This is a sticky post, the purpose of it is to link off to important posts in the Game Design section.
I'm going to collect and collate the data on game design tricks whenever I can find them. Initially, they'll come from the responses to Jennifer Scheurle's tweet, but there's plenty out there to include.
Hi guys, so I am still in the development stage of my first iOS game :P
I will be outsourcing the coding to an online freelancer (not through Odesk, Elance, Freelancer or any 3rd party sites).
I will be providing him with all the graphics, sounds and also the Game Design Documents.
My concern is that I feel like I have no real protection against him from finishing the game, then uploading it himself on the iOS store.
Besides a written contract (I don't know how effective that is internationally and for freelance work), are there any safety measures, methods or programs I could use to prevent him from stealing the game?
Any tips will be greatly appreciated!
I’m here to pitch my game proposal; this is for anyone that interested on making a game with me, gamers and people who can help. Criticism is welcomed.
The Immortal Racers (Still working on the Name) Proposal
A racing action game that is inspired by super meet boy, Powerstone, Mario kart, Naruto, prince of Persia, Jet set radio, sonic and road rash.
The Immortal Racers is a third person view fantasy racing action game, where racers from all around the world are competing to become the next immortal being. A racing game that combines both platforming skills and strategy.
The player will have a variety of racers to choose from, the racers themselves will have different type of skills and spells, ranging from defensive skills, to offensive skills, and support skills.
There are three rules, 1. there are no large vehicles allow, such as cars, buses, tanks, and etc, only small ones like skateboards, roller skates, jet packs and etc are allowed. 2. Racers are able do whatever it takes to win. This includes, attacking, destroying the environment, setting traps and etc and 3. racers aren’t allowed to teleport or use teleporting devices. Two ways to win, defeating all your opponents or being first to cross the finish line. If it’s a time limit race, then the one that’s closes to the finish line wins.
Gems: Throughout the race tracks, racers can pick up gems, gems have a wide variety of uses, they can be use to heal the racer, to activate skills, and increase stats. Racers will need a certain amount of gems to activate skills and spells, gems can also be used to buy and upgrade equipment.
All racers have a heath bar, mana or rage or stamina bar (depending on the type), and at least 3 skills or spells.
All racers have jump, dash (ground and air), slide, basic attack, basic defend and use special skills and spells. All racers will have equipment according to their type.
There are six types of racers, offensive, Defensive, Speed, Technique, Special and all rounders.
Offensive(rage bar): Offensive racers are runners who specializing on attacking their opponents and knocking them off the race tracks, the only type that can do normal ranged attacks. Their weaknesses are Technique type racers. This type is designed more for people who like action games.
Technique (stamina bar): Technique racers are able to dodge, wall run/jump, slide, double dash, grind, and double jump, to reach the finish line, they also can dodge all basic attacks. Their weaknesses are defensive type racers. This type is designed for people who enjoy platforming.
Defensive (rage bar): Defensive racers are able to take on a lot of damage, can’t be thrown off race tracks by others, and can set traps . Their weakness is special type racers. This type is designed for people who like to use strategy.
Special(Mana bar): Special racers have twice the amount of special skills of other racers, hold the most gems and have all types of skills, a glass cannon. Their weaknesses are speed types. This type is designed for people who enjoy playing mages in RPGs.
Speed (Stamina bar): Speed racers are the fastest racers, but are easily knocked off race tracks and bumping into objects can dramatically slow them down, their weakness is offensive type racers. This type is designed for people who like racing games.
All rounders (1/3 of all bars): All rounders racers are the jack of all trades, they have no strengths or weaknesses, and this type is designed for beginners
Offense types will have weapons.
Defensive type will have armor or shields and traps.
Speed types will have small vehicles such as roller-blades, skateboards and etc.
Technique types will have gadgets that will enhance their skills.
Special types will have magical orbs that will enhance their spells and skills.
All rounders will be able to have all equipment but will be basic.
