Far Enough - Part 14

Posted in Design Articles

APR 15 2014 
Far Enough - Part 14
I'm definitely not dead! In fact, it's party time! Today we go about discerning the optimum size and makeup of the RPG party.

The RPG party configuration is a deceptively important design aspect - after all, the limitation in size/makeup is what you will base your entire battle system's balance around. Yet, it seems like innumerable designers are content with the standard 3- or 4-person party, solely because "Final Fantasy does it and that's popular." Is the size constriction purely mechanical/technical, though, or is there more to it than that?

Full Article »


Author: Space Lizard

The Drop - Version 1.32 + Big News!

Posted in Site News

MAR 27 2014 
The Drop - Version 1.32 + Big News!
The newest version of The Drop is now available! Unlike the previous minor updates, you really should download this one. Why? If you haven't guessed yet, then check the details inside!

If you're reading this, The Drop Version 1.32 is now available for download from both the regular download link and the Steam Workshop! Why is this one so special? Well, an idea I've had for some time has finally come to fruition, and hopefully you can wring a few more hours out of The Drop while I'm still working on How Far. Maybe. Anyway, here are the change notes.

Full Article »


Author: Space Lizard

Game Dev Survival Guide - Delicious Health Bars

Posted in Design Articles

MAR 24 2014 
Game Dev Survival Guide - Delicious Health Bars
Thus begins a new side-series exploring some tips and tricks in the world of game development. The inaugural entry will give a brief overview of what to expect from the series. In addition, today's trick is all about rendering your game's interface health bars.

After you've churned out a few games, you start to pick up on some patterns and tricks to get the results you want (as opposed to "settling for whatever I can get out of the box"). The same can be said of any creative pursuit, of course, and as with other hobbies, there is no one reference or source that will tell you everything you need to know. Game development is no different - in fact, with so many bases to cover, it's even worse. You're not just working in one material (whether it be wood or code): you're building dozens of elements from the ground up and fitting them together into a suitable presentation, all the while knowing that your player cannot truly appreciate the inner workings like you do. Sure, your environment of choice may have some pre-fabricated pieces in place, but what if you want to learn how to tweak them to your own liking? Or, to create your own from scratch?

Thus, this series will take on the "little things" in game development, bit by bit, that aspiring designers may take for granted. At times, I'll try to incorporate some theory and comp-sci elements too that will hopefully inspire a creative mind into learning about the inner workings of video games. I will try to make my examples as language-agnostic as I can, though I'll also post Ruby code where applicable when RPG Maker examples are concerned. At best, this will be a learning experience; at least, I hope it inspires a second look into how all those little pieces come together to form a product.

And, as personal tradition states, I won't be diving headlong into the "major" aspects of game design that have been done to death. Rather, I'll try to ferret out meaning from the more fringe elements: interface objects, math tricks, coding algorithms and shortcuts, file formats, and other under-appreciated aspects. Thus, this series will be a little more tech-heavy than my regular design articles, but I'll try to explain things thoroughly.

Full Article »


Author: Space Lizard