quarta-feira, 25 de abril de 2012

Story of my (game designer) life

A long time ago in the city of São Paulo (Brazil), around 14 years in the past, there was a great Comic & RPG encounter happening. I was in the event with a bunch of good nerd friends.

At the time we had the opportunity to attend a presentation of the author Michael Mulvihill, best known for publishing awesome RPG books like "Shadowrun" and "Battletech", which, by the way, were part of my adolescence.

I watched the presentation of Mr. Mulvihill, which proved extremely inspiring for all those who were there, and wanted to give life to their own games.

When the lecture ended, I asked for an autograph and asked him a question: "Mr. Mulvihill, what is required to be a good game designer? ". And he answered me:

Years later, I've found this paper inside an old drawer and realized how much truth there was in those words. I think the idea is to play games, experience games and interact with ludic interfaces all the time. The message of Mr. Mulvihill is about getting good references and repertoire because this is essential to create good gaming projects.

So we can apply these concepts in several areas of knowledge and create good experiences.

So, play games and have fun.

sexta-feira, 20 de abril de 2012

Game Design Exercises

By Vince

The idea of this post is present two game design exercises. I want to entice the audience of my blog to create new games from classical game mechanics. It can be difficult in a first moment but don’t put a muzzle in your creativity; slight changes in traditional game mechanics could generate something new and fun.

The first exercise is from a very good book named “Challenges for Game Designers” and the challenge proposed is: try to create a TIC-TAC-TOE for three players. You can modify rules and put new elements (like cards or dice) but the core of the game must be the same. Try to make a digital or analogical prototype of your game.

Following the previous idea, in the second exercise I want to propose the creation of a new dynamic for the classic game PONG. I’ve made this exercise and created the PONT, a solitary flash game. Check the project online (link here).

In my version of PONG there are two basic modifications:

1) the ball is an asterisk that changes color all the time (sometimes the color of the ball is very similar to the background color) and the player needs to pay double attention to the interface.

2) the racket horizontally changes size and does a wave movement (up and down) all the time. It’s another factor that requires more concentration from the player.

The image below shows these features of the game:

And let’s work! I’ll be glad if the exercises help you having new ideas and build good prototypes. Make yourself comfortable to send me your ideas in the mail vincevader@gmail.com.


BRATHWAITE, Brenda & SCHREIBER, Ian. CHALLENGES FOR GAME DESIGNERS: non-digital exercises for vídeo game designers. USA: Cengage, 2009.

sexta-feira, 13 de abril de 2012

Knowledge from Reiner Knizia

Some good stuff from the Twitter of Reiner Knizia, one of my favorites game designers:

1.) My First Principle of Game Design: Start somewhere new and you have the greatest chance to end up somewhere new!

2.) Lead a game to worldwide success: keep it simple that people understand it; make it different that people recognize it; but keep it familiar.

3.) To design good games, you need peace in your heart - even for a first-person shooter.

Follow Knizia on Twitter (@ReinerKnizia), click here.

terça-feira, 10 de abril de 2012

Common elements between games

By Vince

In this present post I want to discuss a wide notion of essential elements that we can find in any kind of game. Take a few seconds to make a brief reflection: Which are the similarities between “Quake” and “Poker”?

Quake is a classic first person shooter with a deep story about a massive alien war in a high technological future. Poker is a traditional and abstract card game about creating card sequences to earn points.

Both games are very unique but – in a first moment – have nothing in common. But I think it’s possible to establish a list of common elements amongst two games. Let’s check some possibilities:

1) First of all, both games have a purpose. In Quake You need to destroy aliens and in Poker You have to make the best card sequences.

2) Both games have players and rules. In Quake You can play against the computer alone or in a multiplayer session; Poker needs at least two players and gets better with five or six people playing. But essentially all the players need to follow the rules that define boundaries. If You are not following the rules You are cheating and this is not fair play.

3) Both games have limited resources. In Quake are life, stamina and ammunition. In Poker is the deck of cards with four cards of each kind.

4) Game mechanics: in Quake your character aims and shoots to kill aliens stage by stage with a wide range of weapons. In Poker you pick cards trying to create the best combos and eliminate opponents.

5) We have conflicts and possibility of fun in both cases.

I think it’s possible to generate a wide list with a lot of similarities, but instead of it I want to purpose an exercise to You: search your memory and try to find two games of very different categories; in the next step, try to create a list of common elements as You saw above.

Good work!


segunda-feira, 2 de abril de 2012

Games + Brazil

by Vince

Last week I was checking old posts from the blog when I noticied a great fault: there are very few information about brazilian videogame market here (and I'm from Brazil).

So I've decided to write more about this subject, even with the low number of official researches we have in brazilian territory.

I want to share a good information in this post. It's about the number of brazilians with videogame consoles at home.

One research presented in an important brazilian videogame fair named "GameWorld" revealed that 60 million people have at least one videogame console at home. It is almost 33% of Brazil's population.

The research revealed another curious fact: 48% of the players buy illegal games and only 17% of the sales occurs at game shops.

The company "NC Games" with an important research institute (IBOPE) did the survey.

So, its good news to our market and more than sufficient to prove that is possible to develop a brazilian videogame industry.



Click here to read about the research (portuguese)