I'm a programmer. I want to make games.
I'm not looking to "break into the industry". I'm planning on making the game with a friend. In fact I have already started. I have basic networking, attacking, monsters, respawning, and a few other stuff done. I'm not going to make another game.
The trouble is in trying to answer a post based on what is written, it becomes very difficult to provide pertinent information if the original premise gets recanted or changed substantially.
Edit: On reading this through again: Are you simply stating something along the lines of "Having started this game I am working on - I am not going to stop and do another game - but I still plan on making more games in the future after this particular project is complete?" If so ignore my above comment, specifically though part of the recommendation for checking the Breaking into the industry and Tom Sloper's website is that it led to things like http://www.sloperama...ce/lesson13.htm which was relevant to your initial post.
I should maybe have said "I want to make a game." But I didn't think the cardinality would matter. What I mean by "I'm not looking to break into the industry" is simply that I'm not looking to join an established company. I want to make a game on my own. And perhaps more games once the first one is done.
I have basic networking, attacking, monsters, respawning, and a few other stuff done.
Yes, perhaps it is easier to make more specific questions.
You have a game idea. You have established some game elements.
A decent article that may provide you with some insight might be of help
- What is it specifically that you are trying to understand? If it is simply individual mechanics such as class balance - if so then in some ways it is easier to create multiple posts each simply specifying one idea/problem and removing anything extraneous to the communication of that idea/problem.
- Do you already have an over-arching game design in place? Given that you have already begun work on this I can only assume that you must have at least some structure to which you are already working to or are you simply creating elements with no real place defined beyond "this game will need this component".
To be honest though what I would ask you for is more information specific to the purpose of your needs.
And yes, I have an over-arching design in place. I know in my head what I want. And I also have a design document where I have written down key elements to the design.
I'm asking for tips, maybe books and articles, that tell me how to go about designing game rules, mechanics that are fun, balance, etc., i.e. insights for the game design process.
I asked this broad question, because I was thinking: If someone had a similar broad problem with programming, and they basically said "I'm a beginner and I want to get better." then I would have several suggestions, like "read The Pragmatic Progammer, read Structure and Intrepretation of Computer Programs and learn a functional programming language, make sure you embrace recursion..." etc.
I'll take a look at the article.
One particular problem that I have is designing spells and abilities for the playable classes. I want them to be balanced; if any two fight eachother, they should both have a not-too-small set of viable options in every situation. But at the same time the classes are supposet to have significant differences. Again: Are there some techniques, principles or guidelines for how to go about designing somehing like this? Or is just trial-and-error? I mean, experience must certainly help, and some experienced game designer must have written down techniques that work well.
Some threads that may provide insight into the issues you are dealing with:
These seem very relevant. Thank you!