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Member Since 07 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Nov 25 2013 05:11 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What should a games programmer know?

24 April 2013 - 01:10 AM

Expect to have a game demo portfolio. It speaks much louder than your resume and degree. Of course the programming concepts you are familiar with can be transferred in making a game. Game programming is more about testing one's fundamentals about a graphics library on top of the algorithmic problem solving using the conceptual and fundamental knowledge of the language and following the software engineering principles to maintain and reuse the code-base and planning and project scope.


You should be able to modify and read other people's code.


Since you are familiar with C#, try mixing it with XNA or MonoGame to make a game. Making a game will make you understand the language better and challenge yourself as a programmer.


I'm not really too familiar with algorithms, specially those for games. Can you let me know what algorithms I should go and learn? Also, XNA is no longer supported by Microsoft, so should I just familiarize myself with Unity3D since it also supports C#?

In Topic: RPG Battle: controlling only one character in the party

17 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

I would LOVE to talk about this topic.  smile.png


This is my personal opinion, but I HATE not having the option to control my characters directly.  To be clear though, I'm also a fan of AI controlled party members that behave moderately intelligently.  So how can both those things be true?  Well, I want to have the OPTION to be able to take direct control when I want to, but not be forced to (by idiotic AI) all the time. 


At the same time, I'm all about speeding up battles in the traditional turn based RPG setting.  Here are a few things I love seeing in games:


  • A kind of Macro command system.  The Player can define a set of actions that they want there characters to take ahead of time and hit one button to execute that whole set of actions.  IE Macro1 commands char1 to attack, char2 to defend, char3 to cast magic missile, and char 4 to heal. (Phantasy Star series)
  • Giving players the option to turn off elaborate battle animations if they wish.  (Disgaea series)
  • FAST MENUS!  This includes keeping text to a minimum, and requiring as few key presses (or button pushes) to advance as is possible.
  • A plain old "Speed up" option.  This may not be as practical with AAA games that are maxing out a graphics processor, but there was an old genesis game called Master of Monsters which had this option.  When enabled it literally just played animations twice as fast.  I think for most hobby projects, this is probably doable if desired.  smile.png
  • EDIT:  Almost forgot one of the biggest ones... can we please get rid of the 10 second long splash screen when a battle starts?  Sure they look nice and all, but when, over the course of a game, I'm going to be getting into hundreds if not thousands of battles I don't need to keep seeing it over and over again.

Well, food for thought at least.  I know in the RPG I'm currently making I've been meticulously planning to make sure my battles move as fast as is possible...


Haha, I definitely agree with removing the 10 second splash screen at the beginning lol. For the game I'm designing, I was thinking of something in between the ff13 paradigm system and the phantasy star mechanic you described. Where the player can create a sort of party command, composed of specific commands for each party member, but the player has the choice on how specific the commands are, for example, heal the most damage, or heal this specific character. the player can define a fixed number of these party commands outside of battle, and swap between them during battle. But apart from this, the player only has control of the main character. Thoughts?

In Topic: What game aspects should be most innovative?

09 April 2012 - 09:17 PM

I don't think that there is a universal answer to this post that would apply across all genres. One of the things about a genre is that it brings something completely different to the table as compared to that bought by another genre. So in attempting to decide "what aspects of a game will players expect to be most innovative and competitive in relation to games in the same genre" I am firstly wondering to which genre you meant in specific or whether you meant as a general rule of thumb. If it was the second of those choices then it is going to be somewhat difficult to answer. For example:

In a turn based strategy game genre eg: Civilisation and their ilk. I would probably rate: gameplay, interface, visuals, audio, narrative
For a First Person Shooter eg: Call of Duty. I would probably rate for multiplayer: Visuals and Audio tied for first place, gameplay/interface for second and narrative for last. For campaign mode: I would want narrative to hold a higher place. But then again with a game like Bioshock I rate narrative before all other factors as its strongest point and one that sold me on the game.
For an RPG: Gameplay/Interface Narrative/lore visuals/audio
For Arcade games: I really have no idea: half the time audio annoys me, visual tends to be basic, Narrative seems derived from the head of Andre Delambre after his teleportation trip, game play is probably rated highest and interfaces probably second.

