• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
TechnoGoth

Ten games every designer should play

225 posts in this topic

Action

Q2 3wave CTF : This was the version with the grappling hook & the runes. Rocked, especially e3m2.

Action Quake 2 : Best fps mod I've ever played, by the team behind CounterStrike. Really great, well-balaned weapon choices. Each player could choose 1 weapon, and 2 items. Most chose a machinegun, a bulletproof vest, and a grenade. I would choose the vest, 10 poisoned throwing knives, and the silent slippers that let you run silently, rather than just walk quietly.

Severance : Blade of Darkess I'm probably the only person on the planet who has played through this game 8 times. Twice with each of the 4 characters... so far! Great levels. The gameplay has some issues ( I never use the lock-on feature ), but overally it just works for me. Really fun to explore the first time. Great sounds & music throughout.

OUT OF THIS WORLD like many french games, it was beautiful, too hard, and too short. I played this continually until I finished it. Wow, what atmosphere this game had. I played the sequel a bit on emulation, but it didn't work for me.

Die by the Sword I actually loved the idea for the controls, but hated the way they worked. I was surprised I didn't like them. But, the levels were cool, and a good use of physics - nice feel. Played through multiple times with different characters.

RPG

WASTELAND If you can find a copy of this, check it out. Played this in glorious 16 color EGA graphics back in the day. A bard's tale style of game set in post-apocolyptic future. It had a great skill system, as well as a super upgrade jones. Just as all of your party members had a certain weapon class ( say pistols ), you killed the boss of an area, and got a cool new gun for only one dude - now you wanted all your dudes to have the .45/uzi/ak47, etc. Also possible to skip areas and still win ( although harder ). Some cool sidequests too, like Finster's Brain.

SSI Gold Box D&D Games These were great. The DragonLance games in particular were very cool. Good turn-based tactical combat.

Dark Sun I & II 1 was better, but both were fun. Cool alternate D&D setting, very good atmosphere. Nice tactical combat with some exploration, too.

Fighting

Street Fighter 2 Chapionship Edition This is what I failed out of school for ( that and my GF! ). So addictive, well balanced fighting game. I'm a Dhalsim player, btw.

Toshinden Possible to win with any character. I liked the slow french dude with the sword for some reason.

DOA3 God we used to play this at NVIDIA all the time. I was mainly a Leon dude, but my Christie and Hitomi were good too. Fun rock/paper/scissors style fighting with attacks/throws/counters.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. Half-life/CounterStrike - I've probably played these two games more than all others combined, perfect examples of FPS multiplayer goodness, and "The best game of all time".

2. GTA: Vice City - Gangsta' freedom, with an 80's theme...can't go wrong.

3. Age of Empires (Series) - Multiplayer against your brother on the home LAN for 15 hours at a time, enough said. This is why I love RTS games.

4. Half-life 2 - It's gotta be on here somewhere.

5. Commander Keen (Series) - Probably one of the first games I ever played, deserves a spot on then list.

6. Sim City 2000 - Openendedness at it's finest.

7. Max Payne/Max Payne 2 - I think these games are very cool, and everyone should play at least one of them. First game to use "Bullet time"? I think that was actually on the back of the box? ;-)

8. Gangsters: Organized Crime - Personal favorite, check it out there are some good ideas in there somewhere ;-)

9. Rainbow 6: I seem to recall their planning/action stages to be very unique at the time. Also one of the first games I reaaaaally got into, so it deserves a spot.

10. Doom - I remember playing it at a friends house, and realizing how cool computer games really are. Plus making maps for the Doom was the first step I
ever took into game development. I was 11 or 12 years old at the time.

[EDIT] Oh shit, I forgot about Mortal Kombat ;-)

Ok this turned into a "Games I think rock" list, but oh well.

- Dan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe you don't have Lengend of Zelda, Metroid, Mario, or any of the greatest games Nintendo ever made! Every game they make combines both new technology and awesome design to make the best games ever. Almost every game on your list has been influenced by, or used technology developed for these games. Don't be stupid. Include these games!

My opinion, no apologies.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The list is a joke. Look at the entire TBS section for instance: Alpha Centauri and Civilization (1, 2 and 3). All Sid Meier games, and all based on the same basic model.

What about Jagged Alliance? Master of Orion? Not to mention any of the excellent turn-based wargames out there..
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Argus2
The list is a joke.


