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The Designers Trinity

Published on 2013-10-05, by in Personal.

Designer Trinity


Prototype Tactics: Class Charts

Published on 2013-10-03, by in Game Design.

So now that we have more or less figured out the stats we want to use we can make charts. Yay charts!

Since we’re working in unity and setup our tables properly these are super easy to populate. Plus we can still make changes to the tables and the graphs will adjust automatically. I’m by no means a charts and graph making expert, but these simple line charts should suffice since we simply want to compare units side by side.

So we have graphs…and their pretty….now what? Well we could measure the gaps between certain traits and the cost line (which I should have changed to black and bold to help differentiate) to help steer design direction.

What I mean is look at the Knight graph and then look at the Mage or Thief graph. See how the Knight’s stats follow a similar course and smaller gap to the cost line compared to the Mage and Thief. (Of course this is completely expected from the numbers… the graphs are just there to help you visualize it and look for oddities really) What these gaps tell us in terms of Design though is that we should be giving the bulk of our abilities to these classes. It also means to make these classes stand out and remain useful we will have to make sure their abilities are better than the Knights. Well that is if we’re trying to make a balanced game where people want lots of different units and not just a game where the dominant strategy is to field as many Knights as possible.

Of course we have to remember the things these graphs don’t show us… such as range and AOE attacks. The Archer’s HP might not be low enough compared to having the ability to shoot from afar. 70 HP for 100 cost doesn’t seem high compared to our Soldier who is 100:100. But compare that to the Knight, the Knight only has 110, and he doesn’t get to attack from afar. The graphs don’t tell us that for sure, but it helps us visualize effects in game so we know what to look out for and what to adjust. Without the graph we might test Archers and say “wow their too good, let’s tone them down” and adjust their damage output. With the graph however it’s easier to see that maybe the problem is their HP are too high. Just a thought, an opinion, something I picked up looking at the graphs and thought was worth sharing.

Classes Charts:

Soldier Graph



WIP: Prototype Tactics

Published on 2013-09-30, by in Uncategorized.

My work in progress with no real name so let’s call it “Prototype Tactics” for now.

Click the link below to download the prototype I made in Unity. Each level randomizes (from a set pool) which units you control and what you face. Defeat all the enemies to advance to the next, slightly harder level. This should work in both PC and Mac, but I have only tested it on a PC.

Design Goal: The monster stats are designed at a slight disadvantage so it should be fun for the player and allow him to win with a few mistakes.




Warning: Before playing please turn down your speakers. You’ve been warned.



Designer View: Sol Forge

Published on 2013-09-28, by in Game Design, Games.

Ever wonder what a Game Designer thinks while playing games?

Today we look at an great DCG (Digital Card Game) created by Brian Kibler and Richard Garfield. Remember their Kickstarter together? Watch the video to find out what is wrong with the game design and how to fix it.


Designer View: AirMech

Published on 2013-09-27, by in Game Design, Games.


Ever wonder what a Game Designer thinks when he plays games? Today we look at the gameplay of AirMech and offer some ideas on how to improve the game overall.


Game Design Video Tutorial: Geometric Progression, Unity and Turn Based Tool Kit (TBTK).

Published on 2013-09-21, by in Game Design, Tutorial.

In this video

Look over my shoulder as I craft a Geometric Progression system for YOUR game in excel. This is not a clean perfect replication, it’s a raw look at how I actually work. Then we’ll jump into Unity and actually implment our design using the Turn Based Tool Kit. An affordable plugin that let’s non-developers (aka Designers) make their own turn based hex map tactical warfare game. It’s a really great framework so check it out.

For more information about Progression systems in game design look at my previous posts –Game Design: Creating A System Formula – 101- and You are a Game Designer – So what do you do

Missing from the video:

So this video was a tutorial on HOW to do things and not necessarily a video on WHY to do things. So let’s talk about the Why for  a little bit. So one thing you may notice in the video is making a Dark Knight and a whole new geometric progression system to make it better than the Knight unit we already have, is well… extraneous!? I mean we could have just plucked those numbers out of thin air and it would have done the job and been so much faster. That’s because we were only looking at 1 entry, a 50 point Dark Knight whose design goal was to be >Knight.

When we make progression systems we’re creating system guidelines. All (or a lot) of our units should be based on this system. So we should have a “Base unit system” or “knight system” or “soldiers and knights system” and simply modify the results from that list to create our unique units such as the Dark Knight.

For example we could have a “Soldier” system that gives the soldier 7.75 hit points for every 5 points in cost. He has light armor, he moves 3 spaces a turn etc. Then when we want to create a Knight we think about our design goals “Ok I want a big armored unit that moves slower but deals more damage and has more HP or Armor than a regular soldier”. So we would create a Geometric System that modifies those base stats. It would take the Soldiers stats and multiply HP by 1.25 (or some number) and the damage by 1.15. And that wasn’t made clear in the video. But I did show everyone how to make a geometric progression in excel, how to create a unit in TBTK. So general mission accomplished.

Thanks for watching, thanks for reading

Bud Leiser

Game Designer



Game Design: Geometrics vs Fibonacci!

Published on 2013-09-20, by in Game Design.

So I was on a phone interview for a cool company the other day. And towards the end and off the cuff, almost like a last parting thought as we’re about to finish up the interviewer says “Oh btw I was on your blog and wanted to find out why do you like Fibonacci for progression instead of say Geometrics.”

And it really caught me off guard, not because I had never thought of it before, I actually had, I just couldn’t remember what that reason was when asked out of blue so suddenly. So I thought this would be an excellent follow up to my previous Game Design posts You are a Game Designer – So what do you do? and Game Design: Creating A System Formula – 101



Today’s Find: Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Published on 2013-09-17, by in Game Design.

Facebook game dev group lead me to a great find for game designers. I however didn’t like the pictures associated with it (source at bottom) I felt it was a distraction from the messages. So here it is in a text only format for your perusal. Plus archived for your safety.

There is a bunch of information to take in below. Comment below to let me know what was inspiring to you. Any you disagree with?


Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.



Oculus Rift – First Experience

Published on 2013-09-14, by in Games, Personal.

SAMSUNGAt Noisebridge, a Hacker Space in the Mission Distract of San Francisco, Justin brought in an Oculus Rift device for everyone to play around with. He’s going to use some of the space to build an omni-directional treadmill! Initial thoughts: (more…)


Game Design: Creating A System Formula – 101

Published on 2013-08-22, by in Game Design.

In my last article “You are a Game Designer – So what do you do” I dropped a piece of information saying people should learn about the Fibonacci series, but I didn’t reveal it or why it mattered. The idea of course is that people who didn’t know it already would go look it up on their own, that is, if they were serious about game design.

So for those not familiar with it the series is basically:


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