Game Design

Valve is working on its own 'more accurate and more useful' Steam Spy-like tools

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 June 2018 - 12:52pm

Valve knows that Steam Spy has been a useful tool for developers but laments that the service is not accurate enough. The company hopes to introduce its own tools to solve this problem. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sainome Colosseum R English Edition Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 12:00pm
Many all over the world can say that they’re the greatest fighter of all time, but truly, only one can bear that title. And so they come to Sainome Colosseum to prove their boasts, or show that their opponent’s boasts are just that, boasting. In the end, one will reign supreme. That’s the story behind […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Second Life creator's VR platform High Fidelity secures $35M investment

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 June 2018 - 11:01am

High Fidelity has closed a $35 million funding round, raising money the company says it plans to use to continue to develop its open source, blockchain-powered social VR platform.  ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 11:00am
Fridaaaaaaaaaaay! Woooooooo! *Friday dance* And I’ve got D&D coming up tomorrow. So I’m all the excite. I hope you’ve got some gaming going on as well. But whatever you’re doing, you don’t want your blood gaming levels to drop too low. So let’s snack on some bite-sized gaming stories to fill up. Today on the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Z-Man Games Posts New Race to the New Found Land Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 10:00am
When you have a fleet of ships, you have a lot of options open for what they can do. They can go out and start new settlements. They can go out and search for new lands. They can transport cargo. How you assign each one will go a long way into determining how wealthy you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Cryptozoic Announces DC Deck-Building Game Crossover Pack 7: New Gods

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 9:00am
The DC Deck-Building Game is getting a new expansion. This one is Crossover Pack 7: New Gods. In it, players can take on the role of one of the New Gods, both heroes and villains. Want to ride around on your little glider-thingie as Orion? You can. Maybe you prefer some long, silvery locks as […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Plaid Hat Games Posts New Ashes Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 8:00am
All good things must come to an end. And this is the final Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn preview… … that is, until the next couple decks get announced for release. Yes, in this preview, we get a look at some more angelic cards coming in the The Spirits of Memora set. Take a look […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

[Interview] The challenge of creating Chessaria's mission-based Chess engine - by Matthieu Baldy - Pixel Wizards Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 7:54am
Ph.D. computer scientist and R&D software engineer Enrique Sánchez Acosta talks about the challenge of creating Chessaria's mission-based Chess engine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How Grinding Undermines Design and How to Reduce It - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 7:40am
Today's post returns to the concept of grinding in video games, and how it is often used to pad out a game and can hurt it in the long run.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mafia 3's Frisco Fields - by Nathan Cheever Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 7:39am
Frisco Fields was the most diverse district in Mafia 3, featuring high-society and walled off communities, while at the same time oppressed families and backwoods racism. Enjoy this world building tour.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Predatory practices in the video games industry are holding us back - by Christian Philippe Guay Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 7:39am
This blog post describes how predatory practices in the video games industry are holding us back as a society.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Age of Sigmar Warscrolls Available From Forge World

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 7:00am
We just got ourselves a new edition of Age of Sigmar. Of course, that means all the minis you’ve got need updated rules. That includes all those monsters and such that you’ve picked up from Forge World over the years. Well, they’ve put out three books of warscrolls so you can get these updated stats. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Choosing A Project Management Tool For Game Development - by Meredith Hall Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 6:57am
Choosing a project management tool for your game development process can be overwhelming - with a myriad of options, where do you start? I've collated some of the most popular tools for a quick overview so you can find the right option for you.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Create Homing Missiles in game with Unity - by Vivek Tank Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 6:57am
The main objective of this post is to give a brief introduction to Homing Missiles in Game (2D). A script for Homing missile is also included and explained in the article.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dead Body Falls: Shaping narrative through level design - by Gabriel Padinha Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 6:57am
Dead Body Falls takes place in a fictional hotel, with a disturbing and lonely setting to pass the player the feeling of something's wrong and, in a deeply view, not real. How did we shape such narrative through level design to reach this feeling?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

