Saturday, August 24, 2013

Themed Dungeon Dressing

Wood Door
Timber Supports
Archway or just a wood door
Polished Maple Door
Planked Door
Wooden Portcullis
-- Locked
Door and Keyhole
Alarm Spell
Lever on other side
-- Stuck
Cave In
Hold Portal Effect
Rusty Hinges
Rusty Gears
-- Trapped
Tripe Wire drops rocks
Spikes or Darts
Tile drops Portcullis on you
Iron Door
Vault Door
Reinforced Oak Door
Sliding Hatch
Jail Door
-- Locked
Combination Lock
Cave In
Wizard Lock
Mechanical Lever
Key Hole
-- Stuck
Rusted Turn Crank
Jammed in place or
Transmuted Stone
Open/Close effect
Re-shuts door
Rusted Gears
Rusted in Place
Could be bars or hinges
-- Trapped
Gas Trap
Spell such as Magic Missile
Or Fireball
Animated Dead

Chute to another cell
Small Chamber
Alcove, Break room or storage area.
Partial Cavern
Sitting Room, Bedroom or closet
Partially collapsed room
Cell or break room
Medium Chamber
Ore deposit, Loading zone or barracks
Cavern or serious of Caverns
Library, arena, Master Bedroom, Dining Hall,  Treasure room,  or workshop such as Apothecaries or Artificers
Storage room or old room with decayed furniture maybe bugs rodents or bones
Torture Room, Barracks, cafeteria or waste/body disposal
Large Chamber
Cavern or Rail Station, With Support beams
Serious of caverns and drops offs or underground stream or lake possibly a lair for creatures or a large monster
Cafeteria, Menagerie,  Statue room, garden, Music Hall,
Series of rooms with collapsed walls, ancient temple or throne room,  crypt or burial chamber such as for mummification or ceremonies
Execution chamber or common room for many prisoners to be locked to benched or walls
Passage Way
Tunnels with or without rails usually with support possible natural caverns
Tunnels usually natural and varying heights and depths
Hallway, possibly with pillars or statues. Sometimes chairs and small tables.
Sometimes hallways other times just holes in the wall or crumbled rooms.
Cramped or dark halls torch scones maybe skulls
Timber Supports
An odd shaped passage or crawl way
Carved Archway of stone or fine maple usually with many patterns possibly faces
Collapsed door or wall, possible a ventilation shaft
Door frame or bars on both sides
Dug steps or a rope ladder
Sudden cliffs or drop offs
Spiral stairs or an elevator system
Damage floors or ceilings, old stairs sometimes a sudden collapse or a pile or rumble to climb up or down
Stone stairs, possibly chutes or pits
Secret Door
Concealed or caved in
Strange twists and turns make a passage almost unnoticeable
Illusion or finely crafted secret door such as a sliding wall or rotating bookshelf
Collapsed wall covers a door or passage, or an old sliding door.
Usually concealed construction or masonry such as an emergency escape route or hidden armory.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Got my ADD Players Manual.

Just got my copies of the Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual yesterday. I got one hardcover and one soft cover and both look good. The art seams to have a variety of styles but all retro looking. My players are excited and so far we like the art.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Tenants of My Belief.

There is a life force that flows through all things
The universe provides
Moderation helps maintain balance
The truth of the universe is within you ~ Kumare
You can only trust someone to be himself
Each person and relationship is unique
I am me, You are you, we are us.

Show other people they can change, but do not try to force them but rather accept them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Design comment on Warblers Nest and Looming

Another Post originally made for an a school assignment.

The Warblers Nest uses the basic mechanic of many text based adventures where you type words to control what you do in the game. Besides that I found it rather different then any text adventure I have played before.  It had a way of telling you about your goal and letting you know of things you could do buy telling you about past memories or flash backs. This served as a way of expressing story as well as telling you about the character you are playing.

I honestly had a hard time figuring out what to do or rather I kept trying things with little result. I had to check the hints and learned to use the examine command more which I felt was tedious as I kept trying to use look in place of examine when I first started. Having the hints is a good thing for this game but I worry it could be overly necessarily to have them. Which could be a sign of bad design, possibly.

One mechanic that bugged me was telling me I can't go somewhere until later. I don't like this in any game but it seamed especially frustrating in this game as I wanted to explore and was told to search for eggshells and yet could not go places when I wanted to search there. However, this mechanic serves to prevent players from wasting time in areas that they cannot accomplish anything in yet.

This game's mechanics definitely make me feel like it is a mystery. You start wondering why you are looking for egg's, what happened, what's in the cottage, what did you throw into the river. Even the hint's try to not ruin this mystery for you. Unfortunately it can leave the player not knowing what to do so it is best suited for people who like to solve puzzles or play detective.


