I'm a programmer. I want to make games. I've played games for over 15 years. Although I can tell a good game from a bad one, I've come to realize that that is not enough to actually come up with a good game in the first place.
I want to learn game design. What I mean by game design is the core rules and mechanics of the game. I don't mean character design, story telling, or any of that. Personally, I don't particularly care for stories in games.
I've played some board games recently, like Settlers of Catan, Kill Dr. Lucky, Puerto Rico, etc. and I've sort of, just in my head, tried to come up with my own board game. But I don't even know where to start. There must be some basic principles or guidelines or something that one can follow to get started. I took board games as an example because they are almost purely rules and game mechanics.
But the game I am planning on implementing is an online rpg. Kind of like an MMORPG, but in a smaller scale---I'm not delusional, I think. This is, in my opinion, an easier task, game design wise, than to come up with a new boad game. Just copy what works in other MMORPGs and your set, right? But, I have this feeling that I'm missing out on something. I want to do better, something unique.
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.
Edited by tufflax, 29 June 2012 - 02:45 PM.