Game Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: The Panzer At Heaven's Vault

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 21 April 2019 - 7:28pm

This week's roundup includes a Panzer Dragoon series classic postmortem, impressions of the eagerly awaited Heaven's Vault, as well as secret MMO servers, homebrew Game Boy Games & the return of D& D. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Postmortem: Skirmish Line - by Tony Hua

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 April 2019 - 8:04am
Roughly 3 years in the making, Skirmish Line was a first project, indie "success" story. Here's what I've learned making my first game, and how new and old indies can get some pointers for their own projects.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: The Panzer At Heaven's Vault - by Simon Carless

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 April 2019 - 7:18am
This week's roundup includes a classic postmortem of Sega's seminal Panzer Dragoon series, impressions of the eagerly awaited Heaven's Vault, as well as secret MMO servers, homebrew Game Boy Games, the return of D&D, and much more besides.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

China's game approval rules will soon apply to HTML5 and WeChat mini-games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 19 April 2019 - 10:08am

China's game approval process has undergone a lot of change in the past year or so, including a full-on freeze for most of 2018, but more changes are set to hit the program this month. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troll Games - Design a golden path - by Diego Ricchiuti

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 April 2019 - 6:51am
Troll/raging games can teach us a lot about how to the design a golden path and how use it to motivate the players.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to publish mobile game, and avoid making my mistakes - by Eugene Litvynov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 April 2019 - 6:48am
Hey game devs, I would like to share my story of a game launch. I would like to tell about traps, lie in wait for indie-developer while he works with publisher.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Morality of Anti-Heroes in Video Games: Why it's Fun to be the 'Bad Guy' - by Katrina Filippidis

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 April 2019 - 6:36am
Video game heroes are bastions of virtue admired by players far and wide - but what about villains? Why are some of us drawn to nefarious characters, and what does that say about us?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Make Catchy Collectibles - by Josh Bycer

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 April 2019 - 6:32am
Collectibles have been a longstanding way of keeping players distracted, and I'm going to go over some of the important points when it comes to making them an effective time killer.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

THE AIRY PEAKS – THE TOWN OF FOOT. PART 3 (06)

Gnome Stew - 19 April 2019 - 4:20am

Let us continue our look at the town of Foot from last article.

7. The Carpenter. This shop smells like sawdust as soon as you enter it. There’s wood, stain, saws, hammers, levels, crank drills, chisels, and all other manner of tool and wood around the shop. Sarah Hanner is a short stocky and well muscled woman in her late 30’s. Healthy and always wearing a wry smile. Sarah specializes in furniture and the wooded parts of a wide variety of farm equipment while also being able to patch up buildings that have seen better days. She loves her work and does a wonderful job, even if she’s sometimes a little late.

8. Fredmon’s Thread and Stitch. Fredmon Tailor comes from a long line of tailors but came to the Airy Peaks to seek adventure. Then he lost his foot to a spikey mawed beastie. After than he decided to get back to his roots and sew for adventurer’s instead of going on adventures. Fredmon can work with cloth and leather while being quite versed in the layering of a variety of materials and cloths. He often works quite close with Kurnig on the undergarments of armor.

The shop is a clean place with a variety of different sets of clothing displayed on wooden mannequins. It’s all functional dress for farmers and adventurer’s which gives the clothing a high contrast. Fredmon also specializes in bags and pouches for every day adventuring, seed carrying, and any other function a bag could serve.

9. The Torn Page. Lillard Copse is a wizened old man who wears glasses, can barely see, and is stooped over with age. That is, until the sun goes down. Once the sun dips out of view this old man straightens up, moves with the vigor of someone half his age, and can see just fine.

The shop is filled with books and mpas which he buys and sells. Some are from adventurers and others are more mysterious in origin. Even though he has tons of maps, those maps are all quite contradictory in their descriptions and depictions. If asked, Lillard is convinced the Peaks might even move and rearrange themselves, or at least the Fire Tube Tunnels do.

10. The Goblin Wares. Jacob Flack is a thin unassuming man with brown hair, who runs one of the most common shops in town in one of the more unique locations. His shop is in a tunnel just inside one of the entrances to the Airy Peaks. The shops entrance is marked by a wooden sign with a goblin painted on it with its eyes xed out.

