Tag: Game Design

10 Rules of Game Design

by on Jan.18, 2012, under Articles, Board Games, Design & Development, Gaming

For those aspiring game designers out there. Here are two articles written by Mark Rosewater. He is the lead/head/senior designer for one of the biggest and longest running card games ever, Magic the Gathering. He wrote two articles summing up the 10 rules, or guidelines if you prefer, for designing any kind of game.

Ten Things Every Game Needs, Part 1

 

Ten Things Every Game Needs, Part 2

I am particularly a fan of rules 1, 2, and 8.

 

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Horror Game Mechanic

by on Feb.19, 2011, under Articles, Gaming, Video Games

So Yahtzee’s Extra Puncuation on post on The Escapist about Dead Space 2 had an idea in it that I absolutely love feel like sharing. This idea, by intention, rather horrific and if you’re not really a horror fan I suggest you skip on to the next post or check out some of the funny videos I’ve posted.

So Yahtzee said:

Humans turn into necromorphs virtually instantaneously, there’s no sense that the flesh is resisting the horrific transformation, they just pop out of their skins like they’ve been waiting all day for the opportunity. And they scream in your face. If there was anything still recognizably human about them, if they had intact vocal chords that scream or beg for death like an actual person in pain, that might have touched something, but they make the same noise every video game monster makes – a nondescript ear-splitting roar made by leaning too hard on your mixing desk.

I love this idea. I think it could be expanded upon a little. I actually get the impression Yahtzee is implying that they should scream or beg for help during the transformation only but in an action video game, that means you’re extending the length of your monster’s transformation, which gives the player more time to shoot them. You could go the protection/invulnerability route, which wouldn’t work well for a regular mechanic, or you could let the transformation happen instantaneously but only physically.

And by that I mean your monsters have vocal cords and, while they are actively turning to attack you, they are still asking you to help them, save them, or begging you to put them out of their misery. While you’re shooting at them, they’re screams of pain are human screams, rather than inhuman ones, and the personality types that want you to save them beg you to stop hurting them, and vice versa the ones that want to be stopped take a perverse pleasure in being hurt and ask for more.

To expand upon this further, I don’t think this should happen every time. In fact I think the mutation should be somewhat random. Sometimes the infection sends a human into monster slobbering crazy and attacks you with just hands and feet. You need to kill this human-looking monsters quickly, because the physical change will happen soon, and they’ll actually become fairly dangerous or harder to kill. Thinks of this as similar to the tentacles sprouting out of the cultists in RE4. Maybe damage accelerates the physical change.

Then you have the type I just described above, whose physical change happens quicker than their mental. These type have at least three personalities for variety. Ones that attempt to resist the change, causing the monster to jerk and pause in its attack, making it easier to kill. They’re the ones that have no control but still beg you to kill them. They gibber and don’t stop talking. The last ones are the worst of all, psychologically, as they beg for you to save them, and actively beg for you to stop killing them, even as the monster they’ve become tries to kill you.

And finally I think allowing the occasional monster to successfully infect physically and mentally near instantaneously would help break up it up even further and/or you encounter monsters that are regularly fully transformed. So you couldn’t be sure how the monsters would turn out as you encounter them.

I think this raises some awesome horrific questions about the nature of the infection. If the monster can still talk to you like a human being, even as it’s trying to kill you, is there some way to save it? Are you murdering a person, or simply defending yourself? Are they humans trapped in a monster’s body, or a monster using the human’s voice to catch you off guard? Are the ones that change mentally just driven insane, or are the monsters controlling them?

In a game that uses the above mechanic, I don’t think you could base the entire game off of the above monster. You’d need other types. For example this monster would be rather bad at stealth until it fully changed, and most horror movies need creatures that are stealthy, in my opinion.

So what do you think? Scary idea? Would you want to play a game like this?

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