Game Programming Patterns

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, and I’m really on the fence if that’s a good thing or a bad. I miss my time with worlds of fantasy unlocked by reading (don’t worry, I’ve been sneaking in time for games and game dev, so I’m not far from worlds of fantasy at all), but the ceaseless learning is pretty hard to argue with. One of the books that has far and away caught my attention is Game Programming Patterns. If you just┬álike videogames, this might not be a read for you, but if you want to create them, this is an absolute essential.

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Digesting Game Reviews

More than the high cost of games (and clothes for my growing daughter), my limited time to play games prohibits me from buying everything under the sun. As a result, I put high value into the information I can get out of game reviews. But it’s not enough to just look up a score – you need to properly break down a game review and figure out what it’s actually telling you.

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Mario 64 and Pure Mechanical Fun

Recently, I’ve had a real thing about games that are just damn fun to play. Dark Souls 2 (well, if I’m p,aging it fast and loose while dual wielding), Metroid 2 (don’t judge me), and of course, all the 3D Mario games (64, Sunshine, Galaxy, etc). There is a pure fun that comes about from interacting with really well designed mechanics that I just can’t get out of my usual go to (if you’re curious – it’s RPGs with simple, repetitive systems that can be executed with or without full attention (see also Pokemon and anything old)). With the rise of story being important in games, perhaps we should take a look at something that moved in the opposite direction – a series of totally unrealistic worlds trapped in paintings that were just incredible fun to move through.

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Playing Games Correctly – Maximizing Your Enjoyment

The topic of playing games correctly recently came up on Idle Weekend (definitely in my top three gaming podcasts, alongside Retronauts and Insert Credit), and it’s nothing if not an interesting topic. Is there a right way to play a game? The easy answer is “sure,” there is a way to enjoy the game as much as possible. The actual answer is a bit more complicated.
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How I Game – Stamina Means Stop

I really want to enjoy games that are “free.” I mean, wouldn’t a life where my primary hobby is playing games be better if I was playing games that were free? Unfortunately, free games have other costs, so much so that as soon as I see “free to play” mechanics I delete whatever I just downloaded. Why do these mechanics fall so short? You can bet I’m going to go on and on about it.

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How I Game – Handhelds at Home

Handheld gaming occupies a special place in my heart. No, it’s not just because my first console that was mine was a handheld (the Sega Game Gear, actually). It’s not just my deep love for Pokemon (though that helps). It’s not even my fond memories of playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance at stop lights while working as a delivery driver (probably not super safe, don’t recommend it). Handhelds fit the way I game that consoles hooked up to a TV and PCs just can’t match (though my laptop certainly tries).

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Musings – Fez, Myst, and Immersion

I’ve talked before now about games that have large amounts of immersion. Sure, not every title needs to completely immerse the player (when I’m playing a title like Street Fighter I want to be engaged with the gameplay, sure, but I’m not worried about being drawn into the world so much). There’s a certain magic that comes with being able to pull a player in and make them feel like they truly are part of the world. Some games have more of a knack for it than others, so I’m going to take a moment with this post and look at two that have done a brilliant job of drawing me in.

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Bare Bones – Multiplayer Coop Dream Game

There are a lot of games I would really love to play. Unfortunately, plenty of them don’t exist yet. In the same way that conjecturing about possible magic systems felt like some of the best writing I’ve done in ages (if only because it’s productive instead of critical or referential), this is going to be some fun stuff to outline.

I’m going to describe a mish-mash of mechanics that I’d love to see, making up a game that I’d love to play. These are going to be very bare bones descriptions – I’m not outlining an entire game start to finish. This time, I’m going to examine the skeleton of my ideal multiplayer coop game.

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Bare Bones – Multiplayer Versus Dream Game

There are a lot of games I would really love to play. Unfortunately, plenty of them don’t exist yet. In the same way that conjecturing about possible magic systems felt like some of the best writing I’ve done in ages (if only because it’s productive instead of critical or referential), this is going to be some fun stuff to outline.

I’m going to describe a mish-mash of mechanics that I’d love to see, making up a game that I’d love to play. These are going to be very bare bones descriptions – I’m not outlining an entire game start to finish. This time, I’m going to examine the skeleton of my ideal multiplayer versus game.

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