Category GameDev

Utility-based AI for Games

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Finite-State Machines (FSM) are the bread-and-butter of game AI due to their simplicity (both in implementation and theory) and effectiveness. As such, FSMs are the topic of many tutorials and guides. Unfortunately, most of them focus on the States part of FSM. After all, they are called Finite-State Machines, so you expect that states are the critical part. Well, no. The critical part is the other: transitions. Transitions can make or break your AI independently of how carefully crafted the states are.

Unity Artificial Intelligence Programming – Fifth Edition

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Hey, everyone. As you know, I am not particularly present recently (I need to find out how to handle this blog while my interests spread out on non-technical stuff, but this is something for another time). However, I am back with an announcement: I have recently published the fifth edition of Unity Artificial Intelligence Programming. Not only have I updated the book for Unity 2022, but the book is also a massive improvement over the last edition in terms of code quality and consistency (and I really need to thank Kazimieras Mikelis for the extensive and detailed review).

"How Small Open-World Games Feel Big" by Razbuten

Razbuten always nails it (great minds think alike, they say 😃). In this short video, he explains a game design aspect that I started to notice exactly after playing A Small Hike. I have nothing to add on this subject and I really recommend Razbuten’s video. The only major difference is that I 100%-completed Ghost of Tsushima, but there are many other personal reasons for that. 😃

The Grammar of Game Design

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Game Design is a kind of language. It has basic elements, it has rules, and we use it to express specific sensations. Therefore, as a language, it has a proper grammar with its alphabet, its morphology, and its syntax and semantic. In this article I’ll briefly try to exapand this thought.

"Crafting Is (Kinda) Pointless" by Razbuten

This is a very interesting analysis of crafting in modern games. Crafting systems are everywhere but they are often just glorified menus. I agree with Razbuten a lot on this. So check it out!

Hades: a case study in storytelling for roguelike games

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I know, I know: everybody loves Hades, the Super Giant’s latest jewel. These days, it is impossible to read any online game magazine without reading articles about it. This game has been on everybody’s mouth since its official release on September 17th.

And for good reasons.

Hades managed to raise the bar of the roguelike genre just when the genere started to become stale and boring. There are many reasons for this success but, in my opinion, Hades’ greatest accomplishment is that it was able to provide a glaring example of a roguelike with a solid storytelling.

Five Tabletop Games for Creating Stuff

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We already know that Procedural Content Generation (PCG) is a masterful tool for building games. But can PGC become a game by itself? This seems a silly question at first. After all, what is the purpose of generating something if we do not use it afterward?

However, if you think that a bit more, you know that there is something else. If you are interested in PCG, you know that most enjoyment comes from the creation itself.

Therefore, the question is easy: of course, that PCG can be a game! And to prove that, I am going to show you five of the most beautiful examples of that I played in recent years.

And so you want to choose a Fantasy Console

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Making a game on a Fantasy Console is one of the best activity for any game development enthusiast. This small, curated, nostalgic “emulators” for consoles that never existed can bring you back to a simpler time when hardware was less capable and developer needed to make every bit of memory and every pixel count.

There is always a reason to play with a Fantasy Console. If you are an experienced developer, Fantasy Consoles represents a good challenge. If you are a new developer, Fantasy Consoles allows you to focus on the game and on the basics of game development without being side-tracked by all the bells and whistles of modern game engines.

So, how can we chose the right one?

The Great Convergence of AAA Games

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Let’s be honest: nowadays, almost every AAA game looks the same. They are all action games with RGP elements and a crafting system and some kind of open world. It is almost like playing the same game over and over again. The latest God of War (2018) is a good example of this year-long trend in the gaming industry that I called The Convergence. Let’s talk a bit about this.

What makes a story a good story

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At the beginning of January, I put my hands on a dirty cheap Play Station 4 because, in the new house, I have no space for a gaming PC. Since then, I decided to make up for a bunch of games I missed in the last years starting from these two: Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games, 2017) and The Last of Us (Naughty Dog, 2013). I approached them with diametrically opposed expectations, and in both cases, my expectations were very wrong. So I started asking myself why I was wrong and what I look for in games and narrative media.