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10 things we learned about games in 2020. Well, that was quite a year wasn’t it?

10 things we learned about games in 2020

Back in January, nobody could have foreseen how 2020 would play out – the sheer scale, impact and tragedy of the Covid Pandemic has been bewildering. But what’s fascinating is how games have provided both a respite from, and a commentary on, the state of the world, and we’ve learned a lot about why we play. It’s also been a year of technological change and game design innovation – so here are some of the key themes of a weird twelve months. If there’s one thing the wider world has learned from lockdown it’s that online multiplayer games are wonderful places to meet with friends and colleagues when you can’t do it in person. The Xbox and PlayStation networks almost collapsed as titles like Fortnite and Fall Guys became a less intense, more playful alternative to the dreaded Zoom call. Getting more with less: Six high-yield design patterns.

Matthew Emery is a mobile games consultant and the owner of Turbine Games Consulting.

Getting more with less: Six high-yield design patterns

This article was first posted on LinkedIn, and has been reposted with permission from the author. "We have tons of ideas, but what should we do first? " Having worked with over 30 game teams as a product consultant, I've been surprised by how often developers fail to frame the prioritization problem correctly. As a result, I've seen teams spend months agonizing over important product decisions as they repeatedly second-guess themselves. Loopholes in Game Design » I had just finished working on my latest card game; I was rather chuffed with it: the rules were elegant and nuanced: there was a wealth of strategies you could use in the game.

Loopholes in Game Design »

I explained the rules to two friends, and they began to play. I was expecting them to be amazed with the game. Instead, I was amazed with how one had managed to find a neat little trick to — unexpectedly — win the game: a loophole! After the discovery, the game was never the same. Untitled. Start [Level Design Patterns] - Sound Design in Games. Start [RPG Design Patterns] Wikidb. Three perspectives on strategy game design. 9 Tips for Indie Game Developers I Learned at GDC 2013 - Tuts+ When I attended GDC 2013 I spent most of my time at the Independent Game Developers Summit where I got to hear many successful indie developers talk about how their projects succeeded and how they've stayed in business through both success and failure.

9 Tips for Indie Game Developers I Learned at GDC 2013 - Tuts+

In this article I'll go over the tips I found most useful, and the ones I believe will help you be the best developer you can be. Whenever possible, reuse existing elements, rather than creating new ones.Andy Hull In Hull's mini-talk, he discussed the work he did on the indie game Spelunky when it was being brought to the Xbox 360, and how his experience as a wooden toy designer helped him. One of the things he discussed was the fact that when you are designing a wooden toy, which actually has to be mass-produced, every aspect of the product has the potential to drastically increase the price of production.

Even something as simple as adding an extra paint color increases the time and money that go into the production of a toy. Rewards and Reward Schedules in Gamification - Andrzej's Blog. Anyone who has read a few of my blogs will, by now, be under the impression that I am not the biggest fan of rewards.

Rewards and Reward Schedules in Gamification - Andrzej's Blog

Well, that is not entirely how I feel. Those that have read earlier blogs may remember something I said – “Rewards should recognise achievement, not be the achievement”. I also found myself saying in an email “Gamification at the moment is often nothing more than an attempt to illicit Pavlovian responses to external stimuli”. I know, how up myself does that sound – but it’s true. The way many people are using rewards are as a way to encourage people to do things – like giving a dog a biscuit for rolling over on command Rewards can Work.

That is not to say this can’t work, but for many there comes a point where that is not enough, especially if you don’t plan the rewards correctly. I recently heard that the best way to use rewards is totally randomly. Back to Player Journey. 5 problems with co-op game design (and possible solutions) If you're making a co-op video game and it feels like an overwhelming task, don't worry -- it's not just you who feels this way.

5 problems with co-op game design (and possible solutions)

"Designing for co-op is basically designing in hard mode," said Tanya Short, senior gameplay designer at Funcom, speaking at the Montreal International Game Summit this week. "Your players will not only complain about your game, they'll start complaining about each other. " But she argued that the benefits of co-op play far outweigh the negatives -- as long as the co-op is integral to the game design. "Right now there is a lot of parallel play," she said. "Developers think that they can get the benefit of co-op games without actually letting players work together. Her first warning was to disavow any thoughts that co-operative mechanics should exclude considering the competitive implications. "It's very difficult to [keep players from] competing, unless you do not reward the players for anything they do," she said.

"You're not the protagonist anymore. 29 Features to Build ANY Table Top Game. HomeBlog 29 Features to Build ANY Table Top Game I've looked through the games I've played, and some others floating around, and worked up a list of 29 features that ou need to support to build pretty much any tabletop game.

