We found 29 Reddit comments about Game Feel (Morgan Kaufmann Game Design Books). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
This book should be on the reading list of any Game-programmer who wants to make something people like.
I'm trying to remember which game design book this was covered in, I'll check when I get home. In short, so long as there is an immediate cue to acknowledge the input, the extended animation doesn't feel unresponsive.
Edit: Game Feel: A Game Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation is the one, it covers this kind of thing at length.
Hey there, I'm a game designer working in AAA and I agree with /u/SuaveZombie that you'll probably be better off with a degree in CS. BUT... don't give up on wanting to be a designer!
You should realize that it's not giving up on your dream at all, in fact, it's great advice for how to reach that dream. A designer with an engineering background is going to have a lot more tools at their disposal than one who doesn't.
Design is way more than just coming up with a bunch of cool, big ideas. You need to be able to figure out all the details, communicate them clearly to your teammates, and evaluate how well they're working so you can figure out how to make something people will enjoy. In fact, working on a big game often feels like working on a bunch of small games that all connect.
Take your big game idea and start breaking it down into all the pieces that it will need to be complete. For example, GTA has systems for driving and shooting (among many other things). Look at each of those things as its own, smaller game. Even these "small" parts of GTA are actually pretty huge, so try to come up with something as small as possible. Like, super small. Smaller than you think it needs to be. Seriously! You'll eventually be able to make big stuff, but it's not the place to start. Oh, and don't worry if your first game(s) suck. They probably will, and that's fine! The good stuff you make later will be built on the corpses of the small, crappy games you made while you were learning.
If you're truly interested in design, you can learn a lot about usability, player psychology, and communication methods without having to shell out $17k for a degree. Same goes for coding (there are tons of free online resources), though a degree will help you get in the door at companies you might be interested in and help provide the structure to keep you going.
Here's some books I recommend. Some are specific to games and some aren't, but are relevant for anything where you're designing for someone besides yourself.
• Universal Principles of Design
• The Design of Everyday Things
• Rules of Play
• The Art of Game Design This and the one below are great books to start with.
• A Theory of Fun This is a great one to start with.
• Game Feel
• Depending on the type of game you're making, some info on level design would be useful too, but I don't have a specific book to recommend (I've found pieces of many books and articles to be useful). Go play through the developer commentary on Half-Life 2 or Portal for a fun way to get started.
Sounds like you're having a tough time, so do your best to keep a positive attitude and keep pushing yourself toward your goals. There's nothing to stop you from learning to make games and starting to make them on your own if that's what you really want to do.
Good luck, work hard!
Game Feel by Steve Swink
Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman
I've read a few books on the matter and sat through a few GDC workshops. The odd thing is, outside of this, I've only ever heard /u/Arcanus44 refer to the concept as 'Juice'.
My personal oddities aside. 'Game Feel' is one of the reasons I opted to use Unity over RenPy for my VN development. There's a lot more to an experience beyond the words we use and the plot points we show.
I don't read a lot of VNs on mobile devices, but I would expect that(especially for 3DS/DS/PSP/Vita titles) to be more common than on PC releases.
Though, I think if you would like a great example of game feel in high-text environment on the PC, Undertale would probably be one of the best examples I have. Take a look at the sprite work during combat. And then how the text animates on. How the text read s l o w s d o w n and the blips deepen during dramatic moments, and is fast and big during more light-hearted moments. Sometimes, even after the text has been written the screen, it gets animated. The way the sprites animate throughout the combat (and non-combat, yet combat like) scenes screams high game-feel.
Higurashi has a few good moments with color-shifting the screen, adjusting the text read speed, and sounding that creepy-ass music right when things start getting crazy.
Editx2: And for any devs interested in my reading material, check out Steve Swink's book 'Game Feel'
It just isn't fun to completely simulate reality. Paintings are the same way. Most are naturalistic and not realistic because imitating reality perfectly is impossible and often aesthetically unsatisfactory. It is better to bend things a bit to be a bit more fun; visually appealing; and responsive, especially considering how human perception shapes our expectations.
Check out a book called Game Feel. It has a lot of cool case studies of game design that is geared towards creating good-feeling gameplay. Mario's jump is a good example. He rises much faster than he falls. This allows the player to have more agency over where they land, and in fact the fast-rise, slow-fall character ends up feeling better to everyday people. The realistic version feels stilted and unnatural, oddly enough. I'd say this is sort of analogous to entasis in columns in architecture.
Skimming the article, it looks like Swink did an admirable job of not plugging his book Game Feel: A Game Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation. So, I'll do it for him.
I think Arin likes The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition and either he or Jon liked Game Feel: A Game Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation.
Personally my favorite game design resource is either Mark Rosewater's design articles or his podcast. I prefer his podcast but both covers most of the same information. MaRo is the lead designer for Magic: The Gathering so a lot of the articles are about MtG specifically or about tabletop games but nearly all the general design podcasts are worthwhile. Most importantly, he has around twenty years of successful (and unsuccessful) design under his belt, so he isn't just talking in vague generalities or theories. He has examples backing up pretty much everything he talks about including, and maybe most importantly, times he thought he was doing the right then and messed up. I think anyone interested in game design should listen to the "Ten Things Every Game Needs" and "20 Lessons" series. You can hear his GDC version of the 20 Lessons here.