Looming felt a very intuitive game. The controls were displayed on screen when I started and were simple enough as was the rest of the game that no explanation was needed. Small bits of information are given as you find objects exploring and this works to allow you to figure out what happened in the past. Information on your character and his past are given when you exit the area through small portals. One mechanic I liked was the simple dots on the main screen that would fill as you exit and go back into Looming.

I also found their choice in graphics interesting, with small animals or insects represented by tiny dots and the black and white theme. It allows you to use your imagination even with a graphical interface. As exploration game I think all of these mechanics work very well.

I also liked the sense of being able to go in any direction you want. I of course hit the borders of looming which were fenced in, but then the story line mentioned the fence and commented on both the previous inhabitants and the outside world. I felt like this simple choice in narrative allowed a better suspension of disbelief then in many games.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Big Debate

Two people, Will and Stan sit in a plain room around a simple table.
On the Table is a small plastic disposable cup flipped upside down.

Stan: So, we are here to debate the existence of a ball inside that cup.
Will: That's right, I saw the cup lifted earlier and there was a ball inside.
Stan: I didn't see that happen. Do you have proof?
Will: Well yes I saw the ball earlier and I believe it is still in there.
Stan: I'm sorry Will, belief is not proof.
Will: Well you cannot prove there is not a ball in there.
Stan: It's not my job to prove there is not. I will only believe you with proof besides I also cannot prove there is not a toy car under the cup, lack of proof doesn't make it there.

Another man walks into the room and gives Will a small photograph and some slips of paper.

Will: Ah, well look here a picture of the cup tilted with a ball underneath.
Stan: Did you take the picture?
Will: No.
Stan: Were you there when it was taken?
Will: No.
Stan: So there is nothing to say this picture was not taken a long time ago and then the ball removed. Also it could have been faked or taken somewhere else. We can't even be sure it who took the picture.

Will: Well the date on the back says it was this morning and it is signed by John and notarized by Eli.
Stan: OK where are those two now?
Will: I don't know
Stan: How can we be sure they are being honest or are actually the ones who took the picture?
Will: Hmmm, well this note right here says John's mom excused him from school today to go take the picture, it is dated yesterday.
Stan: Can she come tell me that herself?
Will: No.
Stan: So the only proof the picture is real is that it says it's real and a letter written by who knows who and who knows when. This is almost convincing but still not proof that there is a ball under the cup right now and it has not been tampered with.

Will looks at the papers and present's written descriptions of the ball.

Stan: These could be equally as valid as your description, except that we don't know who wrote them and also look here.... This one says the ball is green and this one blue and this one red.

Will: Well the ball is red.
Stan: Why should I relive you the ball is red and not believe Jared that the ball is green? I still don't know for sure that there is a ball.

Will: Fine I will get you witness'

Will leaves the room and comes back with three other people.

Will: This is Rose, Eugene and Edna each of them have also saw the ball
Stan: OK, do you have any proof.

Rose: Yeah, I was with Jared at the sandwich shop and we were begging for something to play with and he lifted a cup and there was a green-ball.
Eugene: I work in a warehouse and I see lots of blue balls.
Edna: I have seen a little pink ball under this cup since I was little!

Stan:... ok now your story makes even less sense. Each of have described a different story and each ball sounds different but none of this proves there is a ball under this cup right here.
Will: But I have a picture and written records and witness.
Stan: But none of it can be verified right now and we keep getting different stories and about different colors.
Will: I don't care what color the ball is. It's red to me it's pink to Edna but we have each seen the ball and so have others like John.

Stan: I'm sorry science works on tests and logic none of this proves that there is a ball. Come on will why don't you follow logic and admit there is no ball.

Will: Because I have seen it earlier and I have faith it was not messed with.
Stan: Ah, OK blind faith over proof. Why don't we just lift the cup and see if it is there.

Will reaches over the table and lifts the cup as the three witness gather around in excitement. Unfortunately they block Stan's view who doesn't really bother to look up.

A buzzer goes off and Stan stands up and walks out. Shortly after Stan leaves Jared follows behind mumbling.

Jared: I only believe in blue balls.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

In Response to why I am Attending FullSail to be a Game Designer.

     I decided to get a degree in game design because designing games is something I have done in my free time almost my entire life. If I am not working as a game designer or going to school, I would still be designing games in my free time. I still have not published one yet, but I am hoping to remedy that soon.

     I am beginning to be concerned about how these classes keep telling me it's so hard to be one. I understand they are just trying to prepare us, but seriously I am here to learn more and improve myself not to be told that designing games is not fun. I enjoying designing games and I enjoy the social aspect of working in a team. I am even starting to wonder if I might like being a producer instead of designer.

     My long term goal however is to be an independent developer or work in a small team. I keep hearing that is so hard to get a job in game design, yet no one seams to be talking about all the exciting growth in the field. There are more ways to design a game and get it out there then ever before. Also there are a lot more positions available then just lead designer.

