All Mailings Done On Applied Games

Here are all mailings done on applied games, in case you missed some.

And here you can subscribe. :-)

Open Lab Games mailing

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A post on Gamasutra: In-between Spaces And Their Design

I wrote a longish post on Gamasutra which they were so kind to feature on focusing attention on designing in-between spaces in games. See it here.

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Creating Match 3 Games in Unity

How to create quickly a match 3 game in Unity? Or any kind of match game? I have been working on an original match 3 game (an applied game actually) together with Unity 2D guru Daniele Giardini and I took some notes, which I present in the video below. This is not a tutorial: I just point out some concepts you will probably need to deal with.

Consider also that this is all done with Unity 5, which by introducing 2D, sprites (and also new UI) has made it much simpler to create this kind of games. And as in all my games, its actually Unity plus Gamelogic Grids component, as in my models (and probably in games in general) grids are pervasive.

Here is the video:

I started writing my tests from GameLogic match 3 sample project. The code project is based on GameLogic’s Grids for Unity component, and I’m using as much as possible the DOTween’ component for smoothing movements and effects.

The GameLogic fellows compiled an exhaustive survey of match games, including a wonderful infographic on match game structure spectrum:

2015-09-18 16_28_08-Microsoft Edge

Subtleties of match 3 game mechanics

explodingSubtleties of game design mechanics emerge once you are creating a prototype: sequential matching, peculiarities of click / swipe matching, generative universe (no need of generational AI) … discrete / continuous matches … .

If you believe that game design is basically a formal activity, mainly to do with mechanics (which actually I believe to be too simplistic) you need to be a developer at least at some level, because in building the prototype you understand the mechanics, with all its possible variations.

References

Match Game Mechanics: An exhaustive survey.

GameLogic Match 3 sample project.

Grids for Unity GameLogic FAQ.

Match 3 game draft in Unity tutorial with full code.

You Must Build a Boat.

Follow me on Twitter where I post about game design, game development, Unity3d 2D, HTML5, serious games.

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Post gameplay feelings: “This feels like a complete waste of time”

Why playing some videogames leaves you with a sour taste, with the feeling of having wasted time and even that you have somehow debased yourself?

A short reflection on post gameplay feelings, published on Medium here and then featured on Gamasutra.

 

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Simple Behaviour Trees for your game in Javascript and C#

A little while ago I tried to understand what Behaviour Trees are about, as in a couple of games I’m developing I have sets of NPCs that I have to manage and I would like to somehow decouple their behaviour from the main game flow. Here you can find a good explanation of behaviour trees.

Sample behaviour tree

Sample behaviour tree

Got this, I searched for implementations (I wanted both Javascript and C# implementations) and I didn’t like them because of the amount of code and classes required. Then on StackOverflow I found this very simple example:

Stack Overflow simple behaviour trees

Encouraged by this,  with Matteo Bicocchi we started writing our own implementations, as I simply could not believe that the code needed to be so complex 😉 . We first wrote the Javascript implementation, and the two main points we had to deal with have been:

1. Distinguish between the tree description and the instance tree being run: you need a concrete instance as you need to be independent of “tick” speed and need to be able for each instance to find what is the current node.

2. You need to handle single node completion asynchronously e.g. if you have a “chase” node, this may take a long time to resolve.

Now we have our implementation, its very simple code and can be useful in a wide variety of game development situations – surely its not a complete solution but it works fine.

Here is a simple Js Fiddle example you can play with directly in the browser.

Fiddle with behaviour trees

and here are full sources in both Javascript and C# on GitHub. The C# code is a simple port from Javascript, surely it could be refined (branch it!). It also contains two classes making the C# example run, its made with a for Unity (extends MonoBehaviour) but the code can be used anywhere.

The code is mostly commented in the Javascript version.

Follow me on Twitter where I post about game design, game development, Unity3d 2D, HTML5, applied games.

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Beyond mechanics: games with depth – DAG pod 20

InMinimax this dreamy podcast Daniele Giardini and Pietro Polsinelli (myself) discuss the notion of depth in games. We don’t reach any definitive conclusion, but we have fun Sorriso [Read more…]

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