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Guert
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« on: April 22, 2008, 05:07:41 PM »

The designer's workshop

Active topics


Upcoming topics

  • Long distance teamwork in indie projects: How to develop a better working group and evolve your game design in this situation?
  • Getting worked up for level design: Inspiration tips for creating original levels.
  • The indie game designer: How to deal with having to wear many hats?
  • Making it shiny: How do you polish your game design?
  • Giving the player goals: What are the differnet types of goals and how do you add multiple them in your design?
  • Ethical fun: What games are ethical or unethical? Is it really bad for a game to be more addictive than fun?
  • Designing 3D platformers: How to make them work and fun?
  • Design challenges when creating Interactive Fiction: How design an IF and make it interesting for your player? What makes an IF fun?



Edit: Original message:

Hello fellow game designers!

I've been around these boards for about a year now and I've been reading a lot of different posts about game design scattered through all sorts of non-design topics. Unfortunatly, these questions usualy end up being very similar. My conclusion was the following: there are no design discussion thread around here! So, let's start one:  The designer's workshop!

Here's how it works. During the week (or month, we'll see), people will post game design questions and topics to discuss. For example, you could propose to talk about emotional content in indie games or ask about something you'd like to know (like "how to balance a game?" or "what's a game mechanic anyway?"). The idea is to get a discussion going. I'll be taking the role of moderator. I'll pick a topic from the suggestions, explain what it is about and then people will simply post their own ways of dealing with the subject. This way, we can all learn from each other and become better at designing games.  I was also thinking of adding some sort of quick Q&A section for very short questions that don't require much discussion like "what does HUD means?" and the likes... 

I'm thinking about using the same formula as  did with my grinds: one topic with the list of suggestions, other side topics with the actual discussion inside. In the end, we'll have one big topic linking to the desired subject.

So? What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 06:41:09 PM by Guert » Logged

mike
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 05:24:49 PM »

Great idea Guert. Kiss
It would be great to pull together a resource like this. There is a lot of great design discussion on the forums, but often it's hard to find.
Usually one stumbles over it while reading different topics.

Go for it!  Grin
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Melly
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 06:29:46 PM »

So, can I start here already? Tongue

I've been meaning to discuss about traditional JRPG-style character progression/leveling systems, its many flaws, qualities, how it affects the player and how it can be improved and made into a more thoughtful mechanic than what we see around the place.
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Annabelle Kennedy
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008, 06:55:09 PM »

This is a great idea! Coming from someone will little to know *real* knowledge of the subject i think this will be really helpful
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008, 07:10:46 PM »

same  Huh?  :D  Undecided
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 07:39:48 PM »

So, can I start here already? Tongue

I've been meaning to discuss about traditional JRPG-style character progression/leveling systems, its many flaws, qualities, how it affects the player and how it can be improved and made into a more thoughtful mechanic than what we see around the place.

I second the discussion of jrpg's, since (in my eyes anyways) they've become their own genre, separate from other RPG's. I think there's a lot to learn from picking those apart, or RPG's in general.

I'd also like to discuss indie group dynamics, and how to develop a better group mentality online, a la Aquaria. How a long distance team etc. can be formed successfully.
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Inane
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 08:04:32 PM »

I put forth the silent protagonist and other possible view-points. Mostly interested in what people have to say about their effects on emotional involvement in the player.
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Seth
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 09:41:38 PM »

Oh the silent protagonist would be interesting!  But so would jRPG's...

I always thought it would be interesting if along with the game competitions we have going here, we had game design challenges.  The goal would not to (necessarily) make a complete game but to design and develop a game system prototype... for example, one of the most common complaints about jRPG's I hear are that the battle systems are boring.. the challenge would be to make a simple but functional battle system.  Hell it wouldn't even have to be made, necessarily, just very well thought out and designed.  (though the actual implementation would ultimately be important, I think, because it forces you to confront problems)
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 10:33:38 PM »

Flan Rising and The Desolate Room both have very interesting takes on the traditional battle system. Flan Rising in particular is a shining example of good menu-based fighting.
The biggest thing, of course, is that it doesn't get repetitive or boring easily. Key things that make it work being, I think:
  • Characters change frequently, usually getting radically different skills.
  • Complex buff/debuff system makes player use straight attacks less often.
  • Lots of different types of fundamentally different attacks. Robot flan or whatever in particular is good example, he's got pretty much all the common normal attacks and I still rarely used the same thing more then twice in a row.
  • Combo system works to further buff system and use of different attacks, since you get the most EXP by far by doing craptons of damage in one turn.
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Guert
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2008, 03:40:14 AM »

Alright, then we'll start the first workshop this weekend. As for now, just keep posting your questions here. And please, restrain yourself from posting discussions/debates in this thread because it will become hectic to sort everything Smiley I'd also like to mention that this idea was also's Derek, I don't want to hog all the attention...

So, let's post questions people!

Here's one from my side...

The design document: how to create one and use it efficiently?
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2008, 04:34:04 AM »

Oh the silent protagonist would be interesting!  But so would jRPG's...
Agreed. Grin

Here's one:

How to better implement NPC interactions? Specifically making the conversations feel less "one dimensional."
I suppose this applies mostly to RPGs and adventure games. However I can see it being applied accross a wider spectrum of genres. Huh?
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2008, 07:41:48 AM »

Here's one from my side...

The design document: how to create one and use it efficiently?

One thing I'd love to see covered in that: When do you know a design document is needed as an indie?
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 07:53:37 AM »

My question:
-Inspiration tips for when you need to create several original levels (for example for a puzzle type game).
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Guert
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 08:47:31 AM »

Good questions Smiley I've added them to the list. Keep them coming! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2008, 09:22:10 AM »

Awesome idea. Can't wait for this to begin. Kiss

Subject suggestion: Jon Blow once said World of Warcraft was not "ethical" because people played it because they were addicted, and not because they were having fun (or something along these lines). What games are ethical or unethical and why? What makes a game fun and what makes it addictive? Is it really bad for a game to be more addictive than fun?
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2008, 11:47:46 AM »

Can't wait to discuss the silent protagonist!
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Inane
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 07:58:39 PM »

Subject suggestionnn: 3D platforming, y'know, how to make it fuckin' work, and be fun.
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2008, 08:45:34 PM »

Subject suggestionnn: 3D platforming, y'know, how to make it fuckin' work, and be fun.

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Guert
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2008, 05:37:40 AM »

Alright added the new suggestions as well as Akhel's. The first topic is up. What should be the next in line (it won't be up for at least 2 weeks)?
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2008, 05:03:55 AM »

Here is a suggestion:
The problem with Interactive Fiction
I know this title will sound provocative to many people who think that IF is perfect as it is. But I have identified a couple of problem that IMO make IF games less interesting than they could be and we could also discuss ways to make IF games more appealing to the general public.
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