chapter 10: core mechanics definitions and mechanisms
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Chapter 10: Core MechanicsDefinitions and Mechanisms1Core MechanicsThe rules of the gameHow the player interacts with the rulesMonopoly example:Game ships with 3 pages of rules, but that would not actually be enough because you need:The prices of propertyCommunity and chance cardsRent collected from each propertyLayout of the boardDefine rules by data and algorithmsEventually the CMs should be so well documented that programmers could grab the documentation and have everything they need.Interesting fact: The CMs and the game engine relationship is very close, because the CMs specify how the game engine behaves.
2Functions of Core MechanicsOperate the internal economy of the gamePresent active challengesAccept player actions & transmit triggers to the storytelling engineDetect victory or lossOperate the aiSwitch the game from mode to mode3Real Time vs Turn Based GamesCMs work different ways for bothTurn Based Games: Wait for the player to do something then calculate the result and effects with CMs. There might be computations going on in between turns, but the AI opponents will still do moves based on the mechanics.Real Time: Core mechanics are always implementing even if the player does nothing. AI will walk around, simulations will continue. 4CMs and Level DesignWhen a game loads a level, each level has its own game type, winning conditions, timing, and sequence of challenges that appear. CMs specify how the different challenges actually work but not what levels they will appear in. Basically the CMs provide the level designers building blocks.
6Important Core Mechanics ConceptsResourcesEntitiesAttributesMechanicsNumeric and Symbolic Relationships
8The Internal EconomySourcesDrainsConvertersTradersProduction MechanismsTangible and Intangible ResourcesFeedback Loops, Mutual Dependencies, and DeadlocksStatic and Dynamic Equilibrium9
11Core Mechanics and GameplaySo far we have described the core mechanics as a system but we need to emphasize a little more on the role of the player. As we discussed the core mechanics allow challenges to be detected and completed.12Core Mechanics and GameplayPassive ChallengesActive ChallengesPlayer Actions Trigger MechanicsActions Accompanied By Data13Core Mechanics DesignGoals of Core Mechanics DesignStrive for simplicity and eleganceSimple rules are the easiest for new players to understand, and gives a much wider appealLook for patterns, then generalizeRecognize patterns instead of documenting dozens of individual casesSuppose you decide that swamp leeches really belong in water and that a swamp leech should lose 10 points of health for every minute that its out of the water. Later, you decide that a salamander should lose 5 points of health for every minute that its out of fire. Instead of coming up for a mechanic for each creature explain a general case only once for all environmental creatures14Core Mechanics DesignDont try to get everything on paperIf you try to get everything on paper you will never finishIt is more important to be clear and precise in your documentationFind the right level of detailNot enough details, programmers might assume thing and programming mistakes and errors will show up. But this will allow the programming stage to be fast To much detail could take too long Revisit your earlier design work15Core Mechanics DesignThings to look out for:What is the player going to do?Your flowboard of the games structureYour list of gameplay modes and your plans for themThe general outline of the story you want to tellThe names of any charactersYour general plans for each level in the gameThe progression of the levelsAny victory or loss conditionsAny non-gameplay actions16Core Mechanics DesignList your entities and resourcesAdd the mechanics:Think about your resourcesStudy your entitiesAnalyze challenges and actionsLook for global mechanic17Random Numbers and the Gaussian CurvePseudo - Random NumbersRandom number generator algorithms take in something called a seed. Then the algorithm creates a random number. The only issue is that if you dont change the seed you will end up with the same random number. Not really fun, especially for some kind of game that includes a dice roll, but it is pretty good for testing. 18Random Numbers and the Gaussian CurveMonte Carlo SimulationsSometimes it is hard to test a system when there are many different inputs that could occur. So we do something called a Monte Carlo simulation, this just means that we test a system with a bunch of inputs and record the outputs in a file. 19Random Numbers and the Gaussian CurveUniform DistributionsThe chance of getting one number is equal to the chance of any other number. Like a dice roll.Nonuniform DistributionDifferent probability for each randomly generated number. Like 2 die being rolled, chance of rolling a 12 is different then rolling a 6Gaussian CurveAppears very often in nature, it is just like a 2 die being rolled.