The race track will be balanced for all types of racers, each track will have multiple routes to pick, the player must choose wisely on which route to pick and picking the wrong route can make it harder for the player, the player can force other racers into the wrong route too. Some tracks will have a Hungry monster chasing after all the racers, and who ever is caught is eaten and will lose the race. Tracks will be filled with monsters, obstacles and traps. The track will be filled with gems, which also makes the players aggressively fight for the gems. The tracks will also have hidden items that can help the racer.
The player will have many choices while racing, for example, will you try catch up to first by running, or stop and collect gems to use a special skill to catch up. If your heath is low, will you use your gems to heal, or risk it and save up to buy upgrades? Should you save up gems to use your best skill, or use a bunch of low level skills? Can your racer take their opponent head on, or should you avoid the confrontation? And with different types comes with different strategies, for example, if you’re a defensive type, you will have to carefully set your traps, and which traps to pick and etc.
The style will be stylized and wacky, and rages from unrealistic to realistic characters and even parodies of famous character, for example, a racer who is a hopeless lover whose special skills are based on love, one of its skill will be falling in love with whoever is in first place, allowing it to catch up to him or her, or blowing a kiss as a ranged attack.
Racers will range from samurais, ninja, zombies, clowns, mutant boogers and etc anything is possible.
Tracks can be mundane or the racers can be swallowed by a giant monster, and race inside the monster and the racers must escape by exiting the anus.
So yeah that’s basically it, if this proposal gets enough interests, I will do a more detail proposal, adding game modes, single player modes, and multiplayer mode, and the story. Also here is some of my latest artwork; something to show you guys what I am cable of.
Artworks:(yeah I don’t do much illustration I been practicing more)
Thanks for Reading.
At the moment, most people can commonly agree that melee combat in games is not what it could be.
I've played my fair share of melee combat games ranging from Dynasty Warriors to Oblivion, frankly I've only played one game that had a combat system that felt like it worked on a scale of realism.
I'm coming from the standpoint of a seasoned veteran of martial arts and military background, and games are really just hack and slashes - though are getting better and better as we master and insert more and more motion cap into games.
Regardless, awesome looking melee between two characters is usually two preset motions cap animations that are set in space, and each character can't move out of that space. Meaning it's linear and has no freedom of movement. You could have something like AC or AC2 with their 'X to kill' system, though that makes the game a fully functional line up and die method or people who have a good finger. Then you have complete freedom which turns into Oblivion where the player moves around like they have helium balloons attached to their feet.
None of these essentially harness the true aspects of combat. Looking for ideas here that incorporate thinking systems that render movements based on rules (much like Ai does). Combat really involves, stability, footwork, and speed.
Whether you know some from a test you've taken or found, or whether you have your own which might address design issues, post them here. I've recently taken to trying to answer a few questions which might commonly pop-up in Design Tests during interviews, especially considering I feel my answers for the design test I took recently must not have hit the mark the studio was looking for.
I'd appreciate if this was just a thread of questions, but if you do want to reply to one feel free to post, it's always good to see other's viewpoints.
Here are some questions I found on some random internet blog somewhere (can't remember the link now):
1.Describe the relevant differences between a PC gaming experience and a console gaming experience. How do these differences, if any, affect how you would design a game?
2.What do most people mean when they mention or ask for non-linear missions, and what are the best ways to provide this?
3.Halo, GTA3, and Battlefield 1942 are all examples of games with multi-modal gameplay, whereas Quake, Project Gotham Racing, and MechWarrior are not. What does multi-modal gameplay mean? What design considerations do you need to make to incorporate multi-modal gameplay in your game or mission?
4.What are the design considerations between single-player and multiplayer levels/maps?
5.Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games and Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) are 2 very PC-centric game genres with extremely successful games. Describe how you would redesign the controls and interface for one of these popular games (Age of Empires, StarCraft, WarCraft, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, etc.) and make it usable and fun using the Xbox controller, and discuss the considerations that would have to be made to redesign the game.
6.What mission/level design considerations do you need to keep in mind when designing a 3-D flying game? What is unique about them from a design perspective (for example, as opposed to a First Person Shooter)?
I'll probably post some of my own creation later.
