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Zero-Sum games is a very important concept for game systems as well as rewards, so here is my perspective on it, as well as examples on what it means for game design.
Also, as we reached the 600 subscriber mark for our youtube channel, I want to thank you by letting you choose the topic of my next videos! Please write a question you want me to treat next in the comment section.
Compared to Starcraft’s very predictible systems, Warcraft 3 and its randomness always puzzled me. Here are my conclusions on how such a random game can still be fit for competitive play.
While working at Ubisoft Montreal, I was involved with Assassin’s Creed, and we faced a situation where we realized that the combat system was largely perfectible, but we were specifically asked to stick with a design that we felt was rather poor. It took me several years to realize that it was the best decision, and I explain in this video how sometimes bad design is best.
After last week video where I analyzed the way Halo shapes the combat dynamic for the average players, here is a quick look at Quake’s top competitive end.
Also, some related links:
As a follow-up to last week’s video on the lessons from Pac-Man design, here is how they can apply to AAA games, with a short study of Halo’s multiplayer combat.
I studied the game systems of Pac Man as I was working on a documentation process for the designers at Ubisoft Montreal. I wanted to use a simple game to showcase that process, but as I dug in the different resources available, I realized how refined this game’s systems were. This led to understanding game design principles that still stick with me today.
In the video, for the sake of brevity (also because I don’t fully understand the game’s systems), I used rather gross approximations, and I wanted to link you to a great article that properly covers the ghost AI of Pac-Man. Here it is: Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behaviour by Chad Birch.
Here is another video from my design short talk series that discusses how we build experiences to convey meaning, the difference between how we relate to stories and to games, and how to build game systems that are meaningful for your player.
Here is a short video on why you shouldn’t use the word fun as a game designer or as a producer/manager. It actually echoes the article on creative management I wrote last year and extracts its essence in a more accessible way. Hope it will entice you to go and check it after watching the video.