     Am I wrong? Is the university trying to tell me there are no positions available and it's either be lead designer in a Triple A studio or nothing?

     Honestly it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. designing games is what I want to do and I don't care if I end up needing to learn programming and art and everything else as well. Even if I never use my degree I'll be happy just to have learned more about game design.

     Being a game designer is not about having a huge salary or being the top of a pyramid it is about making games. If you design games, congratulations you are a game designer. The very fact that we are in this class means we are studying game design.

     We made it, we are a part of the industry even if that part is only as students. Don't let anyone try to tell you it is too difficult, you're already here.

     As for what I need to do to get to where I want to be. I think the main thing is build up a portfolio of published games and game design documents maybe even mods. It is likely I will need to learn more programming to get this done and to be more qualified in my field. Whether I am working independently or applying for a corporate job it will help to have a strong portfolio of games available to the public.

     I also believe that by actually designing games we can learn things that aren't able to pick up in a classroom. I am excited about the team projects we will be doing in our classes but I think each of us should also be working on our own projects even if it is just fooling around with different software or writing out ideas or game design documents. Remember the first step to being a game designer is to design games.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Master Mind: Lets Play

For my Finite Math class I was to play a game called Master Mind and evaluate the logic of the game.

As soon as I read the instructions I recognized the game. I didn’t know it by the name Master Mind but I had played it before. I immediately knew my starting move would be all on e color. That way if the color exists anywhere on the board I will be told so.

First I guessed all blue and nothing happened. For a moment I was confused by this games feedback, I didn’t see any but I realized they were all wrong. Then I did all green and all were wrong again. All brown, I messed up and didn’t notice one was right. All purple, all wrong. At this point I noticed a brown was right and so I choose one brown to test if it was the first position that was right, the rest red to see if there were any red.

I got lucky and that was the solution one brown, three red. So it took me 5 moves on my first game and I won. I have to say six colors seamed like a lot to me, I think I was expecting four.

As for calculating the number of possibilities, four sets each have six possibilities. I almost thought 4 x 6 but no, I think it’s 6 x 6 x 6 x 6, so 1,296.  After arriving at this number I checked online and it seams to be accurate.

The way I used feedback in the game was that when I got one right I planned to mix my code and see where I got it right then to leave the right one there and work on finding others. When all brown came back with one right, I knew there was one brown somewhere. If it had said two right then I would have known there were two brown somewhere.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review of Project D. An 11 year old plays retro games.

This post is another one I wrote for my school.

Do you think Dylan’s dislike for Contra was because of it being a challenging game or flawed design?

Was the difference in technical attributes (i.e. graphics, sound, controller) a significant detractor from Dylan’s fun experience with the games?

Dylan clearly showed through out the series that he could have fun despite older graphics and sounds. He not only enjoyed some of the games but showed an interest in playing them more and nearly beat at least one of them. He also plays games like halo either alone or with a friend but not online, so it is likely he would feel fine playing on an older system that doesn't not have the ability to go online or play DVDs.

However he did not like Contra at all and felt no desire to get better at the game. This shows a flaw in design, a lack of reward for effort. I had a similar experience playing the same game and grew up in the era that game came out.

In the article “6 Steps to Play with the Players Mind.” It speaks about not only giving player feed back and rewards but also lots of rewards. “You don’t punish faults, but reward every little effort with small rewards, but instant ones” (Attianesi, 2011).

In Contra there seams to instead be almost no reward at all. Killing enemies gets you nothing except the ability to go further. You are not even rewarded with additional story line only more levels to go through. The only feedback is when you die from getting hit once, thus the only way to know you are doing well is by not dying. Contra has a following of fans but it is not a game that encourages new players to care anything about it.


Attianesi, T. (2011, December 17). 6 steps to play with player's mind. Retrieved from

Gender by Cherisse Scott

Equalize Equality:

"Both males and females as groups are comprised of individuals with unique personalities, skills and talents 
and each person deserves to be recognized and praised for those talents and abilities regardless of gender. 

Yes, generally speaking men -tend- to be better at certain things and women -tend- to be better at others, but there are many exceptions to the rule and we deserve to be treated not as a man or a woman but as an individual.

Familial roles should be determined by both partners, *and only the partners,* and they should have equal
voices and the right to choose for themselves.

Female focused religions, I've come to find, are just as biased (if in the opposite direction) as male focused religions, and it's important to realize that the -person- standing beside you is your equal regardless of their genetic bits. This is the same for matriarchal or patriarchal societies. You should never be afraid of giving your partner or otherly gendered persons the same rights and powers you have... you are strong enough to see that giving them the power they deserve by right of birth does nothing to inhibit your own personal power.

Nextly, nothing about blood makes anyone "unclean" at any point in the natural phases of our lives or every single one of us, filled with this liquid essence, would forever be unclean.

