Game Design

A Morning Cup of COPPA From the NAD Annual Conference - by Christopher Crook Blogs - 3 October 2019 - 7:11am
The Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection announced that the FTC will hold a workshop on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The death of flash and birth of IO games - by Chris Scott Blogs - 3 October 2019 - 7:10am
Flash is about to be discontinued by major browsers in 2020. What will take its place? The death of flash and birth of IO Games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gnomecast #76 – Meet a New Gnome: Di

Gnome Stew - 3 October 2019 - 5:00am

Join Ang for the latest installment of “Meet a New Gnome” as the latest gnome, Di, joins the stew! Learn about Di’s gaming origins, current projects, and plans for future Gnome Stew articles. Well this brand new gnome be spared the stew?

Download: Gnomecast #76 – Meet a New Gnome: Di

Mentioned in the show is the video game Kind Words.

Also mentioned in the episode is Di’s upcoming appearance at Kumoricon (Nov 15-17, Portland, OR). Find this appearance and more, plus convention appearances by other gnomes, at the Gnomespotting page.

Follow Di at @DiceQGM on Twitter, and check out her blog, Dice Queen.

Follow Ang at @orikes13 on Twitter and see pictures of her cats at @orikes13 on Instagram.

Keep up with all the gnomes by visiting, following @gnomestew on Twitter, or visiting the Gnome Stew Facebook Page. Subscribe to the Gnome Stew Twitch channel, check out Gnome Stew Merch, and support Gnome Stew on Patreon!

For another great show on the Misdirected Mark network, check out The Lounge!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

PlayStation quietly brings PS4 cross-play out of beta

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 2 October 2019 - 2:27pm

PlayStation has lifted 'beta' status from the PlayStation 4's cross-play support, seemingly opening the feature up to developers interested in making their online games playable across platform lines. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video: A tech director's guide to communication, ROI, and triage

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 2 October 2019 - 11:37am

In this 2017 GDC talk Mike Acton shared specific tips and advice on being a good tech director and ensuring that the most important things get done (and done well) when programming video games. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

EA is offering a free month of Origin Access to encourage 2FA use

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 2 October 2019 - 11:10am

EA is trying to incentivize EA account holders into upping their account security game by offering a free month of its PC subscription game library Origin Access to those that turn on two-factor authentication. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

From a MMORPG to a cupcake jumping through clouds; be careful with perfectionism - by Leonardo Fraga Blogs - 2 October 2019 - 6:58am
Careful if you start something too big, but also be careful if you start wanting everything perfect, even when small. Aim high, but don't let perfection hold you back.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Postmortem: The Painscreek Killings - by Fery Tomi Blogs - 2 October 2019 - 6:58am
A look at the conception and development of EQ Studios' first title, a murder mystery investigation game, and how it managed to make players feel like real-life detectives.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

From a MMORPG to a cupcake jumping through clouds; be careful with perfectionism - by Leonardo Santos Blogs - 2 October 2019 - 6:58am
Careful if you start something too big, but also be careful if you start wanting everything perfect, even when small. Aim high, but don't let perfection hold you back.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Cascadeur: character’s pose prediction using 6 points - by Evgeny Dyabin Blogs - 2 October 2019 - 6:58am
In this essay, Banzai Games founder Evgeniy Dyabin and his team mates Alexander Grishanin and Maxim Tarasov explain how they invented a simple, yet effective pose prediction tool for their new character animation software Cascadeur.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The comprehensive guide to videogame stores and where to publish - by Justin Popa Blogs - 2 October 2019 - 6:57am
This is a living document where I'm trying to maintain a list of all the available videogame stores where indies can self-publish. It also documents my experience with them where available.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: Second time through

Gnome Stew - 2 October 2019 - 12:01am

Ever replay a published adventure? If so, how are you making that second time through memorable?

Roleplaying games have a long tradition of replay. 

Like an old friend, some GMs pack a tried-and-true adventure with them on a trip to  conventions and run it for new strangers. Gnome Stew’s John Arcadian does this with his Tarrasque carnival sideshow adventure.

Other groups will pull a favorite adventure off the shelf, deciding to tackle it with a different set of characters and see if the challenges are different.

I think for Dungeons and Dragons players, old standards such as Keep on the Borderlands and Temple of Elemental Evil fall into the latter category. 

Still others make it a tradition to play a certain adventure at a certain holiday. Ravenloft, for instance, was born as a Halloween adventure and continues to be enjoyed as such.

Our table is taking a return trip through Waterdeep Dragon Heist, a D&D adventure published last September.  

Now, WDH was designed for reply. Specifically, it offers four different adventure tracks — one for each season of the year — and four different adversaries keyed to each season. That does take the workload off a GM’s shoulder when it comes to putting new flesh on old bones.

Regardless of your favorite adventure’s design, here are some tips for bringing an old favorite to life anew.


