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      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.


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About ShivaFang

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  1. Unity

    Another engine you might like to try out is Stencyl.  Created for flash games, but has broadened it's scope now that flash is losing most of it's market support.   I haven't used Game Maker - but Unity and Stencyl are my top 2 of those that I have used.
  2. I actually learn more from playing bad games and learning what not to do.   Definitely play games in the same genre/theme as the game you are trying to make.   I like to play free games on kongregate.com - you get a lot of both the bad and the good there, and you can get a feel for what works and what doesn't.
  3. My suggestion would be;   1 - whip up a quick prototype with minimal graphics and the core functionality in place.     2 - Get people to test it.   3 - see if the end result matches what you think is supposed to happen.   Sometimes with a mechanic like this players will do the exact opposite of what you would expect them to do.   The problem I see resembles what happened with Sony's Legend of Dragoon, where you build up spirit and when you have a full bar you could change into a dragoon.  You could only use magic in Dragoon form, and it also had the ability to heal when you defended.  You build up spirit when you attack.  The intention was for them to fight in human form and every third or fourth round they would upgrade and kick some ass.   Now, what a lot of 'powergamer' player did was equip an accessory that gave them SP when they defended.  So they would do nothing but defend for several rounds (reducing damage and getting the minor healing) until they were ready to Dragoon up.  Thus, they only actually dealt damage with Dragoon characters, and never when in 'human' form.   When I read the original post - I can just see some form of unexpected power-game strategy like this to come out of it that is entirely unintentional and counter to your goals.
  4.   Do not do this.  This opens the door to player griefing (moreso if there's a sellable drop on the same enemy).   Personal experience - In Final Fantasy XI I wanted to get the quest item for the Paladin Job, which drops off of a certain ghost that spawns about 5 or 6 times every night.  There was someone standing there all day waiting for it to spawn and killing it as soon as it popped up (I suspected botting, but I couldn't prove it).  The only way I could get the item was to buy it off the Auction House.   Even if a tradeable item is not involved, there is a subset of players that will abuse the system just to piss others off.   Guild Wars 2 achieves a nice balance with this - there are events and bosses that sometimes appear on the map that you can take out (most of them require a group, but not all, and they scale) but at no point are you required to complete it for a quest.  Success/fail of these missions chain into other events triggering - causing a bit of a domino effect.   Now granted - the idea of smaller servers that die and start up kind of mitigates this, and there is a market for town/empire building games using this structure; http://www.clapalong.com/ I remember when Batheo first started, my guild was on the top tier.  They start a new server every other week, I think (they are up to 68 servers!)  The problem with it is that servers 'die' as players leave - no one wants to join an 'old' server and players leave to join new servers.  The business model is based on selling 'perks' in order to build faster or pay to have an advantage - so each new server there are more ways to pay to have an advantage and get ahead before other players do.  You can play for free, but you'll lag behind a little unless you spend all day at it (and even then, there are those who pay for the edge AND play all day)   This business model is popular for games developed in China and Korea.   Here is another one that's quite popular; http://tk.koramgame.com/# In this one, you work as part of one of the Three Empires and you can purchase buffs that benefit all players on your team and send armies to capture cities.  They are up to 98 servers now (I think they start a new server every 3 weeks or so?)   I haven't seen this model used for an adventure MMO like WOW, but it might be worth checking out games that use something similar to what you are describing and see what is worth improving on.