Out of curiosity and intrigue, I will pose three questions to anyone who stumbles along this thread:
1. What is your favourite game genre to develop?
2. What is your favourite game genre to play?
3. What do you think is the most popular genre in the marketplace at the moment?
Ok, it's not all for curiosity. Kind of looking to survey developers and want-to-be developers and whether they think they are their own typical player and whether they find that they enjoy playing what they may enjoy developing.
Wow this place is dusty. Like it hasn't been cleaned in ages. *sigh* reminds me of home.
*cleans the dust of a chair*
Well then lets get down to business. The apparent chances of somebody stumbling over this post is nigh on nil but my mother always called me an optimistic individual. Since the topic is design and since by a miracle of chances my interests lay in that particular area, I would like to bring forth a question, a query if you will. Nay a debate of such fury that the very gods themselves shake in fear of the fan boy might. But enough enough let me tell you a tale.
There once was a Skill Tree based level up system in a popular game. Many people came from far and wide to bask in it awesome power. It had three branches per class and allowed for specialisation in certain areas. For many years this was the norm and the Level Up system was made king. But this king was restrictive, power drove it mad and it would change its mind at the drop of a hat. It power drove it mad and its dictatorship reign cast a dark shadow over the rpg land. People hid in terror as it spread over game after game.
But our tale has a hero and darkness cannot triumph forever.
You may ignore my grandiose way of introductions but this tale is not singular to any game its quite the plague throughout the rpg genre. This skill based tree is my nemesis and I battle it day after day. I find it restrictive and hampers the ability to create my character the way I wanted to create it.
I put it to you brave champions of the new dawn. I have my thoughts but no man can design by himself. I put it to you plainly, if you would design a level up system for a RPG. Lets us see if your idea is better then mine. I will post my ideas up after the first brave sole takes a step forth.
(for the purposes of this topic all ideas belong to their respective posters)
The game name is "Mechsoul". This is simple third person arcade
with flying character. Gameplay is similar to asteroids and some type
of japans arcade games "Ray crisis", "Ray storm" with scrolling 3D
backgrounds.The main concept.Idea is simple, the mankind at war with their creation - nanobots.... enemy nanobotsThis
is very small robots created by humans to help with various things,
from healthcare to technical purposes. They become crazy after incident
with 2 space freighters fully loaded with nanobots... nanobots was
separated and after crash they become one huge mass. From this moment
was unexpected thing happens - this "mass" of nanobots become
intelligent and faced the world with cold mind of robots and one
intention - assimilate any of the matter in this universe......Humans
is loosing each battle and there is only Sol system now in their hands.
Deep in the system on one of the satellites of the Mars there is secret
project developing. This project is last hope of the mankind... ...codename "Mechsoul"Target
of this project is creating giant multipurpose mech, that consist from
various parts and weapons, but inside filled with nanobots created
using antimatter technology (AMNB- AntiMatterNanoBot)... This give him
ability to assimilate enemy nanobots while them in small groups and
charge himself with more power. Mech able to "feel" enemy nanobots and
assimilate them, but only after bigger was divided in small groups.
power gained from enemy is used to charge health and super weapons of
the mech. mech also have ability to fly or walk. After first
enemy scouts appear in Sol system the game starts. You drive 50% ready
mech from the middle of the Sol system and goes from 1 simple objective
to another, this is practice. After done prelaunch tests and complete
practice(that can be skipped), you start to annihilate your enemy.
First battles begins from outer side of the Sol system, some human
space ships helps you to destroy first wave.. After this first levels,
your mecha becomes powerful enough to trip over the open space to find
enemy "mother mass". At first levels mecha becomes more powerful, cause
humans ships him new armor and weapons part and at the end of the "Sol"
level you have 100% ready to use mecha with full weapons and armor.
