Category GameDev

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.

Unity Game Optimization is now available!

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The new edition of Unity Game Optimization is finally out! I already announced that in my December monthly update, but I think it is worth to spend a bit more words on it.

Apple Arcade made my mobile gaming fun again

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It is about a month that I am trying Apple Arcade on my iPad. During this month, I realized that it made my iPad a totally legitimate gaming platform. I had zero games on my phone and my iPad; now, I have four, and two of them were meaningful experiences. In short: I had fun on a mobile platform after years.

Why I love Narration Through Discovery

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Yesterday I was reflecting about an interesting fact: in the list of “my favorite games of all times,” the top 10 is packed with games that share all a common element. The games are: Dark Souls Dark Souls II Well… every game of the soulborne genre. Hollow Knight The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild And more. Can you guess what they all have in common? Sure, they all have a decadent setting (the world is falling or is recovering after a cataclysm), but there is a way more common design element: narration through discovery.

Five game design flaws of Quidditch and how to fix them

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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!

Game Design: Gathering Quests Sucks

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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.”

Small introduction to Random Walking

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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.