blockbuster AVENGERS ENDGAME film.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mottos, Mantras and Mission Statements; 4 Steps to Branding Your Studio - by Jamin Smith Blogs - 7 May 2019 - 7:18am
Branding and marketing games is one thing, but indie developers should also dedicated some thought to how they position their studios. In this post, I'll walk through four steps to building a brand for your studio.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Forager: Optimization In GameMaker - by GameMaker Studio Blogs - 7 May 2019 - 7:16am
A little over a year ago, Gabe “lazyeye” Weiner discovered the joy of programming video games. He has since released a variety of tools and jam games, with Forager now being his first commercial credit.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Selling Your Story - by Gregory Pellechi Blogs - 7 May 2019 - 7:15am
Games require teamwork and if you're a game writer or developer than you need your team's support and buy-in on your work. So to help you get that here are some tools to help you sell your story to your team, your lead, your publisher or investors.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sandy's Soapbox: When "Good Enough" is Good Enough

RPGNet - 7 May 2019 - 12:00am
The world basically runs at the level of a B average student.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Former Fortnite UX lead digs into ethical game design

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 6 May 2019 - 11:32pm

Former Fortnite UX lead Celia Hodent talks to Gamasutra about building a more ethical games industry, and what it would take for lead developers to shift the way they monetize their games. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gameloft to bring Xbox Live features to 3 mobile games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 6 May 2019 - 1:12pm

Three of Gameloft's existing mobile games will be updated to offer Xbox Live support in the coming year. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

China remains a massive PC game market despite regulation hiccups

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 6 May 2019 - 9:44am

A report from Niko Partners finds that PC game revenue in China hit $15.21 billion in 2018 and could reach $16 billion by 2023. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kliuless #33: How China Is Upending Western Marketing - by Kenneth Liu Blogs - 6 May 2019 - 7:51am
Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share broadly within Riot. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why Narcissist Villains are THE BEST Villains - by Conner Wood Blogs - 6 May 2019 - 7:50am
Villains or Antagonists tend to be "Evil" or "The Bad Guy". Here's why a Narcissist makes a superior villain because of how evil they can be and are in real life to their victims.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What Exactly Are the New Playin Ads That Are Appearing in Playable Ads? - by Prashanto Ghogare Blogs - 6 May 2019 - 7:47am
playin ads are the future. They truly bring together the product and advertising, hence pushing the entire industry to move forward. Playin ads also provide superlative products with extended opportunities to display themselves. As cloud gaming and 5G net
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The three deadly sins of f2p game design - by Paolo Gambardella Blogs - 6 May 2019 - 7:46am
Working since 2007 in the industry and specifically since 2012 in free-to-play, I think I have identified the three most common mistakes when facing the design of a game that have free-to-play at its core.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Designing Sounds for a Game - by Pavel Shylenok Blogs - 6 May 2019 - 7:44am
Out of all articles on game development topics, I find that ones about sound and music design are covered in really vague ways. I decided to get a bit behind the scene looks at how I create sounds here at Knocknock Games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Monster Menagerie: Gruesome Foes Preview

New RPG Product Reviews - 6 May 2019 - 6:16am
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
Rating: 4
This short preview - designed to promote a Kickstarter campaign for the complete product - begins with an explanation of how to create a 'Gruesome' monster by adding one of the gruesome templates to an existing monster (or, of course, one of your own devising. Each template comes with an example creature, but although certain templates seem suited to particular types of creature, it's suggested that mixing them up a bit can result in interesting and challenging foes. There are also suggestions for how to use the monsters to which you apply that template to best effect and a set 'shock value'.

The 'shock value' is an indicator of the sheer visceral horror induced by meeting the gruesome monster, a real treat for those who want to add a twist of horror to their game. You may be aiming for a horror-themed game anyway, or perhaps you want the shock factor of introducing one such monster at an appropriate place in a more regular game. Either can be an effective use of these templates.

The samples presented are the Bound Horror - which poor beastie is bound to a given location or object (or even an individual) - and the Forgotten - which exist in more than one reality simultaneously and can cause amnesia in those who encounter them. Hopefully you can forget meeting one, 'cos they look quite repulsive and, yes, gruesome!

