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Game Design  "Sites, books and tips for game designers."

User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#1

Hi everyone. It is really weird for me that we don't have a game design thread since many of us spend our free time modding, so it wouldn't hurt to know some of the principles of good game design.

Working on my new mod episode (don't worry I'm using WGR2 as a base, so I haven't abandoned anything I've done before) in the last year or so I've came across multiple sources of tips that have helped me a lot to improve my maps, most regarding gameplay.

I think most uers maps have some design flaws that could be easily adressed, like placing gameplay (mosters, switches, keycards) just after the architecture is finished, make the player wander around with any clues on where to go next, make one huge map using all the resources instead of make small chunks that can be divided thematically, left betatesting to the end when almost nothing can be changed, etc...

I know we make this for passion, but why not to explore game design more in depth? here's a list of books, pages and videos that could really help us, to improve our skills regarding mapping and modding.




A wonderful book that explains game design through logical steps and what the author calls "lens" or metodologies to see some aspect of the game:

http://www.sg4adults...game-design.pdf

DREAM WORLDS

HOW TO PLAN LEVEL DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENTS IN 11 STEPS

INTRODUCTION AT LEVEL DESIGN

LEVEL UP

TACTICAL LEVEL DESIGN

LEVEL DESIGN IDEAS AND LOCATIONS

HOW ARE PUZZLE GAMES DESIGNED

TECHNICAL AND ARTISTIC EXPLANATIONS

EVALUATING GAME MECHANICS


We can share tips here well here, how Duke maps can be improved, etc.

There's a tip that stuck in my mind but I can?t find where I read it, basically it said that your level must be a GAME MECHANIC DISPENSER that means that the level is there to show and make understand the player one specific game mechanic at a time, so when the player gets the game mechanic he can be presented with another game mechanic or mix previous mechanics together.


This post has been edited by Mike Norvak: 16 May 2017 - 01:18 PM

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User is offline   Mark. 

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#2

A while back a thread was started about what makes a good map. But no harm in starting another. I didn't read through any of your pdf links yet but I did follow some of the Youtube links that popped up after your linked video.

It seems I break just about every design tip mentioned. No advanced planning on paper or in my head. No specific goals or player direction. I create small areas at a time without taking into account the larger picture. Texturing areas right away, not putting in any gameplay elements so that testing can be done and mapping corrections made early. Gameplay is usually the last thing I do in a map. Most times I don't plan ahead of time for TROR which can make it very difficult or impossible to do later in the process. I gather textures and models while mapping instead of having assets ready to go. On a personal note, I work better with a small team. I'm not a perfectionist and when left on my own, I tend to cut corners. With a team they can speak up and get me to go that extra little bit.

In other words, don't learn good design practices from me. B)
0

User is offline   oasiz 

  • 584

#3

I recently got pretty inspired after a random trip to a book store with mostly old & really old books.
Pretty inspirational to check out various 50s/60s/70s/etc.. architectural books, stuff that exist in real life and stuff that exist only as concepts. Also importantly: what "makes" a certain style what it is.

I think that a lot of people neglect the process of building a vivid image of the area in your head before starting to map.
This can be various concepts / prototypes / layouts sketched down before you even open the editor.

Even with a vague plan, mapping is much easier and ends up being more consistent.

I'll have to read through these links with time, thanks ! :)
0

User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#4

@Mark

I pretty much worked the same in my maps and earlier versions of the mod, but it wasn't until a year and a half that I realized that if I gonna release a full mod it makes no sense to design it as it if wasn't a complete game, so I started investigate what Game Design is all about. Trust me it really helps and saves a lo of time to plan the level and gameplay beforehand and then build around a clear idea on what the player is gonna fight, discover and do trough the maps. Especially if you want to give your maps a non linear exploration 90's feel. (Not that designers in that era have many background rules guiding over that) Anyways I find really interesting to study what makes good design in videogames despite I can use all the info in my own projects or not.

@Oasiz. You're welcome, I think there a lot of tips that can be applied right away in new Duke maps.


This post has been edited by Mike Norvak: 16 May 2017 - 12:57 PM

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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#5

http://tvtropes.org/...tiveLevelDesign
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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#6

https://youtu.be/iQjRIB39Lfk
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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#7

I really hope some of you are interested on these topics.

Frictional Games has a blog dedicated to game design. Here's an article worth reading:

http://frictionalgam...allacy.html?m=1
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#8

Actually I wanted to chime in and say thank you Mr. Norvak. I'm actually making a lot of use of this thread. :)

Duke Nukem The Series onYoutube Facebook and Duke4net!
Come Get Some!
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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#9

You're welcome Comando Nukem!
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User is offline   Mike Norvak 

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#10

http://frictionalgam...nation.html?m=1
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User is offline   leilei 

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#11

I used to dive into this book some 17 years ago. It might be lamer stuff nowadays but i've learned stuff out of it then, and....on second thought, considering all the ue4/unity trash games out there, this book may still have merit

(Haven't read newer editions. Also there's a few bits of 99-era DNF pics/art in there and the storyboard for the Duke3d ending IIRC)

Posted Image

This post has been edited by leilei: 07 August 2017 - 03:22 PM

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