Game Design

PlayerUnknown: A lack of typical dev experience 'gives me a lot of freedom'

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 5 July 2017 - 1:51pm

"It lets me dream a little bigger, I guess, because I'm not tied down by knowing too much about it," Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene told RPS recently about his leap from modder to creative director. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Z-Man Games Previews Majesty

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 1:00pm
It’s the Middle Ages. But it’s cool, because you’re in charge, as the King or Queen of a region. But you don’t want to just have your kingdom sitting mostly empty. You want grand buildings and fields and such filling it up. You want to show off the majesty of it all. That’s what you’ll […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Previews Uthuk Y’llan Infantry Command Expansion For Runewars

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 12:00pm
The Uthuk Y’llan are a dastardly race that terrorized Terrinoth centuries ago. Over that time, they were reduced to legends. Scary tales to tell children around campfires. But those tales were true. And now they’re back to reclaim what had been theirs. At the end of their units, the commanders and other special troops help […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Midweek Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 11:00am
Having been home on Monday and Tuesday, it’s really throwing off what day of the week it is to me. Even though I’m sitting here in my Wednesday shirt, it doesn’t really feel like Wednesday. Typing up a Podcast Roundup this morning didn’t help, either. Maybe having a Snippets post now will help. I guess […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ares Games Previews Master of the Galaxy

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 10:00am
Well, it’s not quite being Masters of the Universe, but being master of the galaxy is pretty good, too. Master of the Galaxy is a new board game coming from Ares Games, which they will soon have on Kickstarter. They’ve posted up a preview article, along with a preview video, so you can know what […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Warlord Games Previews Upcoming Konflikt ’47 Releases

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 9:00am
In the world of Konflikt ’47, WWII continues to rage on. The Axis and the Allies both are looking for that one advantage that will finally bring the war to an end. So far, the game has focused on the European front, with German, Russian, American, and British forces. But the war is still going […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why Not Games Acquires Rocket Age

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 8:00am
It’s always cool to see when a company gets a game they’re really excited about helping make better. Such is the case for Why Not Games and their acquisition of Rocket Age. Why Not is looking to expand the range, as well as help make it so more people can get the current product line. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

28 Metrics To Track Your Mobile App Performance - by Vasiliy Sabirov Blogs - 5 July 2017 - 7:26am
Check an overview of the 28 key metrics that you need to know on when developing your mobile apps.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

VR Tutorial Breakdown: Fallout VR VATS Mechanic - by FusedVR Team Blogs - 5 July 2017 - 7:25am
A walkthrough of FusedVR's implementation of the Fallout VR VATS mechanic.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

5 Steps for Building a Great Control Scheme - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 5 July 2017 - 7:25am
Creating an effective control scheme is an important skill, and today's post looks at five key tips that can help you regardless of genre or design.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Reality, Perception and Emotional Investment - by Alistair Aitcheson Blogs - 5 July 2017 - 7:24am
Playful installation creator Alistair Aitcheson discusses the way we perceive game realities and the world around us. Reflecting on his own projects, he argues that what we believe exists in a game world is determined by what makes us care.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Announces A Game of Thrones Catan

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 7:00am
It’s a pretty old cliche. “I’ve got wood for sheep.” Settlers of Catan is a rather iconic game series. Well, a new chapter is being added to the long and storied history of the game, being joined with a fantasy series that also has a long and storied history. Fantasy Flight Games has announced that […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 5 July 2017 - 6:00am
Man, what a week. Monday worked from home. Tuesday I had off. Fireworks were going off until 1am and so I’m sleeeepy! But, it’s already Wednesday, so we’re making our way quickly through the week. But, since we didn’t have a chance yesterday to post it, we’re bringing you the Podcast Roundup now. This week […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Genius Loci

Gnome Stew - 5 July 2017 - 1:00am

The genius loci is a concept most people are familiar with from fiction: a spirit or intelligence of an area. It can be seen in enchanted forests, in haunted houses, in the rogue smart building. Putting a genius loci in a location in your game can be an interesting element to play with. In some settings it’s even assumed that most locations have their own genius loci even though most of the time they aren’t heard from or interacted with.

