Gameplay

‘Lord of Dominion’ Postmortem: A practise of game design

In my last semester in Entertainment Technology Center, I took the course Game Design Fundamentals from Stone Librande. It was a great class where we learned theories and methods of developing different parts of a game such as the balance system, the reward system, levels and so on through practice of analyzing existing games and designing/redesigning small part of the systems of boardgame. The final assignment is to design a boardgame which can be introduced and finished in 15 to 20 minutes from scratch individually. Milestones of the assignment were split throughout the semester so that we can build the game step by step based on what we currently learned from the course. This article is going to talk about how I made Lord of Dominion, a 2-player strategy boardgame, as my final project. However, there are limitations due to the requirements and the fact that it is a boardgame, which prevents me from implementing some more complicated features. Therefore, recently, I’m converting and polishing it into a Unity version in my spare time.

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Bitfields for multiple flags in Unity

Demand

Supposed we’re going to develop a shooting game. Characters in our game have several flags such as IsMoving, IsShooting, IsLoading, IsHiding… All these behaviors might happen simultaneously (or, of course, individually), say, the character can shoot while moving, can load his gun while hiding. How are we going to set these flags?

The simplest way might be allocating bools for them respectively. However, bools in C# are stored as ints and the compiler might not be able to combines/consolidates them. So if there’re 16 bools, that’s an allocation of 16 ints – wasteful. In addition, if one of those combinations (eg. IsMoving + IsShooting) are frequently used, the codes might be burden.

Following are some tips for such situation.

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