# JimVsHumanity

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• Rank
Newbie

## Personal Information

• Role
Game Designer
• Interests
Art
Design
Education
Production
Programming
1. ## Forager: Optimization in GameMaker

Really great article, very eye opening to the more high-end of dev in GameMaker.
2. ## I want to make grand strategy game. Where to start?

This is an interesting, if massive, question. As for your other questions, it seems to me that you're jumping far ahead. Before the map, before the language, before the UI and all that: you have to know the model. That is, how the game acts. What provinces, what stats, how does a stat change, what makes up that stat, where this stuff is important. If a province attacks another province, does one have a defensive number, and the other province have an attacking number, and is there a random element on top of that? There is a lot of data to consider here, and how it all reacts is another thing. So you need to model all this, and work it out. For this, you can use spreadsheets. I have worked on many games that are spreadsheeted. Most strategy games can be turned into spreadsheets. Plague Inc (and by extension Rebel Inc) are all layed out in spreadsheets, that can be imported into the game. You can start by having column A being the names of a province, column B can be the defensive stat, column C the attacking stat. You can have random number generators to add on to these inside the spreadsheets too. The next step to that is maybe building a pen and paper version, using your model. Where a player can play it, and you can act as the "computer" and calculating the data that moves around. This way you can design, model and test your strategy game long before you build it for real. It's a lot of work, but it's a proven method to create brilliant strategy games.
3. ## Mature themes on a game I'm working on

The two points raised above: 1) You can tackle these issues in games and 2) You will upset some people with it at the least. I think it depends on how you portray it, what gravitas you give the scenes, and what freedom the player has around it. Heavy topics need heavy research and even heavier respect. With that said, you also have to make sure these things make sense in the setting and the world, so that they don't feel needlessly placed. A good example of well placed drama in a post apocolypse setting would be the film The Road (2006). Where the brutality of world really feeds into the questionable deeds. A bad, bad, bad example is in something like the film Dawn Of The Dead (2004) where, despite the raging zombie hoard literally at their heels, the characters seem to find time to have petty jealous spats about relationships and so on. I would give the muslim/homophobia situation a re-think. Not because I think it's too touchy. but because I don't think it makes as much sense as the first scenario. In the post apolocyptic world you describe, I can't imagine someone who doesn't like gay people would have enough free time to know who is gay and who isn't. That said, Islam does have a deep problem with gay people, so perhaps it would make sense if it was quite early in the apocolypse (e.g. not total anarchy, but close to). Because there'd still be enough structure left in society to make it feel more possible. I would always advocate for portraying dangerous and dark issues such as these because I, personally, feel that what art is for in some sense. But I am the kind of man that really doesn't mind a bit of backlash and verbal combat, it doesn't bother me. TL;DR heavy research, good setting, respectful portrayal, beware of backlash, don't apologise for art.