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Game Design Articles

Article Listing

Designing a "Playable" UI That Secretly Teaches How to Play

Published in Game Design

By Yowan Langlais - How to create a fun user interface that teaches players how to play your game.

Retro Mortis: RTS (Part 1) - It was found in a Desert...

Published in Game Design

By Michel Mony - In this article we examine the origins of the RTS and mechanics that were revisited or forgotten.

Making Games is Hard

Published in Game Design

By Peter Cardwell-Gardner - A developer shares the story of his experience and difficulties in creating a game that's still not done.


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Designing a "Playable" UI That Secretly Teaches How to Play

Nov 19 2014 09:32 AM | Posted By Yowan Langlais in Game Design
How to create a fun user interface that teaches players how to play your game.

Tagged With:  design  user interface  UI 
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17Likes
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Retro Mortis: RTS (Part 1) - It was found in a Desert...

Nov 13 2014 03:04 AM | Posted By Michel Mony in Game Design
In this article we examine the origins of the RTS and mechanics that were revisited or forgotten.

Tagged With:  Design  RTS  Dune  Retro 
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12Likes
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Making Games is Hard

Nov 07 2014 07:48 AM | Posted By Peter Cardwell-Gardner in Game Design
A developer shares the story of his experience and difficulties in creating a game that's still not done.

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What Makes Old Games Addictive

Oct 27 2014 03:54 PM | Posted By Miguel7 in Game Design
Nostalgia aside, what makes those old-school 2D platformers, scrolling shooters, unrealistic sports games and others so addictive? Why are there so many spoofs, emulators, and even USB controllers for games that by today's standards really aren't that good? In this article I'll share what I think is the secret.

Tagged With:  2-D  Mario  Zelda  shooter  platformer 
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Luck in Games: Why RNG isn't the answer

Oct 24 2014 01:38 PM | Posted By Elyot Grant in Game Design
Hearthstone's design team told us we'd be crazy to make a game without luck. But here's the secret to why games without luck are actually more addictive, and players are far better off without it (contrary to what most AAA studios would have you believe).

Tagged With:  luck  rng  hearthstone  game design 
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Design of an Indie Action Game

Sep 21 2014 11:46 PM | Posted By Mike Shafer in Game Design
During the development of Bain's Redemption, I had to wear many hats. This article tries to convey what works and doesn't work in the context of the design of a third-person action game.

Tagged With:  gameplay  ai  custom  3d  design  action 
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Dynamic Narrative in The Hit

Sep 09 2014 04:29 AM | Posted By Dan Stubbs in Game Design
I'm currently working on a player-driven dynamic narrative system. This is the blog post I wrote in response to Ken Levine's 'Narrative Lego' GDC talk, which was originally published on Gamasutra.com. Since then I've filled in some of the gaps, and I'm planning a follow-up article, but for now I'm working full-time on developing The Hit.

Tagged With:  narrative  story  design  writing 
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Distilling Game Design UNDER REVIEW

Sep 04 2014 08:52 PM | Posted By Teresa Munoz in Game Design
Distilled Game Design is what Experience is all about, is your game in its purest form. In order to achieve true Game Design you must figure out what your basic experience is and build your game up from there.

Tagged With:  Game Design  Game Experience 
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4-Layers, A Narrative Design Approach

Jun 21 2014 01:51 AM | Posted By Thomas Grip in Game Design
A new "4-layers" approach to narrative design in games, based on a talk Thomas gave at GDC 2014.

Tagged With:  narrative  design  story 
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From Donkey Kong to the Silver Screen: The Past, Present and Future of Game Cinematics UNDER REVIEW

May 19 2014 06:49 PM | Posted By Martin McBain in Game Design
Whilst the earliest uses of cinematics within games were very simple affairs - intros and outros or bookends to gameplay - we have moved on to stunningly impressive cinematic sequences and interactive gameplay to bring contemporary visual storytelling to life. With the lines between Hollywood movies and gloriously cinematic gaming titles becoming increasingly blurred, we are entering a whole ne...

Tagged With:  cutscenes  cinematics  visual storytelling  narrative 
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5 Core Elements of Interactive Storytelling

May 09 2014 08:50 AM | Posted By Thomas Grip in Game Design
Thomas (from Frictional Games) shares his personal view on 5 core elements of interactive storytelling in video games.

Tagged With:  writing  interactive storytelling  narrative 
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Setting an Appropriate Tone for Your Game

Apr 27 2014 04:42 PM | Posted By Winston Nguyen in Game Design
A technique on how to use 'embodied cognition' to set your game's atmosphere.

Tagged With:  atmosphere  storytelling  writing  tone  embodied cognition  psychology  philosophy 
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Character Development in Video Games

Apr 22 2014 12:44 AM | Posted By Winston Nguyen in Game Design
Learn how to use gameplay mechanics in order to show character progression. I'll also explain how Persona 4 uses mechanics to develop really lovable characters.