June Releases Available For Infinity

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 June 2018 - 6:00am
The end of June is just around the corner. But there’s still time to get out some last releases for the month. In this case, we’ve got Corvus Belli. The newest batch of Infinity releases are available now over in their webshop. From the post: June releases now available at our online store & your […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

10 Lessons from Making 100 Games in 5 Years - by James Cox Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 4:30am
What can be gained from long-term rapid development - say, making 100 games in 5 years? Here, we’ll condense and sort that experience into 10 compact lessons.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Using achievement stats to estimate sales on steam - by Tyler Glaiel Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 2:01am
Recently a new method of estimating sales data for games on steam based on achievment stats showed up on the site I reverse engineered it then improved upon it, and here's how.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Learning From Mistakes: The Moon Hunters Launch - by Tanya X. Short Blogs - 29 June 2018 - 12:05am
One indie team lead shares her lessons learned from mistakes made when launching her studio's biggest game, Moon Hunters, in 2016.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: World-building: Draw in those nations

Gnome Stew - 29 June 2018 - 12:01am

A continuation of last month’s article, where we took some maps, turned the one of Italy and the Mediterranean sideways, and created coastal outlines for a summertime world-building exercise.

Next step: Define nations

Geographically, that means establishing borders. You’ll often hear that natural landforms are definitive for borders. In some cases, that is true. Rivers, mountains, deserts — they all can be demarcation lines for nations. That is often the case, if during your world’s history, two diplomats at a negotiation table hammered out peace treaty plans. “You get everything east of the canyon, we’ll take everything west. Sound good? Excellent. Open that bottle of wine and let’s celebrate.”

A map that only has natural landforms as boundaries never quite looks right, however. There’s always more to it than that. Perhaps invading armies went so far, stopped at a defensible point, such as a castle; then either waited for their supply lines to catch up or got pushed back by another army, until finally, someone in charge said, “That’s it, we’re planting the flag here.”

Check out this historical atlas of Europe.  The shape and definition of borders are flexible. They ebb and flow as time, climate, and economic and military conditions change.  Coalitions and confederations dissolve. Alliances form and reform. Empires of economic might and martial prowess emerge. Domestic politics and economic conditions, not to mention disease, all affect stability. Or, more plainly, governments fall.  Dominance, history has proved, is fleeting.

Projected power, not boundaries

Two things to keep in mind, as your world-building continues, is that regardless of lines on a map, a nation’s “true border” only extends as far as it can 1) project power and reasonably enforce, 2) what neighboring political entities will respect.

Our example map of a peninsula-styled continent, for instance, has many coastal nations. Once we reach the stage of putting dots for cities, I’ll adopt a “points of light” model.  Many will be city-states with a maritime flavor, but beyond being able to protect a key trade road, most of the territory beyond the city-state will be wilderness. There might be pockets of organized agriculture — plantations and farming enclaves — but these will be the exception.

For fantasy adventure and exploration to flourish, there needs to be an untamed wilderness. If you need this map for political campaigns — a “game of thrones” game of intrigue and ambition, the wilderness serves as a place from where invading forces coalesce or where armies clash.

Reflecting the ‘now’

Rather than let this devolve into geopolitics with a dash of sociology, I’d say there are enough variables at work that there is no “wrong” way to set borders. Its arbitrary. Let your map reflect that. The “now” has history behind it.  The location of a river might be more valuable than a network of roads. A national border might simply be the traditional range of grazing cattle or the growing region for a cash crop. The families that are good stewards might end up being kings by virtue of their holdings; feudal systems, ultimately, reward those who manage the land well. Or, perhaps, rulers rise on other factors, such as they are better at raising armies and winning battles than their predecessor. Or maybe, it’s the converse, they are just smart enough to raise defenses that will withstand any attack or seige.  

Let these things percolate in your mind as you start carving up your fantasy map and placing nations and city-states here and there.


Categories: Game Theory & Design


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