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  General discussion on game design required.  (Read 2437 times)
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Offline The Dude

Junior Newbie

« Posted 2006-02-22 13:47:47 »


After many years of meaning to do it I have started work on a game!

I have no problems with the Java language but am interested in reading any general articles on Game design. Any recommendations would be welcomed.

I am particularly interested in any useful design patterns and also general discussion on methods of implementing game levels (How objects are stored, displayed etc). 


The Dude.
Offline TheAnalogKid

JGO Coder

Projects: 2

« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-02-22 14:05:46 »

I've never read that book but "A Theory of Fun" is supposed to be a very good book according to many people here, including ChrisM. Also you can consult the Game Design sub-section in the feature section on What else: see also It's also a good place to learn.

Offline pi3rc3

Junior Newbie

« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-02-22 21:38:45 »

i dont think he actually means game design but rather game design patterns. ive been lookin around for a book like this also but have yet to find one.
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Offline The Dude

Junior Newbie

« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-02-23 12:09:12 »

I was refering to design patterns but also wanted more of an overview on general design from a software engineering perspective.

For instance:

Would you split user input, state updates, screen updates etc. into seperate threads? If so why/why not?

What techniques are there for storing game levels? Would you maintain a huge collection of game objects for each level or would you split them into groups (rooms?)

I have never had the opportunity to look at the high level design for a game so I am just doing a bit of investigation before I start. It might save me a lot of pain in the long run.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder

Medals: 1

« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-02-23 13:00:19 »

I've never read that book but "A Theory of Fun" is supposed to be a very good book

Perhaps, but it's largely, if not entirely, useless in any practical learning of game design. has reviewed a lot of books both good and bad on technique of software-design of games, which is what you're after I believe, but mostly people just recommend writing some really simple games and getting a feel through experimentation.

If you can afford it, or can find someone else's copies, I'd strongly recommend Game Programming Gems books. They're full of tips and techniques on this kind of stuff. But ... they're whatever tips people thought up, not a coherent education in design, so given that they are also expensive, I would recommend as I said trying to borrow copies Smiley. (NB: I co-authored some, so I'm biased. But, honestly, I'd only get approx $0.10 if you bought a copy Smiley)

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Offline beowulf03809

Senior Devvie

Medals: 2

We live for the code, we die for the code

« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-02-23 14:25:22 »

So basically, Blah, you're saying you get ten cents for giving us your two cents?  :Roll Eyes
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder

Projects: 1

"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"

« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-02-23 15:06:26 »

The closest thing I've ever seen to an "Everything you ever wanted to know about gaming but didn't know the right questions to ask book" is Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus. Some of the information is dated (based on DOS), but most of it is about theory and practical operation of games. He covers everything from 2D gaming, 2.5D gaming, and even the basics of true 3D gaming (though I had the book for several years before I realized the proper equations were right there in the book). In addition, the subject is approached in a straightforward manner with plenty of humor to keep you interested. (e.g. "Since we mixed polar coordinates with cartesian coordinates, the 3D view is warped. Or in deference to you Kent, it's like looking through a fishbowl.")

Perhaps the best recommendation I can give for this book is the fact that I've read it, re-read it, and read it again about 10 times or so, despite the fact that it's an 800 page book! The binding on my copy is nearly destroyed from all the use it's gotten. There's simply no better introduction to the world of gaming than this book, even if some of the info is a bit dated. The only warning I have for you is that the book's jokes are a lot funnier if you've seen Real Genius. Otherwise you'll have no idea who this "Kent" character is that he keeps referring to.  Tongue Grin

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