Strategy game designers should start thinking about alternatives to "score systems" for their games. In this article I will talk about how and why we use score systems right now, what their weaknesses are, and how we can (as well as why we should) move beyond them. Much of this article is written with respect to designing single player strategy games, but the theory absolutely applies to multiplayer strategy games equally.
It is common to hear players talk about "tactics" and "strategy" in games. In this case, the colloquial understanding of these terms happens to be pretty useful, in that it maps well to something that actually goes on in playing strategy games. With that said, it's worth taking a moment to clarify these terms: "Tactics" usually refers to "short-term decision-making". Questions like "should I move this character two steps forward, or three steps forward" are questions of tactics. Tactics are micro-level decisions in strategy game play. "Strategy" usually refers to "longer-term decision-making". Questions like "should I be aggressive early, or be defensive now and attack later on" are longer-scale choices about a game that players make. Strategies are macro-level decisions in strategy game play. In both cases, we are talking about a grouping of gamestate information over time and how it changes. I refer to this grouping as an "arc". (more…)Read More
The game I've been designing for four years now, Auro, is finally out on iOS! Grab it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWw37ouzBe4 Also, just a reminder, it's also out on Android. Because of the release, the article writing / 3MGD is a bit delayed. But don't worry, I have two articles and one 3MGD episode in the pipeline.Read More
Hey - remember that game Auro that I've been working on since... God, 2010? It came out the other day, on Android. I'll be writing a big article about its game design and why it's so special soon. I am really, really proud of this game, and I just can't wait to hear what people think of it. The game will be coming out on iOS and PC pretty soon too, so keep an eye out for that stuff. In the meantime, Android users, go play it now!Read More