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Indie Game Jam 2004: Fun and Frustration in Physics
What videogames can be made in four days with an unfamiliar game engine? Using a game engine developed at a previous IGJ, this year's group created 17 games focused on using the physics from the engine.
| Justin Hall
The End Game: How Top Developers Sold Their Studios - Part One
Dan Lee Rogers has researched the issues surrounding the sale of independent game developers to larger houses--including the financial terms and interviewing key executives, attorneys, and investment firms to help you understand how to be prepared for any sale you might be involved in.
| Dan Lee Rogers
Policing Online Games: Digital Currency
This is an excerpt from Peter Wayner's recently published book, Policing Online Games
. This article examines the concept of digital cash and cash-like elements in games, and the security elements that should go into a digital cash model to defeat cheaters.
| Peter Wayner
The Tools Development of Turbine's Asheron’s Call 2
During development of the original Asheron?s Call
, Turbine created tools as needed, sometimes until late in the process. When development on its sequel, AC2
, began, the team made an effort to be more tools-aware while developing the next-generation engine. Here's the story of their tool development process, and its results.
| Paul Frost
Product Review: Havok 2: All Rag-Dolled Up
In response to what must be an all-too-frequently asked question, Havok 2.0 broadens its scope to include character physics much more prominently over earlier versions. In that sense Havok 2.0 is not an upgrade, it's a whole new product. New demos show off this functionality to good effect over previous releases.
| Justin Lloyd
Structuring Key Design Elements
While a business plan isn't some magical tool for turning game ideas into game concepts, it is an important aid for assessing the requirements of your game idea. This article discusses the relationship between game design and your studio's business processes, and shows how to implement use-case diagrams.
| Erik Bethke
Postmortem: Gas Powered Games' Dungeon Siege
The development of Dungeon Siege
was about much more than the RPG you may have played by now. Dungeon Siege
was a Herculean effort by a small group of people who simultaneously started Gas Powered Games, built their first RPG, and made a hit game.
| Bartosz Kijanka
Designing and Integrating Puzzles in Action-Adventure Games
Puzzles are key to adventure games and can be a crucial component of action-adventure games. They are a source of great satisfaction once solved, and potentially a source of just as much frustration. Everyone remembers quitting a captivating game when stuck with an impossible puzzle, or even being unable to find the puzzle in the first place! Surprisingly, there is very little literature and research dedicated to this major aspect of game design. This feature offers a set of tangible rules for designing and integrating puzzles.
| Pascal Luban
Product Review: A Tale of Two Workstations
The term workstation is often used with some alacrity to describe the computers game artists work on every day. Few, however, would truly be considered an heir to the title passed down from the SGIs of yesteryear. David Stripinis looks at two products that both live up to the title and at least one that redefines the way CG artists can work.
| David Stripinis
Game Design: Secrets of the Sages -- Creating Characters, Storyboarding, and Design Documents
Many developers and publishers have tried desperately to create the next billion-dollar game icon, but a catchy name or cute look often isn't enough. So what's the secret? This chapter contains words of wisdom from many top developers discussing storyboarding, script writing, design documents, and other ways to flesh out your hit game before you type your first line of code
| Marc Saltzman
Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie! III
Its been nearly two years since Ernest Adams last shared the collection of videogame misfeatures, design errors, and personal annoyances he collects as he plays. Some of these are level-design errors or even programming weaknesses, but they're all things that a game designer has at least some influence on.
| Ernest Adams
Pool Hall Lessons: Fast, Accurate Collision Detection Between Circles or Spheres
This feature explains how to detect collisions between two spheres and determine what they'll do after they collide. This is useful not only for games like pool where accurate collision of spheres is key, but also in games where characters and other mobile objects are bounded by spheres, these can be used to quickly determine if they have bumped into each other.
| Joe van den Heuvel,Miles Jackson
Building Character: An Analysis of Character Creation
When we talk about creating a character in a game, we're usually talking about characterization, which is everything observable about a character: what they look like, sound like, how they move, how they dress, intelligence, attitude, career, and so forth. Character, on the other hand, refers to what's underneath ? the human heart, the essential nature. Remember the two things you're trying to do with a character: make an enjoyable and interesting character that a player will want to adopt into his or her life for the next few weeks or months, and create a character that will be different and memorable enough to help you cut through the clutter of the several thousand other games that you'll be competing with for shelf, magazine, and player-awareness space. So at this point try to think, what's interesting? What's cool? What hasn't been done before?
