Expressing Rules

There are some really awful rule books out there, many are mediocre and there are a few exceptional ones that clearly show how to play the game. Most gamers can agree with that sort of statement. What they can’t agree on is which of the rulebooks are the good ones – people seem to learn in very different ways which dramatically affects their enjoyment of games. Long time readers of this blog may remember this:

Flowchart

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Flexible Start and End Points

In most games the possibility space extends both before and after the actual start and end points of the game chosen by the designer. Take something like Settlers of Catan. You don’t have to stop at 10 victory points, you could ignore the rules and keep playing. You don’t have to start at the game start, with everyone having two villages and some resource cards, you could step backwards and start with just one and no resource cards.

onevillage

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How should AI cheat?

Last week I was writing a cardboard AI for a game and reached the conclusion that in order to make the game fun and challenging it would have to be allowed to cheat. In this case by starting with more resources than the human player(s). An algorithm that could equal human play would be too complicated to execute and bog down the game, so a simpler one was required to make the game fun and it had to cheat to make the game interesting.

cheat

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Welcome

Featured

Hiya and welcome to the 3DTotalgames website!

We’re constantly building new things so there’s a lot on. If you’re looking for recent news, game design articles and stuff like that, just scroll down. There are hundreds of posts on the subject! At the bottom right you can see some categories if you’re interested in particular ideas or projects.

If you’re interested in one of our games the bar along the top links to pages about particular games. Each page has an overview of the game, shows off some of the art and lets you know where you can get it.

UK Games Expo 2016

Hi everyone! After a relapse I am finally (mostly) recovered from spine things. I’m not allowed to fight anyone for a bit, but I’m up to walking and talking so I’m going to be bringing 3DTotal games to the UK Games Expo 2016

…so apparently now that I’m able to blog again something has broken the blog site so that image uploads don’t work. Alright, image free version of the post then…

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Playstyle Profiles

One of the least exciting parts of being a game designer is the initial tests, after a game has been developed into a prototype but before the prototype is ready to show to anyone. At that stage you put the game down, set out a bunch of places for your players around the table and hop from chair to chair playing the game with yourself. During the development of Wizard’s Academy I’m sure that I spent more than fifty hours playing with myself. While it’s more fun with company it’s useful to do this alone and it can be more fun with the right technique.

solo

 

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UK Games Expo 2015 (My first stand)

Every now and again I briefly recall that in my first post I promised that this blog would talk about what it’s like to go from being an academic to a full time game designer and all of the experiences that I’ve had along the way. It seems that in general people enjoy my broad and unsolicited advice on the subject more, but today there’s a chance to do both. I ran a stand at a big convention for the first time ever this weekend!

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