If you like the look of this, trundle over to the Kickstarter and sign up!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Form a Solid Development Team - by Antonio Torres Blogs - 6 May 2019 - 4:00am
Today many people are jumping into independent game development. If you want to make a great game you need to have a good team. Here are some of the factors you need to take into account to build a solid team.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: Running a Groundhog Day scenario

Gnome Stew - 6 May 2019 - 12:01am

Gamemasters looking to pull themselves out of their gaming rut might consider running a scenario with a “Groundhog Day” time loop.

I have an affinity for such storylines, and will eagerly watch a TV show or read novels that employs the time loop trope, should they cross my path.

(Strangely, though, I have never actually seen the trope’s namesake, the 1993 film comedy “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray — I prefer to meander into these experiences through happenstance rather than intentionally seek them out, I suppose).

I unexpectedly encountered another such example when I recently watched Star Trek: Discovery for the first time. One episode in the new CBS Series features the rascal Harry Mudd using a time loop to exact vengeance upon the Discovery’s captain and crew.

My favorite comes, of course, from Xena: Warrior Princess. In “Been There Done That,” Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer keep reliving the same day until she finds a way to prevent a town’s young lovers from rival families from using the Romeo and Juliet “solution” to consummating their affair.  In one iteration, Joxer buys it with a chakram to the chest — perhaps the most therapeutic moment of the entire run of the series.

There are  others, of course. The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Cause and Effect,” Doctor Who and Romana taking on Meglos and the classic X-Files episode “Monday.” And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Roland’s entire quest from The Dark Tower series or the repetitive Seven Ages that serves as the introduction of each novel in the Wheel of Time series. (“The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legends fade to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”)

With that out of the way, how can you structure a scenario so that it presents a Groundhog Day scenario for your players?

Part 1: Construct a Decision Line.

This is the first, and most important part. Establish a sequence of decisions that serves as the spine of the scenario. Between five and seven decision points should prove sufficient. These are the “turn left, turn right” moments the PCs must correctly determine to correctly “fix” the timeline. Basically, these are knobs that must be turned to a correct setting so that time resumes correctly. To think of it another way: it’s like setting a combination lock or making sure a sequence of switches is open to complete an electrical current circuit.

Part 2: The first time

The PCs will go through the decision tree. There is no right or wrong at this point — yet. But the GM should note the decisions.  Once the PCs complete the “day,” begin the reset. Pick about half the decision points, and flick them “off.” That means those points in the narrative are the ones the PCs have the change. Keep these changes to yourself. It’s up to the PCs to discover the correct combination on subsequent loops.

Part 3: Every day in the loop starts the same

This is the cue to the PCs that their efforts in each loop were not successful and that time is, indeed, repeating.

Part 4: Establish an Objective

At this point, the GM must decide who or what is causing this time ripple and forcing events to repeat? A powerful entity, a god, quantum mechanics, a leaf on the wind — one is as good as another. The more important question is to answer “Why?” Before the sequence can be established, “something significant” must be corrected. Usually, this means that one of the PCs must fall in love / discover something about themselves / treat someone special with an appropriate amount of “love and/or respect. It is a McGuffin of sorts — and instead of digging into one of the characters’ psyche, obtaining an object is also a good substitute. Nothing can happen until someone has that proverbial Golden Apple.

Part 5. Interloper

The person or persons that are key to obtaining/understanding the object needs to be introduced on the second loop. This NPC must have characteristics that encourage one of the players to have a change in their personality or outlook — or if you are playing D&D fifth edition, causes them to reevaluate their bonds, flaws or ideals.

Part 6: Hand wave the rinse and repeat

Once the PCs establish points of the sequence that are correct, the PCs should be able to handwave over any sequences they know are correct. Essentially, they are fast forwarding past known decision points — just like they do on TV. This keeps the game moving along and prevents any miscues and keeps the session manageable.