Gender-based scholarships are bogus. Entrance into schools should be based purely on academic 
achievement and integrity, and gender-based scholarships are sexist regardless of the gender they support.
Fathers love their children as much as mothers and should be granted the same rights IN ALL CASES (if either parent is unfit regardless of gender, of course that should alter custody arrangements.)

Females who commit pedophilia, rape, murder or abuse are just as guilty as males who commit the same and should be subjected to the same legal and social consequences. Men can be victimized by women as easily as women can be by men and it's time to drop the sheet so -NO ONE- is made to be afraid of being ostracized for telling the truth about their abusers.

Finally, an insult, any insult, is just as bad for one gender as it is for the other. Calling a male a female based insult or a female a male based insult is neither better nor worse than calling a male a male based insult or a female a female based insult. Period.

People (not women or men) go through a million different experiences in our life times and have a million different view points. We all have something to learn from each other regardless of what gender we are or aren't."

~Credit for this post goes to Cherisse Scott

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Original Engineers and Innovators of Video Games

This is another post that was originally a school assignment.

Nolan Bushnell

The video game industry was made possible by engineers and innovators but was also brought about by skilled businessmen and a combination of marketing and peoples natural desire for entertainment. Ralph Baer the creator of the first computer games was one of these engineers. He led a team of five hundred people at Sanders Associates, a defense contractor. Nolan Bushnell was obsessed with innovation and making his business succeed. Each of them were pioneers in video game design despite their differences.

Nolan Bushnell learned the importance of innovation and capturing peoples attention early on. He always had a need for fun growing up. After losing tuition money in a poker game he worked at an amusement park called Lagoon and the key to his job was getting people to play. Although some of his first games were borrowed ideas he quickly decided that the only way to stay ahead of the curve was constant innovation. He was the co-founder of Atari and the first designer of the Arcade Game.

Ralph Baer was different then Nolan in that he was a no nonsense kind of guy. Strict and interested in engineering he needed others to help make his creations have entertainment value. While at Sanders he put two people on a project making games for use on a television. One of them was Bill Rusch who helped with the entertainment aspect of the project.

Although there were other pioneers in the game design field such as William A. Higinbotham who designed “designed Tennis for Two as entertainment for visitors' days at the Brookhaven National Laboratory power plant” (Time Trip) It was Baer who was successful in creating electronic games before any others and it was Nolan who turned them into a billion dollar industry.

TIME TRIP. (2009). Current Events, 109(4), 5.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Logic and Sets in video games.

     I wrote this for an assignment and decided I would post this on my blog. I might start doing it more frequently. It was a discussion post where I need to write about the following;

  • Choose a particular computer program (a mobline app works as well) or game which math plays an important role and provide an analysis. Give a description of which type of mathematics is used, and why it is important component of the software or game. 
  • Identify and explain the use of either Logic or Sets applied in your area of interest (games or mobile apps). Some examples are provided below if you are unable to think of any examples. (Make sure you review this week's lesson before attemting this part of the discussion) 

     In The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past if you die but have caught a fairy in a bottle and had it on you at the time of death, then the fairy will resurrect you. So it is likely the logic works something like this; If your health equals zero and you have a fairy in a bottle then you stay alive but heal up, or else you die.

     A way I might write that in a scripting language is { if (health < 1 & fairy > 0) then health += 50; (if health < 1 & fairy <1) then end game; }. In Finite Math the logic would look something like this; ¬h ^ f meaning if health is not true and fairy is true. To test if both are false I think this could work ¬(h ^ f).

     As for sets it is likely that Equipment is a set of which Weapons is a subset and Swords is a subset of 
Weapons. So if I wanted to make a database and then look for all Weapons that are NOT swords, such as 
bows and boomerangs then in Finite Math it would look like this; 1x = W - S meaning list every step of x 
where x is the W set minus anything in the S set. I’m not quite sure if in this context Equipment would count 
as a universal set. I think everything from Equipment to Monsters would be different sets in the Universal 
game set.

     The reason these are important aspects of the game is because without this logic programmed into the game simply wouldn't function. I think every interactive game there is requires variables and if statements. It is possible to program a game without database logic or sets but really that is bad programming and limits the functionality of the game. Also people will naturally sort things into sets in their head so any tools that help you play the game will organize things into sets. People use this logic just as much as machines do but on a more intuitive level.

     Many games also use databases or sets to allow the addition of new items or enemies and such into the game. This helps the programming team as well as modders. For example a weapon might use an array defining it’s graphic, power, cost, size ect. as well as be contained within a Class or Type called Weapon which really is just a set.

     A note on grammar, I intentional capitalized any word I was speaking of as a set such as Equipment. Although a piece of equipment is not a title I treated the word Equipment as a title of a set if I capitalized it. It was not a typo.
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