Ranking Systems 01 - What is Skill May 17, 2019

A Ranking Systems is a core element of every competitive game. Every game in which a player plays against another player need to have some way to rank them and compare the relative skill of each other. It happens for video games, but also sport (e.g., the FIFA ranking for football) or other games (e.g., FIDE Chess Ranking). Comparing stuff is in the human nature.

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May 2019 Update May 1, 2019

April has been strange. It has been a month of festivities, rain, and food: a lot of it. But it has also been a month that felt very fast and yet swamped. I did a lot in April, and however it felt so dumb.

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Five game design flaws of Quidditch and how to fix them Apr 20, 2019

I am re-reading Harry Potter for the n-th time. Even it Rowling if trying hard to make me hate it, Harry Potter heptology still have a special place in my hearth. However, there is something I have always hated: Quidditch. It never made sense to me and I always found reading the Quidditch parts very boring. It looks like a game invented by someone who does not know a lot about sports and games.

Reading those parts for the n-th times made me realize that Quidditch may be a good way to showcase common rookie mistakes done by people approaching game-design for the first time (and it also provide meaning for my struggle). So, that’s what we will do today!

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Boardgames may be good for your mental health Apr 11, 2019

As developers — especially game developers — we are naturally attracted to digital games: after all, video games are what we do; right? We are immersed in that world, we thrive for it, we learn from it, we discuss it. Because of that, we tend to forget physical games; in particular boardgames. However, boardgames may be much more than a simple alternative to multiplayer video game; they may be the best defense against mental health problems.

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April 2019 Update Apr 2, 2019

Luck is not on my side. I went to Milan for business, I’ve got the flu and stayed in the hotel room for the entire week. Is this a glorious waste of time and money? Probably. However, luck is a matter of attitude. So I have to think to this event as an important opportunity for reflection. (Yeah, I know…)

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Game Design: Gathering Quests Sucks Mar 13, 2019

Some years ago I was playing one of those big AAA games, an epic RPG saga, a staple of single player games. While I was leading my army against the forces of evil, in one of the first outposts I meet a guy with a quest. What an epic quest it will ever be? What dangerous task requires the intervention of an epic hero?

“Collect 10 herbs.”

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March 2019 Update Mar 8, 2019

This month I am a bit late; I have good reasons! A lot of things happened in between the end of February and the begin of March. So, it is better not to lose more time.

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The time I forgot how to relax Feb 18, 2019

It was the summer of 2018. I was a bit burnt out by a mix of anxiety, work and a bloody hot week. So, I decided to go to my parent’s mountain house. The plan was straightforward: go there, disconnect from the world, write fiction, read books, do long walks in nature. I wanted to do the things I used to do a long time ago when life was breezy :D.

However, after just one day, I found myself doing the same things I usually do at home: checking news, looking for interesting, reading opinions, checking Twitter and so on. It was then that: I did not know how to relax anymore. I did not know how to be creative anymore.

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February 2019 Update Jan 31, 2019

Here we are again on this monthly update in which I talk about everything and nothing — a small summary of what I am doing, arranging and brewing, both on tech than in life.

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Small introduction to Random Walking Jan 17, 2019

Random Walking is a handy technique to have in your gamdev toolbelt and - despite the name - it is most useful for everything but actual walking. With random walking, we define the output of a process that can be described sequence of random steps. The main difference with a random sequence is that each new value will be statistically near the previous one. Imagine a gold price chart and assume that the current cost is 10€ for 1g of gold. We cannot guess what will be the price in one hour but we can be sure that it will be around 10€ per gram, maybe 9.5€, maybe 10.5€. What is certain, is that a sudden drop to 1€ per gram would be deeply unlikely.

In this article, we will talk briefly about random walking and its ability to simulate many real-world processes such as resources prices, temperature, floating objects position over time, and much more.

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