My real name's Paul Dela Cruz. I live in central Florida, and I am currently attending community college here. As for my hobbies and aspirations, I love to design computer games in my free time. My longest game project published so far is called Sword of Light III. My most recently published game project is called Blox Trapper, and it is a mobile game that has been published to the Google Play Store.

Blox Trapper
Also available on Google Play!



Methodical Chaos I -or- An Introduction to Randomness in Game Design

You've made some interesting points. Players do, in a sense, seem somewhat random and unpredictable. Random games tend to add in an unpredictable type of atmosphere that makes players adapt to different situations that can benefit them in the long run. Less random games tend to focus mainly on experience and learning.

A really successful game that I consider having almost no random elements at all is Cooking Mama for Nintendo. All their levels and their recipes and completely laid out in the table for you. It seems pretty difficult and daunting the first time you try it, but over time, you can learn how to time your stylus swipes to get the higher score. The reason for their success, I believe is the familiarity of the theme, the uniqueness of their gameplay, and their user-friendly interface for kids.

There are many other good examples of games that use random elements and non-random elements, but overall, I agree with what you're saying. It doesn't matter how random or non-random a game is, what matters is how those elements were put together to create an enjoyable atmosphere for the player.

Methodical Chaos I -or- An Introduction to Randomness in Game Design

Awesome article, slashphoenix! I loved your explanations. I never knew that professional games can manipulate random elements to actually emphasize skill-based gameplay. I used to believe that random elements in games destroy skill, but this article proves me otherwise. Good read. :) One question though, what is your stance on purely skill-based games? A good example would be Tekken, Soul Calibur, and some PVP games like Bloodline Champions? Do you think they lack a sense of randomness in their gameplay and would benefit from more random elements, or do you think that games like that can function almost completely without any random elements needed at all?

Game Design Tip #1: Testing Your Game More Efficiently

Interesting technique, Addit. I didn't even consider that method before. Heh, there's so many different ways that people handle their game. Use a text program to list down all the bugs, use a game recording software to fix all the glitches you see, etc. Whenever I find a typo in my game, I find it difficult to describe it in my text program so I tend to take a screenshot of it and highlight it using Paint. :]

Game Design Tip #1: Testing Your Game More Efficiently

I think I see where you're getting at, Link. When my game has many bugs, I tend to use that same tactic you described; writing the glitches down on a text file and checking off those that I have fixed. I have a bad habit of forgetting what to test for in my game so you're right; that technique can be really helpful for dealing with multiple bugs at a time. :P

Marrend, it helps to start out with what problem you want to solve for. Next, using what knowledge or experience you have, make a utility or even just a new method of doing things that will help solve the problem or make it easier for you to solve.

(P.S. I updated my article to acknowledge the missing information you pointed out when I explained those special Player Touch events, Link. Thanks for putting my attention on it.)

Game Design Tip #1: Testing Your Game More Efficiently

Thanks, Addit. I agree. Although the debug menu and the wall-passing features built-in are useful tools, they can be utilized to other possible areas of potential. Experienced programmers can figure out how to redesign the debug menu and its features altogether, but for designers more experienced with making events, they also have a good amount of control over how their game environment can be suited to fit their needs.
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