Game Design

Articles or blogs about designing games of all kinds.
Ombwah's picture

The Hanna-Barbera Effect in MMORPG's

Scooby and Shaggy slink towards the kitchen of the creepy old house. As they pass a painting, it is hard not to notice that the eye holes are shaded in an entirely different palette than the rest of the scene. A lighter shade of paint that made it clear to the experienced Scooby-watcher what was to come. See, in all of those early Hanna-Barbera cartoons, anything that was going to animate would be drawn in a lighter color than the backdrop scenes. We knew that a ghostly bad guy was going to peer malignantly at our heroes through the eyes of the painting because the eyes were painted in that 'active element' color. Deliberate or not, it removed any suspense that the Scooby gang tales might have carried. Read more»

Ombwah's picture

Names are magic

To name a thing is to... what?
In many myths, to name a thing is to control it. At the very least, knowing the name of a thing, the real name, the name that meant precisely what that thing was, gave someone great power over the thing. Still, plenty don't recall names well at all, especially in stories like those found in movies or books. It might be argued that Shakespeare's characters could be said to imply that names aren't so meaningful after all. Or maybe what's really being said there is, that they are. So, this makes me wonder; Are names important in our games too? Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

GCDC: Game stories shouldn’t be more complex

GCDC: Game stories shouldn’t be more
- Videogames shouldn’t try and develop more
complex stories, because designers haven’t found a way
to make it work well enough, according to two of the
industry’s longest-serving storytellers
[ news]

Huh, that sounds like it might have been an interesting talk. I'm not sure that I agree - or disagree - with either of them, to be honest. I suppose that might be because I don't think the question itself, "should game stories offer more complex choices," is at all relevant. Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

User Generated Content makes me think...

EIF: "Our consumers are the stars," says
- Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that
developers must give the player tools to create the games of
the future, revealing that the publisher has a secret game in
the works with a primary focus on user-generated
[ news]

From my perspective, the recent rush towards "user generated content" (UGC) has been a mild amusement. No, I don't think UGC is bad, or anything of the sort, but I do find the idea that it's "new" to be very, very funny. Read more»

Snipehunter's picture

Stagnant MMO design has become standard, argues Garriott

Stagnant MMO design has become standard, argues
- Tabula Rasa and Ultima Online developer Richard
Garriott believes that MMO publishers and developers owe it
to the consumer to innovate in a market where stagnant game
design has become standard.
[ news]

It's interesting; I have to admit that I'm surprised to find that his opinion is, at least in principle, in line with my own. I can't help but wonder why Auto Assault wasn't given more freedom to be different, then. I guess that decision set didn't come from the top at NC... Read more»

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