Part 7: A magical thing

The final solution should an extraordinary demonstration of one PC’s ability — or, even better, group collaboration.  The PCs must somehow manage to do one magical thing correctly to carry the day. It must be a stretch of their abilities — and carry an element of risk. (For example, Xena making that most difficult chakram toss of her career).

Part 8: That day is done — at last!

How does one know the solution was effective? The next day starts differently for the first time.  The sun rises, the birds sing and all is right with the world …

… until the next adventure comes around the corner.


Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: There's Always That One Dungeon Master

RPGNet - 6 May 2019 - 12:00am
Fuzzy encounters.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: Type Dreams, Death Punch Nightmares

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 5 May 2019 - 7:38pm

This week's roundup includes a look at the Cart Life creator's Victorian typing follow-up, the primal rage of One Finger Death Punch 2, developer pets in video games & lots more. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: Type Dreams, Death Punch Nightmares - by Simon Carless Blogs - 5 May 2019 - 7:33am
This week's roundup includes a look at the Cart Life creator's Victorian typing follow-up, the primal rage of One Finger Death Punch 2, developer pets in video games, & lots more.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Starfarer's Codex: Legacy Dragonrider

New RPG Product Reviews - 4 May 2019 - 9:54am
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
Rating: 5
Starfarers Codex: Legacy Dragonrider is a book that simply provides rules for a character class that is focused on riding dragons. Have you ever been in a game where a player asked, 'Hey, can my character have a pet dragon to ride on?' Of course you have! It happens all the time in role-playing games set in fantasy settings--and this book actually provide some great rules that allow players to ride a dragon into combat that aren't game-breaking.
The dragon rider class presented in this book is a playable class just like any other in Starfinder. It high a high attack bonus and good reflex, will, and fortitude saves. The class gets a few spell-like abilities that choose from pre-existing class spell lists depending on the type of the dragon that the character rides. They also get some sensory abilities, such as low- light vision, darkvision, etc that progress with the character, as well as energy resistance tied to dragon type. The class is weak in a few spots: only being proficient with light armor and some limited weapons, and lacking any special abilities that are really useful in combat, aside from energy resistance. To make up for this, they do get to ride a dragon and have it fight by their side--with some limits.

Of course, when introducing dragons as a player option in a game in any capacity, there is the concern that they may be too powerful. The rules for this class are designed with that concern in mind, and they do a fairly good job of letting a player have a dragon in a way that won't break your game. Players selecting this class are allowed to pick their dragon's type, starting with a young dragon that grows in size and power as the character advances. There are stats for all of the standard chromatic dragons (black, blue, green, red, white), and metallic dragons (brass, bronze, copper, gold, silver), as well as outer dragons (lunar, solar, time, void, vortex). These dragons show up in the Starfinder Alien Archive books, though you don't need those books to use this character class. The dragons have been alerted from the standard monster stats to make them more balanced. Each dragon has different abilities that may include different move speeds, movement types (some can swim or burrow), different starting size (some dragons start off too small to ride), different attack damage, and breath weapon abilities. These rules are close enough to dragons as described in the Alien Archives, but nerfed enough to make them playable, though still some dragons are more powerful than others. To deal with the power discrepency between dragon types, this book adds a mechanic called 'mystic focus' that determines the character's ability to get the dragon to do what they want. The more powerful the dragon, the harder it is to control, and it requires more of the dragon rider's time each round to control it. If a character doesn't spend time each round controlling their dragon, it takes only move actions. Thus, if your character has one of the more powerful dragons, you will be able to do little else than direct it each round. At higher levels, mystic focus takes up less time each round, and it really brings balance to what might seem like an over-powered class, especially at lower levels.

Overall, this book presents some fantastic rules for allowing a player to have a dragon in your game. As a long-time game master, I've had many players wanting their character to have a dragon, and balanced rules for allowing this are very much welcomed and appreciated. The rules strike a good balance between allowing players to have something powerful, but at the same time restrict their use of it so as to not make it game-breaking. Starfarers Codex: Legacy Dragonrider does an amazing job of this, and I hope to see these rules adapted to similar fantasy games.

Read teh full review at [!](
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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