Game Dev Story and Loops

Graham McAllister for Edge Magazine:

For many gamers, it’s more likely that they will stop playing at the end of a level rather than in the middle of a level. However, in Game Dev Story, the end of a level is somewhat blurred, as once your game in development is complete, rather than be rewarded with the sales figures immediately, you have period of time where you see your game’s sales figures gradually increase. You’re not inactive, however, because you’ll be taking on contract jobs or starting another game development project so your staff don’t lie fallow, effectively starting a second game loop before the first has finished. This overlap in game loops removes a natural exit point from the game, making it much more likely that you’ll continue to play. Forever.

Game Dev Story ate up a lot of late night time for about a week for me, and it is very cleverly designed in this way. You are constantly being given new tasks to do and it’s not clear when they will end.

It also helps that the game has a ton of charm and even intentional occurrences of “Engrish.”

You can pick it up for iOS here if you are interested in seeing what this looks like. It’s $4 well spent.

Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior

Each of the ghosts is programmed with an individual “personality”, a different algorithm it uses to determine its method of moving through the maze. Understanding how each ghost behaves is extremely important to be able to effectively avoid them. However, before discussing their individual behaviors, let’s first examine the logic that they share.

I’ve read some of the source material on this before—the way the ghosts are programmed in Pac-Man is an awesome tale of making the best of limited resources and of sharp and inspired design.

(via GameInternals – Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior.)