29 Features to Build ANY Table Top Game

The full overview is on YouTube, and the full list is after the embedded video for the impatient. I run down the full list of all 29 features at the end of the video, but here it is for the impatient: Having to do with players: Richard Terrell's Blog - Game Design Dictionary. Richard Terrell's Blog - Game Design Dictionary. Critical-Gaming_glossary_Richard_Terrell.pdf (application/pdf Object) David Perry on Game Design: Game Conventions and Clichés. Boss Design: Tips From A Combat Designer « #AltDevBlogADay.

Translate. Art game thoughts re Chain World. At GDC, there was a Game Design Challenge (I’ve participated in one of these, in the distant past!).

Art game thoughts re Chain World

This year the topic was religion. And you’re going to need to know everything about what happened to make sense of this post. Jason Rohrer won the challenge, with a game that was a Minecraft mod with very particular rules. The big rule to know about is that it’s a game played sequentially, with the world having persistence, so that each player gets to see the remnants of what the previous player left behind, but with no explanation. This is supposed to engender the sort of mystery that in real world leads to myths and thence religions. Driving User Behavior with Game Dynamics.

Balance, Part 1: Tao of Picasso « Tish Tosh Tesh. If perfect balance is accurately represented by the Taoist notion of Yin and Yang (ignoring three-faction design, Rock-Paper-Scissors and pretty much any class or skill based system)… Next time, more pictures, Street Fighter, Druids and *gasp*… Color!

Balance, Part 1: Tao of Picasso « Tish Tosh Tesh

Balance, Part 2: Asymmetry and Art « Tish Tosh Tesh. Continued from Part 1, of course… The left and right sides of this diagram are balanced.

Balance, Part 2: Asymmetry and Art « Tish Tosh Tesh

The left and right sides of this diagram are also balanced. These, too. …but what of these? Or these? Balance, Part 3: Systems, Defaults and Munchkins « Tish Tosh Tesh. Balance Part 1: Tao of Picasso Balance Part 2: Asymmetry and Art …and now for something a little more concrete. I’m taking a look at the backbone of character progression in a game I’m designing and digging a little into why I’m making my choices and how I’m incorporating “balance” within the game, specifically how it relates to pacing and balancing player abilities against the game’s design. (I’ll handle other balancing aspects of the systems in another article.) Balance, Part 4: Triangles, Trinity and Triage « Tish Tosh Tesh. Balance, Part 1: Tao of Picasso Balance, Part 2: Asymmetry and Art. Balance, Part 5: Tick Talk Time « Tish Tosh Tesh.

Time is an interesting thing in games. At a very basic level, you usually have the power to pause a game. Some games play with time more explicitly, as the recent Prince of Persia games have. Yet others take time manipulation even further, like Braid‘s suite of time-bending mechanics, or maybe just temporal echoes like The Misadventures of P.

B. Winterbottom. 101 Game Design Principles for Social Media. Game design principles are often incorporated into social media (gamification). The reason is that games are downright addictive. Game-like features can increase user engagement — encouraging desired behaviour from customers, partners and employees. Everything I Learned About Game Design I Learned From Disneyland. As promised, here are the slides from my GDC talk. We had a "sold out" crowd and I got to meet lots of nice people after the talk. Please share these with your friends and co-workers. According to show officials, video and audio will be available after the show. SCVNGR's Secret Game Mechanics Playdeck.

Some companies keep a playbook of product tips, tricks and trade secrets. Game Design, Psychology, Flow, and Mastery - Articles - Fail-safes in Competitive Game Design: A Detailed Example. I'd like to take an in-depth look at an example of designing balance into a game through the use of fail-safes. Although I'm choosing a fighting game, the lessons should apply to many types of games.

Game Design, Psychology, Flow, and Mastery - Articles - Slippery Slope and Perpetual Comeback. If a game has slippery slope, it means that falling behind causes you to fall even further behind. For example, imagine that every time your team scored in basketball that the opponent’s team lost a player. Game Design, Psychology, Flow, and Mastery - Articles - Yomi Layer 3: Knowing the Mind of the Opponent.

This is not really how Yomi works.Yomi is the Japanese word reading, as in reading the mind of the opponent. If you can condition your enemy to act in a certain way, you can then use his own instincts against him (a concept from the martial art of Judo). Paramount in the design of competitive games is the guarantee to the player that if he knows what his enemy will do, there is some way to counter it. Game Design, Psychology, Flow, and Mastery - Articles - Rock, Paper, Scissors in Strategy Games.

Game Design : The Addiction Element.