  1. Make the locale or nearby base as dynamic as possible.  In the case of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, I am using the randomized locations from Waterdeep: City Encounters, a DM’s Guild Adept product, to give life and sizzle to street-level engagements in Waterdeep. But even without an additional supplement, the urban encounter lists from the Dungeon Master’s Guide would suffice. Both provide a new way to introduce sideways encounters that amplify the experience. New encounters can mix with old ones in ways that take adventures down entirely new paths.
  2. Provide a new motive for the quest-giver or patron NPC. The boss says you have a new goal. Maybe it’s not Lord Neverember’s treasure this time. Maybe its something else, say a magic item that Laerel Silverhand once possessed and is now lost? Yep, it might be as simple as scratching off the big treasure item from the first run and replacing it with something equally (or more) tantalizing.
  3. On the flip side of that, provide a new big baddie? W:DH has this built in. Don’t want to fight the Zhentarim this time? How about trying to out-maneuver Jarlaxle Baenre and his cohort of Bregan D’Aerthe mercenaries?  But really, the switch-aroo need not be vastly different to punch it up. If you run the Sunless Citadel again, but think the Gulthias tree is a tad too stationary as an adversary — being a rooted tree and all — throw in an evil druid or an honest-to-goodness vampire spawn to be an additional mastermind.
  4. Politics, politics, politics. Whatever side (or neither) the PCs declare themselves to be on, it’s a guarantee they’ll be on the wrong side when it comes to amping up narrative tension. The republished Ghosts of Saltmarsh is a wonderful example of how adding new political factions to the town puts the players into situations they will have to think or fight their way out of. 
  5. History and lore. I’m not talking about expecting the PCs to know stuff about the setting in order to solve the mystery or crack a puzzle. It’s rather the opposite. Give the PCs the info up front — then incorporate it into play. The information can be used to amp up tension, raise the stakes or give them a leg up against adversaries to salvaging the treasure. Let them know stuff like: Everyone knows that Kheleck is an evil wizard, but did you know he has a demon ally and a sister who is a sorceress?  (Besides, if they’ve run through the adventure before, they probably already know its “secrets.” Find a way to leverage that information so that the PCs can use it without guilt or feeling they are metagaming.)
  6. Loosen the reins/go with the flow.  If as a GM you feel like it is important for the PCs to reach the end of a published adventure the first time around (maybe you play for organized play purposes), you can relax a bit on the second go-around. Let the PCs explore, resist the urge to course-correct, let things develop more naturally. You might be surprised at how PCs will be able to more effectively use the location to achieve their goals — even if their solutions seem more outlandish or unorthodox. 
  7. Reward the nostalgia. Part of the fun of running through an old module is seeing favorite NPCs and hearing a GM bring them to life once again. It’s not the Sunless Citadel without Meepo or the Temple of Elemental Evil without Lareth the Beautiful. I know that if I ever run Hoard of the Dragon Queen again, it will be a big misstep if a certain Red Wizard doesn’t return. 

As always, keep good notes and keep those NPCs straight. 


Categories: Game Theory & Design

US federal appeals court rules states can pass net neutrality rules

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 October 2019 - 2:54pm

This latest development in the net neutrality back-and-forth is the result of a case brought against the FCC by Mozilla, and backed by a number of other notable website companies and state attorneys general, ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Counter-Strike: GO lets players in France reveal loot box contents ahead of purchase

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 October 2019 - 12:33pm

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players in France can now reveal the contents of the game†™s loot boxes before deciding to purchase a key to open what was previously a blind-box of randomized in-game goods. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Data Structures Part 3: Arrays of arrays - by Niklas Gray Blogs - 1 October 2019 - 7:35am
How to efficiently store arrays in arrays.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Just Keep Going - by Elliot Callighan Blogs - 1 October 2019 - 7:35am
Whether it's hitting the aesthetic that's right for the project, finding more clients and collaborators, or responding to obstacles and setbacks, endurance and being able to constantly chip away at progress always seem to be what really determines success
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What's the difference between Procedural Narrative and Emergent Narrative? - by Edwin McRae Blogs - 1 October 2019 - 7:34am
Working definitions for Procedural and Emergent. I use these when creating game stories for my narrative design clients.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ex-CCP, Remedy, Next Games devs raise over $2M, launch Mainframe Industries

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 October 2019 - 7:04am

The studio's founding team includes 13 developers from around the pan-Nordic game industry and sees the Helsinki- and Reykjavik-based studio raising €2M in seed funding. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wow, Nearly 40% Of Turks Are Gamers? This Blew My Mind! - by Dolly Dai Blogs - 1 October 2019 - 4:15am
Ever thought about expanding your game to the MENA region but not sure where to start? Try Turkey first. It’s very much a mix of East and West, it is also the most developed games market and the video game centre of MENA.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Get a job: Manticore Games is hiring a Software Engineer

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 30 September 2019 - 2:50pm

Manticore Games is hiring a Software Engineer for its studio in San Mateo, California. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design


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