Archive for the ‘ Game Design ’ Category

First Workshop Postmortem

I held my first workshop today, and I think it went pretty well. A big thanks to all those that attended, and for those that missed, the video tutorial will be up on Saturday afternoon! Check back here for the post with the documentation and video, which will be titled “Learn UDK in a Day Workshop.” Since the workshop went rather well, I think I will be doing a few more over this semester, but, just like with any game project, I figured it would be helpful to write up a short postmortem on the workshop to help understand what went right and wrong. Since this was my first time hosting a workshop, there were, of course, a few things I feel I could have done better, and if you attended and had any feedback, please let me know! I’m taking the feedback from this workshop and applying it to the video, as well as future workshops.

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Tips & Tricks: Let’s Build a Level!

I have an assignment for my advanced level design class where we have to create a level with only three or four lights. I found this assignment to be rather enjoyable, and thought I would share exactly how I built the level. So if you’re interested in my level design process, or just curious how limited lighting can be implemented, keep reading!



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What I Learned at GDC: The Writing of New Vegas

About a week or so ago, I was in Austin, Texas for the Game Developers Conference Online as a Conference Associate. This was my first trip to GDC, and I had a lot of fun, as well as learned a lot. I wasn’t able to attend all of the sessions I wanted to, but the ones I did attend were very insightful for me. As an aspiring writer, I attended a handful of the Narrative sessions as I could, and plan to check out the sessions I missed on the GDC Vault when available. I wanted to share what I learned from GDC, so the next series of posts, “What I Learned at GDC,” will cover just that, starting with this one.


The first session I’d like to talk about was called “Surviving the Apocalypse: The Writing of New Vegas,” lead by John Gonzalez of Obsidian, the Creative Director for Fallout: New Vegas. This was an extremely insightful session, as we got a chance to see firsthand how Obsidian goes about their narrative process. Keep reading to see an outline of the notes I took during the session, along with some of my own comments.


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Making Board Games Leads to Better Video Games

It is a game designer’s job to understand the inner workings of games, a skill that takes some practice to get the hang of. Throughout my college experience, I have found that game design is much different than I had imagined, and requires a lot of puzzle solving and critical thinking skills. One of the most significant aspects of designing a game is mechanics; game mechanics are what make the game interactive and enjoyable. So how does someone like myself, who is looking to make it into the industry, learn the secrets behind creating good mechanics? The answer is simple: make board games.

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MacGyver It!

If you’ve been working with the provided assets in any game editor, you’re probably getting tired of using the same old assets over and over. Maybe you can’t import anything new, so you’re just stuck with what you have. What do you do then? MacGyver it!

When it comes to working with what you have, it seems like a dead end, but this isn’t necessarily true. There are ways of creating things you don’t have out of what you do. You just have to get a bit creative, and remember that the following three methods are going to be your best friends.


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Speed Design Challenge: Ninja Love Massacre

For one of my last assignments in my Game Design Workshop class this semester, we had a speed design challenge. We came into class, split into groups of five, were given ridiculous names from a random name generator for video games, and were told to create a game using the name we were given and a pack of 100 different colored index cards. In the pack of index cards, there were 10 each of the colors pink, purple, green, blue, and yellow, and were given the opportunity to manipulate the cards in any physical way we chose. We were timed on completing different aspects of the challenge, while the goal was to create a fully playable game. The title of our game was Ninja Love Massacre.


Here is an approximate of how the time was to be used in class:
5 minutes to create a concept and rules
5 minutes to make a prototype
5 minutes to play test
5 minutes to revise
5 minutes to play test
5 minutes to revise
5 minutes to play test


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CTF Map – Strife in the Sky

The latest assignment I had for my level design class was to build either a solo or multiplayer map, and seeing as how I’ve never actually made a multiplayer level, I decided to try it out. We had about three weeks to build our levels, and we had to include at least two teams and bases for each, distinguishable landmarks for the different bases, at least two scripted events, and some sort of back story. I completed my level in about two days, give or take, but had a whole lot of fun making it. Keep reading to see screenshots and learn more about the making of the level!


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Tips & Tricks: Making CTF Maps

Making levels for multiplayer maps is like a completely different world than single player maps, which is what I learned this past week when designing a CTF (capture the flag) map for my level design class. The level, which will be featured in a later post, was the the first multiplayer map I have done, and since I am new to making multiplayer levels, I decided to start with something fairly simple: a CTF game. I have had the concept for the level in my head for a while, but multiplayer levels aren’t exactly my forte, considering I like to focus on environmental details. However, I believe I found the right match between aesthetics and making the game fun for more than one person. Keep reading to read some of my tips and tricks on making CTF maps!


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Print and Play: Stop the Oil!

Today in class, I got to present a five minute demo for “Stop the Oil!” Despite my terrible explanation, the game seemed to be fairly popular among on my classmates, who had many questions regarding the game. I’ve also received a lot of interest from friends and family, so I’ve decided to make the game a “print and play” game! Keep reading to find out how you can get this game ready to play at home!


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The Robo-Dino Project (Tentative Title)

The Robo-Dino Project, which is a tentative title, is a 2-D Platformer game I am developing in Game Maker. It is currently only in the design phase, and I am working on a design doc. I’m hoping to later get a programmer, artist, and possibly someone to create sound effects and music tracks for the game. The game is intended to be done in a traditional 8-bit style, with the two main characters, which are controlled by the player on-screen at the same time, being a robot and a dinosaur. The game will feature plenty of puzzles involving utilizing the mechanics to one’s advantage, with the robot being the long-range character and the dinosaur being short-range. The game will have a very fun feel to it, with memorable and silly characters. Character development will play a large part of the game, as will story and most importantly mechanics.  As I stated, the game is only in the design phase as of now, but I have been getting a lot of questions about this project so I thought I’d give a brief overview. I hope to get more updates on this project very soon, and would like to get a small team together for next semester.