If you want to spend hours and hours of your own time organising these hundreds of suggestions into a better list then feel free. I've clearly stated that I'm not finished, and all of the games mentioned in the last few posts are going to be added when I get around to it.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, that was a bit harsh. But for a stickied list touting itself as "Games All Designers Should Play", I'd expect a list of games that had interesting design features - revolutionary games rather than successful evolutionary iterations.

For instance, Warcraft III covers the design elements of the 'craft' series, so only it need be referenced. But it doesn't cover Majesty, or Kohan.

Half-life covers Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, UT etc in terms of basic design. But the Mechwarrior series is significantly different in design.

And Fallout is a notable exception from the RPG list, while multiple AD&D party-based games made it in.

In short, the list is at risk of just being a big list of popular games, rather than a list of games which push design boundaries.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Argus2
In short, the list is at risk of just being a big list of popular games, rather than a list of games which push design boundaries.


Now that's a very valid concern, which I've actually been thinking about a fair bit. After a while, this thread became more a list of everyone's favorite games rather than those of particular significance. For completeness, I'm trying to do write-ups of as many of the games listed here anyway, but as a way of dealing with the issue of that not highlighting particularly interesting design features, I was considering perhaps adding a spotlight section to the list once it's completed (or at least closer to completion).

This would involve putting a marking of some sort next to specific entries of interest as well as having a seperate post listing them under a couple of different headings - possibly:
-Games with particularly interesting/unique features (or just one game that demonstrates a commonly used feature particularly well).
-Games with particularly bad design.

This could be used to draw more attention to particularly interesting design features, and there could also perhaps be some analysis of why the features did or didn't work included in the section.

I'd be happy to have any input on the idea.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Argus2
Sorry, that was a bit harsh. But for a stickied list touting itself as "Games All Designers Should Play", I'd expect a list of games that had interesting design features - revolutionary games rather than successful evolutionary iterations.

For instance, Warcraft III covers the design elements of the 'craft' series, so only it need be referenced. But it doesn't cover Majesty, or Kohan.


Warcraft 3 is considerably different from Starcraft, I don't think it really represents the *craft games as a whole. It adds a whole load of h&s crpg elements to the rts genre, which in my opinion, results in a less enjoyable game, although many disagree. In any case though, Starcraft and Warcraft 3 play very differently, I don't see any problem including both of them.

That's not to say Majesty or Kohan shouldn't get a mention. The Total War games should probably get a mention too. Bear in mind though that the list is a WIP - Kazgoroth may not have gotten around to adding them all yet.

Quote:

And Fallout is a notable exception from the RPG list, while multiple AD&D party-based games made it in.


The fallout series should be on the list. Heck, fallout is recommended in the first post in this thread! My guess is that Kazgoroth hasn't gotten around to adding them yet.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Sandman
My guess is that Kazgoroth hasn't gotten around to adding them yet.


Indeed. I took a break from updating for a few weeks, but have been trawling the internet for links to various games and writing up summaries again for the last couple of weeks - I'm planning to add a bunch of games in one shot once I've got a reasonable amount written up.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Marmin
Quote:
Original post by Darkneon
I would add: Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts on the SNES.


That's a real HARD f*cker of a game!! I can't even get past the first screen.

Well this is another 'I like this game best' thread but I would like to add (if anybody actually reads this): Rayman 2 by Ubisoft. My favorite DirectX 3d game of all times, mainly because of the story, game play and level design.



you think thats hard?? try Ghost n' Goblins for the original NES . i STILL cant beat this game and its been who knows how many years..
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In no real order:

1) IW2: Edge of chaos - Best space combat game I've ever played, wonderful interface (people say controls are weird however), saddly, it didn't get off the ground. Playing it has made me notice how there is a serious lack of good starfighter games out there, and inspired me to set a goal of making one.
2) Starcraft - Well, we should all know why.
3) Quake (all of them, or just one) - Seen as a groundbreaking FPS, study it's style.
4) Quest for glory 4 - Fun game, would probably be popular today with a graphical face lift even.
5) Desus ex - Reasons have been covered...
6) Commander Keen - popular side scrolling games are good level design.