The shop is just a small cavern lit by oil lanterns and an torch that burns with a magical light that never consumes and never goes out. On the walls are mesh nets and hanging from them are all manner of weapons, larger adventuring gear, and armor. There are crates stacked in rows with potions, rope, pouches, trinkets, small devices, and the other smaller, more portable things one might find useful when traversing the Airy Peaks.

Sometimes special things find their way into the Goblin Wares, sold to Jacob by adventurers who don’t know what they have. This is also the place that gear gets shipped to from the outside world. If you want to show how the gear changes from week to week in the Goblin Wares you can make this move every third time the party makes camp or when you have decided that a week or so has passed.

When time has passed roll 2d6 + nothing. On a hit a delivery occurs and restock according to the refresh. On a 10+ roll a d10 twice. Each roll adds the interesting item listed below to the goblin wares. On a 12+ a magic item finds its way into the Goblin Wares. Create the magic item and place it in the shop. On a miss the refresh doesn’t happen.

Special Item List
  1. Hunters Bow
  2. Dueling Rapier
  3. Elvish Arrows
  4. Elven Bread
  5. Oil of Tagit
  6. Bloodweed
  7. Goldenroot
  8. Serpent’s Tears
  9. Bag of Books
  10. Edged Black Steel Weapon. Add 2 piercing and 100 coins to any edged weapon

Black Steel Weapons come from the Dragon Fire Forges within the Airy Peaks. Edged weapons forged there have 2 piercing.

Jacob’s has the following on hand when an Airy Peaks campaign starts:

Dungeon Gear
  • Adventuring Gear (x100)
  • Bandages (x10)
  • Healing Potion (x4 refreshed 1d4-1 to a max of 4)
  • Antitoxin (x1 refreshed to a max of 1)
  • Dungeon Rations (x 50)
  • Dwarven Hardtack (x3 refreshed by 1 to a max of 3)
  • Halfling Pipeleaf (x1 refreshed to a max of 1)
Armor
  • Leather (x3 refreshed by 1 to a max of 3)
  • Chainmail (x3 refreshed by 1 to a max of 3)
  • Scale Mail (x2 refreshed by 1 to a max of 2)
  • Plate (x1 refreshed by 1 to a max of 1)
  • Shield (x3 refreshed by 1 to a max of 3)
Weapons
  • Ragged Bow (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Crossbow (x3 refreshed by 3 to a max of 3)
  • Bundle of Arrows (x20 refreshed by 5 to max of 20)
  • Club (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Staff (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Dagger (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Throwing Dagger (x3 refreshed by 3 to a max of 3)
  • Short Sword (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Axe (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Warhammer (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Mace (x5 refreshed by 5 to a max of 5)
  • Spear (x3 refreshed by 3 to a max of 3)
  • Long Sword (x3 refreshed by 3 to a max of 3)
  • Battle Axe (x3 refreshed by 3 to a max of 3)
  • Halberd (x3 refreshed by 3 to a max of 3)
  • Rapier (x1 refreshed by 1 to a max of 1)

Ok folks. I’ve reached my word count limit for this installment so next time we’ll be talking more about the town of Foot. Enjoy and we’ll get back to it next month.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Star Trek Adventures: Nest in the Dark

New RPG Product Reviews - 18 April 2019 - 12:07pm
Publisher: Modiphius
Rating: 4
It's always a bit disconcerting when your warp drive fails. The Synopsis explains what is going on, and what the party will have to do to resolve the situation, and there are notes explaining where to fit this adventure within the timelines of several Star Trek eras, although it's intended to fall in the TNG era of play.

The action begins during a routine trip to check on a lost probe. Just around shift change on the bridge of the party's starship the warp drive fades away and a whole shed-load of alarms go off. Once they have figured out the immediate cause - a massive subspace field - they can then discover some other unnerving problems. They are off-course, and time is acting oddly as well. There's a remarkably strange sight on the viewscreen as well. Figuring all this out is likely to be quite difficult, but some detailed information on likely rolls to discover what's out there are provided and the party ought to get there with a little nudging and the expenditure of some Momentum. There is a wealth of information for the GM to take on board and disseminate as appropriate - this is an adventure that will benefit from some prep time in getting your head around what's going on before you run it!