| Steve Meretzky
Postmortem: Poptop Software's Tropico
Poptop Software's latest project is Tropico
, a political game set in an exotic locale. The creators of Railroad Tycoon 2
discuss what went wrong, what went right, and the obstacles they faced in putting the game together, including tools, character development, design, and localization challenges.
| Brent Smith
GDC 2001 Interview: Paul Jaquays
Paul Jaquays has been designing levels for id since 1997, but he's been making games (video as well as tabletop) since 1976. Paul discusses the Game Developers Conference, getting along with programmers, and the ongoing PC-versus-console debate.
| John McLean-Foreman
GDC 2001: Interactive Theme Park Rides
Interactive theme park rides are an unusual breed of entertainment experience. Half video game, half dark ride, interactive rides have their own unique rules about what makes a good show. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean - Battle for the Buccaneer Gold
now at Disney Quest has been called "the best use of VR in an entertainment application - ever".
| Joe Shochet,Terri Banker
Turning a Linear Story into a Game: The Missing Link between Fiction and Interactive Entertainment
The quest for more cinematic games is turning into a huge commercial prospect. To continue its development, the games industry needs to broaden its audience into new segments, including casual gamers and women who are not generally attracted to current videogame offerings. Luring them requires gameplay that takes its cues from what they already know: cinema and literature. This article offers a few tips for designing games that look and feel like movies.
| Pascal Luban,Joël Meziane
Interview with Black Isle Studios' Feargus Urquhart
Feargus Urquhart has been in the making video games for 10 years, and all of that time at Interplay. He was promoted to being an associate producer in early 1994. For the next couple of years I produced titles for the PC, Mac, 3DO, NES, SNES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Sega 32x, and the PSX. In this article, Urquhart shares some of the lessons he's learned over the years, discusses Black Isle's development strategies, and makes some suggestions for the future.
| tramell isaac
Gameboy Advance Resource Management
A big part of making a successful Gameboy Advance game is managing system resources. In this paper, Rafael Baptista presents algorithms and code for managing one of the most important resources on AGB, the various kinds of memory: OAM memory, OBJ sprite memory, tile management for tile engines (like sidescrollers), and general purpose memory management. This article examines each of the various kinds of memory on AGB and the special restrictions on memory allocation that are particular to each one.
| Rafael Baptista
An Interview with Epic Games' Tim Sweeney
Gamasutra recently caught up with Epic's Tim Sweeney at the Game Developers Conference. Here, John McLean-Foreman talks with Sweeney about Unreal Tournament, his experience at GDC, and his favorite games.
| John McLean-Foreman
Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex
shipped in June 2000. Sales were, and continue to be, strong, worldwide. Critical response (with one or two notable exceptions) has been positive, and the game has already won several "best of year" awards in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. A lot of stuff went right on Deus Ex
; and a lot of stuff went wrong. In this article, Warren Spector looks at the design philosophies that led to the creation of Deus Ex
, technology licensing, scheduling methodologies and why they all failed, management structures and team building techniques, and the public relations triumphs and nightmares that often seemed as if they'd have as much impact on our success as the quality of our work.
| Warren Spector
Postmortem: Sierra Studios' Gabriel Knight 3
Redesigning a game engine midway through a project is never a task a team wants to undertake. But when the situation dictates it, you bite the bullet, just like the brave souls at Sierra Studios did. Learn how their development team overcame three years' worth of engineering tribulations and personnel trunover, and pumped out a massive three-disc adventure title.
| Scott Bilas
Nihilistic Software's Vampire: The Masquerade -- Redemption
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
When Nihilistic Software was founded in 1998, one of their goals was to make a killer role-playing game and Vampire: The Masquerade -- Redemption
was no exception. Nihilistic Software's Robert Huebner discusses what went right and what went wrong during the game development process.
| Robert Huebner