Second part of the game is more hard than first, and have 1 important
feature. As you separated from humans and surrounded by enemy you cant
have supplies and replacement for destroyed parts and weapons, but as
you assimilate more and more enemy nanobots, your AMNB mass becomes
more powerful and in the middle of the second stage unexpected thing
happens, your AMNB mass becomes intelligent too... Also with this thing
you find that many of the new features appears. This features have
"offensive" and defensive" effects.. so if player use more "offensive"
- than mech becomes more evil and destructive and if player uses
"defencive" features, than mecha becomes more kind and have additional
features. Every side have their own features and effects, powerful and
weak sides. At the end of second part you will have 50% of the first
seen mecha and non of human weapons working... Third part is
most hard, because mech approached to "mother mass". The main enemies
is spawned by mother mass big chunks of nanobots.. You must survive and
wait untill mother mass becomes very close to "critical mass".. After
this you can try to destroy it..... But you fail, cause any of the you
weapons too weak (good side) or mothermass to fast cure wounds done by
your powerful weapons (evil side)... After realising this mech assume
his own decision how to destroy mothermass and you will see 2 various
ends of the game based on your mech's alignment (evil or good). if good, than mecha crash into the mothermass and blows up himself and supernova will born in this place. if evil, than mecha start to assimilate mother mass and becomes black hole star.this is rough idea, but any suggestions are welcome
The other week I attended a series of presentations at QUT regarding games and Australian law. Though most of the talks focused on on-line legal issues, one focused on the Australian rating system and it's failings.
For those of you that don't know, although the OFLC claims that games, film and television and rated on the same system, there is no R (18+) rating for games. This means the highest rating a game can receive is MA15+, or else it is Refused Classification, and banned.
The speaker seemed mainly interested in calling for an R rating, though he did spend a lot of time pointing out the various faults, contradictions, and inconsistencies in game ratings.
Some interesting points he bought up were:
The case of GTAIII, which was banned due to it's depictions of violence against women: you could pay for a prostitute (restoring your health), and then after you're finished with 'services', kill her and take back your money;
The case of Man Hunt (I think, I'm don't remember if this was the correct game), where the people rating the game were unable to pass the first section of the game and were worried about the ability for people to kill the same guy over and over (perhaps not realizing that most players would pass the first stage and not experience this);
The famous Hot Coffee incident where by GTA: San Andreas was banned after a third-party mod allowed users to access a sex mini-game that was cut - but not removed - from the final build of the game;
He also showed many other examples of games games were either rated or banned for various, interesting reasons.
I have often considered the problem of rating a medium based on what a user 'can' or 'might' do, rather than what content is most prevalent in the game, and the QUT presentation got me thinking about it again. The vast gap between the content of the game and the possible experience concerns me, so to this end I am calling for a ban on a game that I think allows players to use the otherwise mundane content in explicit ways: Oblivion.
Oblivion is an open-ended, swords and sorcery role playing game, a game where you can kill anyone, loot anything, and play anywhere. Indeed the tag-line of the series is 'Live another life'.
So how's this hypothetical life:
Using the face editor at the start of the game you can make a character that looks like yourself, someone you know, or better yet a psychopath, and head out into the wide open-ended world. You can then proceed to kill all of the many NPCs
populating the world, and strip them of their loot and clothing. You can then hide the bodies in the basement of your very own house you purchased in-game, and using the physics system, grab parts of their bodies and manipulate them into different positions.
But it doesn't end there! You can then open up the Construction Set, the very tools used by the developers to make the game, which is freely available online, and learn to use it with support from sites all over the web, including the official forums and Wiki. Perhaps you'll make mods that allows dismemberment, or make the NPCs drop to their knees and plead for their lives, or even add custom NPCs with the faces of people you know.
Surely this hypothetical situation represents far more gruesome, distasteful violence than most other games. This situation is disturbing and offensive ? and yet entirely possible within the game's vast possibility space.
And therein lies the problem: you cannot rate a medium as open and interactive as games they way you would other media. The content is not fixed. A movie never changes no matter how many times you watch it, even a choose-your-own-adventure
book has a fixed set of content.
But many modern games are an open playground of possibility: sandbox games, modding tools, online community play and voice-chat mean that for many games the play experience can never be absolutely assured. You can never know what the player might do ? in or even out of the context of the game.
It is troubling therefore when a games rating is influenced by these circumstances. You can certainly rate games on the actual content that ships with the game, you can perhaps even rate them on what players are encouraged to do through the
natural course of gameplay. But you certainly cannot rate games on what players might be able to do through creative application of the game space.
After all, perhaps I just want to spend my time in Oblivion skipping through meadows picking flowers.