Tagged With:  character  mechanics  persona 4  gaming point 
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Beginners Guide to User Testing With Children

Feb 05 2014 12:21 PM | Posted By Marko Nemberg in Game Design
Children are avid tech users and spend a lot of their time playing videogames. But how can we be certain that our game design works? Is it enough to use child friendly design or is there something else in play?Click to read about the nr. 1 testing method used by major game studios worldwide.

Tagged With:  usability  playtesting  design  children  game testing  quality  QA  accessibility  game psychology  user testing 
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Games Are a Whole New Form of Storytelling

Nov 25 2013 03:52 PM | Posted By David Colson in Game Design
Stories in games are always compared to other mediums, and it never goes well. I think we need to rethink how games tell stories, and consider them a new medium of storytelling.

Tagged With:  design  story  writing 
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"Not So Random Randomness" in Game Design and Programming

Nov 18 2013 05:40 AM | Posted By Carsten Germer in Game Design
In game design there is a kind of love-hate relationship with randomness. On the one hand it allows for variety with many types of content, on the other hand one can't "design" true randomness. How about a technique that provides random outcomes but within parameters that can be influenced to fit the game design?

Tagged With:  game design  random  randomness  function  method  programming 
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Using a "Leitner System" to Track a Player's Exposition to Content and Mechanics

Nov 15 2013 11:37 AM | Posted By Carsten Germer in Game Design
Using flashcards with the "Leitner system" is typically used by students to learn vocabulary or other facts and pieces of information. Using this technique within computer games to track a players behavior and learning progress within a game system, a game can react and tune any dynamic gameplay, content exposition or usage of game mechanics.

Tagged With:  flashcards  leitner system  metrics  dynamic content  game design  programming 
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Using Psychological Principles for Great User Interfaces

Oct 23 2013 09:02 AM | Posted By Brice Morrison in Game Design
There are proven psychological principles to user interfaces that work. Whether you have a team of design experts or are just building with programmer art, you can use these principles to make your game easy to understand and a joy to pick up.

Tagged With:  user interface  psychology  user experience  game design  hud  visual design 
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Telling an Immersive and Full Story with Mobile App Games UNDER REVIEW

Oct 18 2013 10:41 AM | Posted By Terry Wilson in Game Design
A story in a game is not always easy, and that can especially be difficult when it comes to the more casual games found on mobile devices or as mobile applications. So here are a few tips to help the process.

Tagged With:  mobile games  game story  apps  immersive story  video games  storytelling  tips  game development  game design 
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Prototyping with Graphs

Sep 11 2013 12:13 PM | Posted By Patrick Polewiak in Game Design
Before we start a process of prototyping the location in 3D, ussualy using tools from chosen engine it’s good to illustrate our idea with graphs. Of course, it’s possible to draw only a simple scheme on paper (what I personally practice) but that way we might miss mistakes we would find by making graphs.

Tagged With:  prototyping  level design  game design  graph 
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Building an In-Game Store for the First Time? Here are the 4 Keys to Success

Aug 19 2013 11:34 AM | Posted By Yaniv Nizan in Game Design
So you have a great concept for a mobile game and you have heard that free games with in app purchase is the way to go but you are not sure where to start. Guess what? You are not alone and many are struggling with this challenge. Here are 4 golden tips.

Tagged With:  iap  in-app purchase  in-game store  virtual currency  mobile  iphone  android  ios 
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Crafting a Platformer Game

Aug 19 2013 11:28 AM | Posted By Ivan Spasov in Game Design
In this article we will take a closer look on how to create the Game Design for a simple Platformer Game.

Tagged With:  crafting  platformer  jump  traps  levels 
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Taptitude - Designing for In App Purchase

Aug 19 2013 11:18 AM | Posted By FourBros Studio in Game Design
Using our game Taptitude as a case study for in app purchase design

Tagged With:  mobile  iap 
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Five Common Mistakes in Game Usability Testing And How To Avoid Them

Aug 11 2013 11:44 PM | Posted By Marko Nemberg in Game Design
trinidad.ee — A couple of weeks ago we held a massive playtesting session at the Gamefounders game accelarator (first of its kind in Europe. Based on the experience, here are 5 of the most common testing mistakes and how to avoid them!

Tagged With:  usability  accessibility  user experience  playability  user testing  eye tracking  emotion  children  testing  ux  playtesting 
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Considering the Implications of Player Choice, Player Freedom, and Game Purpose in Modern Game Design

Aug 11 2013 01:40 PM | Posted By Byron H. Black in Game Design
A proposed framework for considering the interaction between player choice, player freedom, and the purpose of a game and what implications this has for game design. This article is a response by Peter Bright's recent article on Arstechnica.

Tagged With:  game design  design  gamedesign  sandbox  sand box  story  linear  writing  open world  game development  development 
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