What I am interested in from you is more of a definition in what you are seeking.

Thanks for the reply, it was pretty helpful. Yeah, I didn't take into consideration that different genres of games will be different in what players expect from it.

In Topic: Creating "Fun" Games

22 December 2011 - 06:13 AM

I'd suggest an iterative approach to your game designs, where you prototype some of the basic functionality and then try it out to see what works and what doesn't.

You can find some good articles on the subject at Lost Garden; a couple of starting points might be "Common Game Prototyping Pitfalls" and "Building Fun Into Your Software Designs".

Other than that, avoid annoying the player with silly mistakes, things that aren't needing, or simple things you just haven't bothered to do. The Designer's Notebook has a recurring column called "Bad Game Designer, No Twinky!" that lists commonly repeated design and implementation mistakes you should endeavour to avoid -- the list is collected into the "No Twinky Database", which also has links to the original articles at the top.

Also, as others have said above, these things will come with practice -- and these are skills you can develop outside of video game development; try creating your own card game or board game, make up little games to occupy your time when waiting at the bus stop, create children's "car games" that can be played without any items just using the surrounding scenery, etc.

Hope that helps! Posted Image

Thanks for the comment and resources. I took a quick look at them and I'm sure that they're going to be a lot of help :)

In Topic: What is your game development process?

19 December 2011 - 02:22 AM

Hi everyone,

My current approach to games design is writing a rough and unstructured high concept document to record my ideas and other considerations I need to define about the game. I then skip the design treatment stage and head straight into the mechanics section of the games design document. This is where I spend most of my time, and while working on this section, i begin to flesh out the game elements and AI design. After completing the mechanics, I move onto finishing up the game elements and AI design to suit the mechanics. I then finish up the other sections and begin to design the first level, though I have never really progressed passed the first level lol.
i know that my approach is quite flawed, since I have suffered much grief during the development stage. My current approach has a very hazy vision of how the game features, such as the mechanics, game elements and AI all come together to create the intended gameplay, and as such, the level design is affected. I don't really have an approach for game balancing either.
So I would very much appreciate it if you would let me know how you approach designing games, and to give me any other advice you think is beneficial. Thanks and God bless :)

I prefer a more agile approach opposed to the standard waterfall model. In fact, I gather ideas of the whole game all the time, write them down,group them, erase them etc.

But the next big step is a fast iterative approach to implement these ideas, starting with simple mechanism and going into details in later iterations. For each iteration I have a fix, small, manageable goal (i.e. improve combat, reduce attributes, come up with a simple inventory system, polish the inventory system etc.) which could be archived in 2-4 weeks (it is similar to SCRUM). The topic of each iteration is more or less random, what interested me most at the moment.

Why does it work for me ?
1. In fact, it's only a 1 1/2 man show, no large team to manage.
2. Start with small goals will deliver fast success which keeps the motivation up.
3. Instead of avoiding feature creep, I included it to some degree in my process, this way it could still hurt the process, but only in a limited way (one short iteration to test X).
4. 50% of the design will be discarded over time, once the implementation has started (your super cool, over one and a half year developed, interactive combat system will be disposed, after playing it for 5 minutes).
5. Fast iterations keep your design closer to the reality (Better not to discover that your killer-feature is not realisable on current hardware after a 2 year design phase.)
6. fast feedback-loop: the result of each iteration will influence the whole game developing/design process.
7. Avoiding of the investment-trap: once you have invested too much money/time into feature X you will hesitate to discard it, even if it is crap.

Regarding the iterative approach, do you have a particular way of identifying issues that need fixing and refining? And do you have a particular way of balancing the mechanics and refining the levels, or is it all through play testing? And how and what would you prepare for play testing and how do you ask to play test? Sorry I have a lot of questions lol