By the end of the initial investigatory phase, the party should be curious and filled with wonder at finding something hitherto unheard of. They shouldn't feel threatened. To begin with, what they have encountered hasn't even noticed them, and once it does, it's only curious about them. Yet... that disruptive field is only going to cause problems: the anomaly is on course for a Federation outpost! However, when the anomaly gets curious, it starts trying to find out what it has encountered, resulting in a series of puzzles for the party to figure out (once they realise that they *are* puzzles, that is!). Interestingly, a range of variant puzzles are provided for the GM to choose depending on whether the party is more Command or Science orientated. All are well-supported with suggestions of how to solve them, as well as providing the answers. It's important to understand Extended Tasks for this adventure.

Eventually, the party will meet with an individual, or manifestation, with which they can communicate. Or at least try to... the concepts and background understood by this representative are truly alien, and should prove entertaining (if a bit of a challenge) for the GM to role-play. There's plenty of guidance to help, though, and suggestions as to what can be said and explained. The immediate need is to persuade them to change course, which once the message is got across, they will agree to do so. The adventure concludes with the likely aftermath of this encounter and a few suggestions for further adventures.

This is a very cerebral adventure, which some groups might find dull - others will be entranced and thoroughly enjoy meeting something so unusual and possibly unique. It will need thoughtful GMing to make it work well, but should prove memorable when done well with the right group, capturing the real essence of exploration.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Burnout Paradise's online servers are shutting down after 11 years

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 18 April 2019 - 10:05am

Criterion Games is shutting down the servers for its 2008 game Burnout Paradise, a decision that affects the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions of the game. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

What Happens When Game Artists Design a Mural - by Tudor Morris

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 April 2019 - 8:33am
While 99% of the time we're using our skills to make games, sometimes we get to use them to create something truly special—in this case a mural for a hospital room in partnership with Momentum Children's Charity.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

5 Basic Steps in Creating Balanced In-Game Economy - by Darina Emelyantseva

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 April 2019 - 7:33am
The article addresses creating an in-game balance and will be interesting to anyone who takes part in the creation of games, especially producers and game designers.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Good intro vs. Great intro. What makes a game prologue gripping? - by Anton Slashcev

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 April 2019 - 7:32am
An article about what methods great game prologues use to grip players attention, as well as about which goals they strive to achieve.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Referencing Objects: Names vs GUIDs - by Niklas Gray

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 April 2019 - 7:29am
A comparison of the main ways to reference objects: names and GUIDs.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gnomecast #64 – Shadow of the Century with Mike Olson and Morgan Ellis

Gnome Stew - 18 April 2019 - 5:00am

Join Jared for an interview with Mike Olson and Morgan Ellis, two of the developers who worked on Shadow of the Century from Evil Hat Productions as a follow-up to Jared’s review of the product here. Will this interview be enough to keep the Review Gnome (and his guests!) out of the stew this week?

Download: Gnomecast #64 – Shadow of the Century with Mike Olson and Morgan Ellis

Follow Mike Olson at @devlin1 on Twitter.

Follow Morgan Ellis at @mc_ellis on Twitter.

Follow Jared at @KnightErrant_JR on Twitter and his blog What Do I Know?

Keep up with all the gnomes by visiting gnomestew.com, following @gnomestew on Twitter, or visiting the Gnome Stew Facebook Page. Subscribe to the Gnome Stew Twitch channel, check out Gnome Stew Merch, and support Gnome Stew on Patreon!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lights in the dark: How Ashen's design sets it apart from other 'Soulslikes'

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 18 April 2019 - 12:27am

Creative director Derek Bradley opens up about the design of A44's remarkable Soulslike Ashen, and discusses how subtle art and design choices set it apart from the bleak worlds of From Software. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kickstarter's games category surpasses $1 billion in pledges

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 April 2019 - 2:38pm

Games on Kickstarter have brought in over $1 billion in pledges, though it†™s a milestone that includes both board games and video games. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Trion Worlds is shutting down Atlas Reactor this summer

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 April 2019 - 10:14am

The developer has already shut down in-game purchases and servers are set to go offline for good this June. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video game music composer gives lecture at the Library of Congress - by Winifred Phillips

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 17 April 2019 - 7:32am
On April 6th, composer Winifred Phillips delivered the 1st game music composition lecture ever given at the Library of Congress, as part of their first-ever video game music event. This article includes a partial transcript of the lecture's Q&A session.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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