Medkits vs. Autoregeneration

Recently, while working on mechanics in my project, Phantaruk, I wondered what health and damage system would fit this game. I asked myself: “What does it affect the most?” and “Can I force player to do something with this?

One of the systems is Health Points with medkits. On the other hand, we have variations on recharging health. Generally, the latter can be spotted in games more frequently. But why? The answer is fairly simple: tension. We can easily notice that recharging health is quite fast and in a short time we can go back into battle.

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What do they teach you?

My today’s entry is unusual, because I want to tell you about bad habit of game design students. Taking the opportunity, I will show a bit of my dissatisfaction.

Courses in making games are not as popular in Poland as they are in United States of America (or Great Britain).  In fact, every bigger college offers this specialization and, what’s more, there are special “courses” that will teach you how to make “awesome games” in few years.

From time to time I browse and search for stuff related to the newest available SDKs (like Unreal Development Kit or CryEngine). I usually comment what I find and give some good advice to even poor work which show extremely large ambitions and engagement of a person who created them. But the main problem are projects made by “specialists”, second- or third-year students of game design course.

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Prototyping with Graphs


Before we start a process of prototyping the location in 3D, ussualy using tools from chosen engine it’s good to illustrate our idea with graphs. Of course, it’s possible to draw only a simple scheme on paper (what I personally practice) but that way we might miss mistakes we would find by making graphs. Why? Because graphs give us a specific pattern with which we have a detailed overview on our project. It is because we include all the events which have to happen during the gameplay. It allows us to check if everything works fine like moving through locations and playing certain events. 

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Graphics Implosion


These days, everybody knows how advanced game graphics has become. Especially in such productions like “Battlefield 4” or “Crysis 3“.  However, one moment, evolution in gaming reached a point when people stopped (finally!) pay attention to graphics’ quality. Why so many people started to interest in projects based on pixel art?

Before we go on and answer this question, I would like to explain what is “pixel art” and how it looks.  Pixel art is a way of making a picture with single pixels. This style of art is derived from old games, developed on first personal computers or Atari and Commodore console. That’s why quality of graphics (apart from the fact that it goes with nice effects or more extended mechanics of games) leave much to be desired.

Good quality, advenced Pixel Art

A game created by Phil Fish, “Fez“, is a good example where graphics is stylized as Pixel Art, despite using three-dimensional world. An interesting anecdote heard in “Indie Games: The Movie”:  Phil admitted to the fact that he made visual side of his game three times, each time with larger knowledge about making pixel art. It’s worth to add that it took four years to finish “Fez”.

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Glides and path-blockers



In this post, I want to share with you an old and simple but useful trick. Originally it was described by a person responsible for a “Counter-Strike” level design.

Sometimes we face a situation when we move along the wall to prevent being noticed by the person that walks through the door ahead. Suddenly… boom! We stop on the side of the 3D model of the door because it blocks the continuity of our movements. To proceed further, we must move sideways what irritates us and other players that experience similar situations.

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