And I wish I played more games...
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i think most of the people in here seem to be younger and dont remember the REAL video games..no shortcuts, no cheats for the kiddies, no savegames..just hardcore style play and you had to be good to finish.

a few in here mentioned Pac-Man, but Ms-Pac Man, Junior Pac Man and Super Pac-Man were spawns of the original. if you have the ability to play Jr. Pac Man i would try it out..the maze is so big the boards side scroll back and forth and the ghosts seem to have a better AI...i.e. like in Mr Pac Man you could go to a certain spot and they would never find you..

so after that blurb here are mine:

Pac-Man(the pac-man series really)
Galaga
Frogger
Centipede
Crystal Castles
Robotron

if you want to REALLY SEE if you have a temper or not you can play:

Ghost N' Goblins on the NES -- as mentioned above
Pitfall - for the atari 2600
Rygar - NES

of course some of the newer games that a lot of us can agree on..

Warcraft
Starcraft
Age of Empires II
Tombraider(at least the first few)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ULTIMA Series-

The whole series (excluding possibly Martian Dreams since it really wasn't ultima just same engine) is revolutionary.


  • The story included the PLAYER. (YOU were transported to Britania through the moongate. You were the Avatar.)


  • Gameplay based on player choices and virtues, in many of the titles character creation was done through 'the gypsy.' The player gave answers to questions of morality and virtue, which determined some aspects of the gameplay and starting stats.


  • Possibly one of the first implementations of sandbox gameplay.


  • Underworld series one of the first 3D games


  • The Series grew into the first Popular MMORPG.




XCOM Series

The original is possibly one of the best games ever created. Something magical.
There are so many aspects to this game and its design its hard to describe.



  • Possibly one of the first implementations of GLOBAL DAMAGE. Anything and Everything was destructable. The Ground, terrian, trees, buildings, vehicles, furniture etc..


  • Open gameplay with few static limitations. One way to win, but virtually unlimited strategies to achieve the win condition. A true game design feat!


  • Mixture of Strategy/tactical, realtime/turnbased, RPG, Squadbased, Micro/Macro Management. This game included just about everything. And it did it successfully!! Thats the hard part. Every aspect, from the Squad Based Tactical play to the Designing and Building of Bases, was feature rich.


  • Really hit home with single player motivations (Exploration and Achievement). The game manual was the game. The player had to discover/research not only game items, but actual gameplay and game mechanics




World War II Online (WWIIOL)

I include this not only becuase this is a game that defines a genre (its the only one like it), but more so becuase I think any game designer should spend a month on the WWIIOL forums and see how the Devs (Cornered Rat Studios) communicate with thier player base. They provide weekly, if not daily and hourly, discussions and feedback to thier player base. Everything from the future of the game design, to gameplay concerns, to Historical Research, to bug tracking. Granted they can afford this as thier player base is small (~20k maybe 50k who knows) but there are things to learn there.

I think Bioware would come a distant second (and thats still good) when it comes to really including thier customers and fans in the game designing process.



  • Community Involvment: For an MMO, the game IS the community.


  • It defines a genre (can one game be a genre???) It is the Only Persistent World-MMOG-FPS-Alternate History-Land/Sea/Air/Chain of Command Combat SIMULATOR.


  • WWIIOL is probably the most hardcore game ever made. Unforgivingly so. Thier player base isn't small just becuase they had a very poor launch and thier game engine is about 3 years behind. It's small mainly due to the fact that the game is unbelievably hardcore. But it is probably the best game ever made when taken in small doses (or for sick bastards that love hardcore games). If you like PvP then you should be playing WWIIOL. Thier motto is 'We PWN PvP.'


  • As a game designer this game is a bucket load of wealth. For everything three things done RIGHT, there is something done WRONG. And it is obvious. Now try and think of a way to make them right. Loads to learn from. And one hell of a game to play once you realize how to play it



0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While Warcraft3 doesn't play in the same way as Starcraft (or indeed, Warcraft1), I can't think of any significant design features that Starcraft has which Warcraft3 does not also have (take away the heroes and the games are not so different). I did play both competitively.

Basically I think the list is going to get more than a bit cluttered unless those kind of overlaps aren't combined in some way. Starcraft is not really an interesting game for design purposes anymore, while Warcraft3 is somewhat.

Similarly, I think the basic shooters should be combined, with one full description and perhaps a one-liner for each individual outlining any interesting differences (eg. the story was quite a drawcard for Half-Life). Is it really useful to point designers to Doom?

On a different note, I think Kazgoroth's idea of noting significant design features (and whether they were successful or not) next to individual games sounds very good, and it would be nice to see notes like that rather than games listed for nostalgic reasons.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've found that the "10 games every designer should play" are the ones where I most often say to a colleague, "You ever played [game]? That's a good example of how we should do this."

- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Heroes of Might and Magic 2
- Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle
- King's Quest 5
- Half-Life
- Counterstrike
- Liero
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- C-Dogs
- Escape Velocity
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by litewarri
- King's Quest 5


Not sure about King's Quest 5 being a good example of the adventure game genre; there were too many ways to be still playing the game even though the game was unsolvable (didn't have the right item, or used the wrong item to solve a quest, for example). King's Quest 6 is my pick for the best in the series (although I had a soft spot for King's Quest 3's magic spells).

And Quest for Glory 1 through 4 is better than all of them (my favourite is Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire [smile]).

But I totally agree with the remaining nine (well, at least the ones I've played. What's Liero?)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liero is a freeware game which is sort of like a realtime worms. You can play with 2 players on the same computer, or with 1 player against AI. The game features a large selection of weapons, detructible terrain, and generally very fast gameplay. There are many enhanced version and clones out there including such features as network play (sometimes with more than 2 players), enhanced graphics and additional weapons.

Check it out here.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's nice that you're organizing all the games into this thread, but why is that list so short? A good game designer needs to play a TON of games. Seriously, if you added every single game mentioned on this thread to the list, then your list would probably be halfway done.

Anyway, has anyone mentioned Facade?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by pinacolada
It's nice that you're organizing all the games into this thread, but why is that list so short? A good game designer needs to play a TON of games. Seriously, if you added every single game mentioned on this thread to the list, then your list would probably be halfway done.

Anyway, has anyone mentioned Facade?


I think the list should be of playable length. There should be more than 20 games on it.

[Edited by - Daniel Miller on August 5, 2005 10:22:05 AM]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i'm totaly missing one game series:

Alone in the Dark 1-3:
One hell of difficult games by far the hardest games i've ever played

others:

Grandia II
I just play the game 'cause of the battles, they are plain fun

Freespace I + II
there's nothing better than sending a swarm of hornet missile into an shivan butt

Painkiller
Alright, the story isn't that great. And it also doesn't have such nice features like SW Republic Commando (Team Play with AI). The storytelling was like the story... bad...
But tell my whats more fun then blasting dozens of cool-looking, freaky, insane etc. enemies to pieces with the most overpowered weapon ever made (RL + Chaingun AWESOME)
That game teaches you that a great game doesn't have to be overall complex
o and the music was awesome

Fallout Tactics:
The games quite fun but the best thing about it is the feature to play your own music... nice... would be great for Strategy games of all kind

Shining Force I + II
II was brief mentioned once in the thread, but it shows you that with just 6 character states, a handfull of spells, items and weapons a great game could be made
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
Quote:
Original post by litewarri
- King's Quest 5


Not sure about King's Quest 5 being a good example of the adventure game genre; there were too many ways to be still playing the game even though the game was unsolvable (didn't have the right item, or used the wrong item to solve a quest, for example). King's Quest 6 is my pick for the best in the series (although I had a soft spot for King's Quest 3's magic spells).

And Quest for Glory 1 through 4 is better than all of them (my favourite is Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire [smile]).


I think I was a little too impulsive with my list due to nostalgia, regarding King's Quest 5. You're quite right about both KQ6 and QFG.

My choice to replace KQ5, though, is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. As both a graphic adventure and a game design marvel, I think it trumps all of the aforementioned adventures.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chucky Egg
Bubble Bobble
Arcamedian Dynasty (one of my all time favs)
Age of Empires
Fallout 2
Neverwinter Nights
Dungeon Keeper
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Half-Life (1&2)
GodenEye (N64)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO you need to update the "games all designers should play" list for RPG's.

At the moment it's rather lacking ... Fallout 1 or 2 should DEFINITELY be up there (especially since you're crediting fable with character development which apart from the good/evil and appearance of your character, was pretty simplistic.)

and at least one of the Final Fantasy series should be up there.

And remove Diablo 2. . . its not even worthy of the RPG title. Its more action/adventure

Thats my 2c anyway
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by litewarri
I think I was a little too impulsive with my list due to nostalgia, regarding King's Quest 5. You're quite right about both KQ6 and QFG.

My choice to replace KQ5, though, is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. As both a graphic adventure and a game design marvel, I think it trumps all of the aforementioned adventures.


Agreed. [smile]

And I also agree that Fallout should be on the list of RPGs to play.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0