Adding a genius loci can be done for a host of reasons:

  • Atmosphere: having a genius loci in a location in conjunction with some of the powers at their disposal can enhance the atmosphere of an area, for good or for ill. 
  • Extra variety: A genius loci is an extra source of challenges and encounters that can also be of a different nature than what is typical for the setting.
  • Setting information: While “The spirit of the mountain did it” isn’t a huge step away from “It’s magic” it adds flavor to your setting and gives an additional way for characters to interact with your game.
  • Big story goal: A genius loci of an important location can be a major NPC in your game. This means that contacting them, negotiating, appeasing, or even cowing them can be major goals for your campaign.

Often these being have a host of powers, at their disposal which can provide interesting challenges for characters:

  • Awareness: Genius loci are usually aware of everything happening in the area they inhabit. They are conscious of the location of those inside and, if they share a language, can eavesdrop as well. It’s possible that this can be avoided by magic but some sources point to even this being imperfect as the genius loci may become aware of a break in its awareness.
  • Change weather: depending on its power and nature a genius loci can control the weather in their area. Benign spirits may summon traveling weather or cool breezes, hostile powerful or angry ones may blot out the sun with endless rain or snow.
  • Manipulate emotions: Many of these spirits can manipulate the emotions of those within their domain. This can take the form of calmness, euphoria, terror, despair, or other strong emotions depending on the nature of the spirit and the end it is trying to achieve.
  • Influence locals: most creatures and NPCs who have lived under the influence of a genius loci for long times have become susceptible to its whims. The loci can command them to take actions or change their reactions to others at will. This can result in dangerous creatures giving visitors a wide berth or making a beeline for them. It can also mean that usually savage beings may become meek and complacent or that usually benign creatures become hostile or dangerous.
  • Change hazards: Within the area they control genius loci can create or remove native hazards and difficult terrain. They can often do this suddenly and subtlety making hazards hard to spot and placing them on ground that was clear moments earlier. Smart genius loci can also use this ability to subtlety guide visitors towards or away from exits and larger hazards.
  • Change terrain: More powerful spirits can outright change terrain, moving rivers creating and removing clearings or landmarks. No map is reliable in this sort of territory even ones made recently.
  • Twist reality: truly powerful genius loci can even warp reality itself, making intruders climb up endless hills or down an infinite hallway, can exhaust them chasing mirages and them unceremoniously dump them outside when they tire of playing with them. Escaping these traps may require attention to even the smallest detail, luck, or even magic.

These beings can provide an interesting challenge for any power level or composition of party and can provide some interesting subtext for your world while doing so. Have you ever used one in a game? Tell us about it below.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tales from the Rocket House: Firewalling

RPGNet - 5 July 2017 - 12:00am
Player knowledge vs. character knowledge.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lvl 0: A Game Education Retrospective - Part 1 - by Thomas Sharpe Blogs - 4 July 2017 - 11:43pm
Part 1 of 5 in a comprehensive retrospective of my undergraduate game dev education at Drexel University. If you're interested in what exactly goes into getting a degree in game development, this series should provide a good general look at the process.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Path Animation in Unity - by Samantha Stahlke Blogs - 4 July 2017 - 11:41pm
In this post, I explore the creation of a simple system for path editing and animation in the Unity editor. Topics covered include interpolation methods, speed control on curves, and a brief intro to working with custom Unity Editors.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

After the Launch: What to Do After You Release Your Game - by Jennifer Mendez Blogs - 4 July 2017 - 11:41pm
So you finished your game, and now you're ready to relax. Fantastic! Only, there are a few more things to do! Here is what to do after the game launch.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What makes Fallout: New Vegas' factions feel more alive then Fallout 4's? - by Lucas Hutchison Blogs - 4 July 2017 - 11:35pm
I'm going to throw around some ideas I've had for a while about how Fallout: New Vegas' factions interact much more with each other and with themselves much more than they do in Fallout 4. Please, leave a comment with how you feel about the subject!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A work process, Part 3: Welcome to Fight Club - by Arnaud Thion Blogs - 4 July 2017 - 11:34pm
The evolution of the fight system from the early prototype to the final version and beyond!
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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