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Game Design

Core Mechanics: Character Advancement

In Dungeons & Dragons, and most other role-playing games, player characters earn experience points as the game progresses and then can spend those points to become more powerful. Levels vs À La Carte Advancement How a character advances varies from game to game with character levels being one of the most common mechanics. Character levels offer […]

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Game Design

Core Mechanics: Mixed Dice Probabilities

I’ve recently purchased both Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and Savage Worlds. One thing those two games have in common is that they both have mechanics where different sizes of dice are rolled against one another. In Savage Worlds this is generally a single die of each size, but for Marvel it is pools of dice of […]

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Game Design Random Ideas

Challenge 2-2: Lords of the Underdark

The second challenge in chapter 2 of Challenges for Game Designers asks you to create a territory acquisition game for 2-4 players. The game can be a card, board, or tile game, but its victory condition must be either 1) the first player to control all of the territory wins, or 2) the player who […]

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Game Design Random Ideas

Challenge 2-1: Mario Kart

The first challenge in Challenges for Game Designers, “The Path,” asks you to design a game for 2-4 players progressing on a path from point A to point B with the first player to reach point B winning. Earlier in the chapter, Mario Kart had been used as an example of a game with the […]

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Game Design

Challenges for Game Designers

One of the presents I was given for Christmas was Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber. The book describes itself as “non-digital exercises for video game designers,” but it was the non-digital portion that attracted my attention rather than the goal of video game design. So far I’ve only read the first […]

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Game Design

Core Mechanics: Health and Damage

Hit points have long been a core mechanic of Dungeons & Dragons and because of that they have carried over into many other games including both pen & paper and digital games. The mechanic’s simplicity is likely one of the main reasons for its success – each time you take damage, you subtract it from […]