perfectly spherical

Game Design In Theory
So about that hunger thing I’ve complained at length about Minecraft. I’ve also mentioned that Astroneer in particular is one of my favorite ‘survival’ games because it gets rid of the busywork of hunger. Recently I was thinking about hunger mechanics again, and since then I’ve played a lot of Valheim and Vintage Story, both games that have food mechanics I actually kinda like, and it got me thinking about that hunger thing.


What does it mean when you hold down a button? It’s a dumb question, sure, but it’s an important one. Knowing what your inputs mean is key, and as a game designer, you are defining what your inputs mean. It’s also worth asking whether the thing you want is something that can be defined with a different input, for accessibility reasons; some people can’t hold buttons down for long periods of time, either because of grip strength issues or because it physically hurts to do so.
You’re doing looter shooters wrong. I understand this is a big claim. A bold claim, even. But just about everyone who’s doing looter-shooters is doing it wrong. This is partly related to something I brought up in another blogpost, so you may wanna read that one first, especially the bit about Minecraft Dungeons and how it handles gear churn. I’m not gonna go into details here because I already wrote about it.
In the last post, we established what the problem is. Because of how farming works, and how travel time works, dying in League of Legends always costs you at least one wave of farm–and by design, minions are worth significantly more than kills early in the game–which paradoxically makes kills extremely valuable, because dying means missing sweet, sweet minion gold. So let’s talk about what we can do about that.
It’s been a while. Not just since my last blog post, though it has definitely been some time since the last thing I wrote for this blog. It’s also been a while since I last left fountain. I’m playing League of Legends, you see–or, rather, I’m not playing League of Legends, because of a little thing I like to call “the 5/0 Lux ‘support’.” This happens far too often for my liking.

To Your Health

I behold an endless void. I have fought long and hard to reach this place, piloting a Concept through many dimensions. Before my Concept, an entity appears. An inverted pyramid, with its four sides adorned with a ghastly, distorted mask. There is a chime, and a beam of spatial distortion flies out of the jewel on the mask’s forehead. I tap a key, and my Concept blinks away, into a pocket-universe.
So I finished my 7DFPS entry. You can pick it up here. It’s a little rough around the edges. I don’t know if or when I’ll do another pass on it, though there are some things I should fix (for instance, someone got stuck on the intro to the Heavy Bolt). So what did I learn? Getting hit with an unexpected delay sucks. Partway through my 7-day timer, I got sidetracked by some stuff I needed to help my housemates with.

Puzzle Design

How the hell do you build a puzzle? I’m working on an entry for 7 Day FPS. What I’m building right now is something of a puzzle game–which means I have to design puzzles. I had no idea where to start with designing puzzles. But I’ve come up with a sort of system, and I think it’s working okay so far, so I’m gonna share it. Step 1: Verbs. A puzzle’s solution is a sequence of actions, right?
Dwarf Fortress is infamous. Losing, as they say, is Fun. Dwarf Fortress has an insane amount of detail in its simulation, details which do matter even when you can’t see them. (The combat system in Adventure Mode is the exact same one used in Fortress Mode.) The simulation is so consistent that cats will get drunk off of liquids that they lick off their paws. It is also full of ways to lose.
Astroneer is the only “survival” game I’ve genuinely enjoyed. This is kind of a complicated statement, because there are some games that are called survival games which I don’t consider to be survival games. For example, Valheim is considered a survival game, but to my knowledge, it has no starvation mechanic, which places it firmly in the action-RPG camp for me. In order to be a survival game, a game must have some resource which the player needs in constant supply–food, water, et cetera.