*: But the absolute best thing you can read on game design is a gamemaker tutorial. Theory is useless without execution.
There is a book called Game Feel (which I thought your post title was referring to). It's well regarded in the game design community. It goes into elaborate detail on all the points you brought up. Just if you're curious about going down this rabbit hole a bit further.
For me it's not the inherent graphics (assuming you meant graphics to mean technically impressive renderings) themselves, but rather the general "look" of the game that matters. Part of that is the obvious response, "I like things that look good over things that don't," but I think there's another factor here that often gets overlooked, one which I find to be very important: gamefeel (there's a book about it that uses that term)
The virtual sensation of playing a game, I think, matters a lot more than it's given credit for, and the way a game "feels" to play is—as far as I know—entirely based on the sensory feedback the game provides, a large portion of which are its visuals. There's a reason action games use all those particle effects when you land a hit: the visual feedback changes the sensation of the hit. In other words, the aesthetics strongly affect the gameplay.
The Errant Signal episode "Kinaesthetics" articulates the concept of gamefeel (which he likes to term "kinaesthetics") very well. You should consider checking it out.
That's not what game feel is, nor is it how Arin uses the term
There's a problem I feel that many character mods for this game have.
Skin and complexions are perfect, there is no dirt or weathering, the pupil/iris in eyes are too high in detail (not necessarily resolution), among a few other issues. The mods that affect the face can cause tension with the hair/clothing if these aren't up to scratch, then you have the problem with eyebrows in that they can look like they're drawn on (as yours do here, no offense).
Unfortunately I haven't been downloading mods in a long time (still waiting since Legendary), but try to avoid smooth skins entirely, for a start. No skin is absolutely, 100% smooth and without edges. This makes it seem like the face has quite a low poly-count, even if it doesn't. And contrasts heavily with the world of Skyrim, and all other NPCs.
Just don't layer on the mods too thick when it comes to characters. Less is more in this case. You'll end up crossing into uncanny valley territory when you add too much detail. "SUPER HD 8K EYELIDS AND EYEBROWS" aren't exactly necessary and only add to the dissonance you're experiencing.
I'm sorry if I haven't explained myself too well, it's quite late and its been a long day. Hopefully other people can help with suggestions for what to download!
One last thing to remember before I head to bed: this is a 7 year old game. Beyond making each texture look as good as possible, the game is old. Animation quality, and many features you can't really influence will still seem relatively dated. I understand there are mods for these, and I understand there are mods for animation, but to paraphrase Steve Swink the mechanics and feel of the game are 7 years old. You can't change that with mods.
TL:DR: You're likely using too many mods, they contrast with each other and create the unappealing character you see. A human face is never going to look like the above example. Less is more with character mods - choose carefully, all faces have signs of weathering or ageing.
It's difficult going for your dream game as your first project, since you learn so much from every iteration. Here's a gdc talk on 2D camera movement that's useful for getting across the correct feeling of motion. Most of my experience is in Unity, so I wouldn't really know much about gamemaker. I will say for movement a lot of it is based on how it feels to control, so get lots of different people to test your game and give you unbiased feedback. Make sure you let them know that you won't be upset if they don't like something, positive feedback on a bad game is one of the worst things that can happen to a game dev.
This is a good book to guideline what feels good in controls and other elements. A lot of what makes a game good is the polish that goes into it, which is why I can't stress the importance of this video. It starts slow, but it changed how I view my project pipeline.
Also focus on making a few mechanics really deep, instead of a lot of really shallow mechanics. Especially for indie games this will help you keep a focus on what you want the player to get from your game, and it feels a lot better on the players end to explore deep gameplay mechanics rather than throwaway gimmicks.
Edit: another useful video for polishing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg
I talked to my flatmate who's a game designer (and feels the same way about Journey as I do) about my experience and told him that it was like nothing I had ever seen or felt in a game before. That it doesn't compare to any game I know, that I'm not sure if you can even call it a game.
He stopped me right there and said "It is a game. This it what games can be, this is how powerful, artistic and deep games can be."
And he's absolutely right.
I feel like Journey might be another milestone on gaming's path to maturity. Much like film was rather gimmicky and enjoyed only for light entertainment in its early days and now over the course of a century has progressed into one of the most captivating artistic media by exploring new ways of cinematography, editing, story structures and ways of engaging viewers emotionally by using certain instruments and methods for their soundtracks, Journey is a game that may inspire developers to think of games on another level.
Journey does everything right in my eyes and the Game Feel or the Kinaesthetics are absolutely stunning and make you feel exactly what the game wants you to feel instead of showing or describing it to you.
If you want to get him something re: Game Design I'd like to suggest Game Feel: https://www.amazon.com/Game-Feel-Designers-Sensation-Kaufmann/dp/0123743281
The biggest inspiration of this video, come from Game Feel book written by Steve Swink. I recommend any Gamers who have interest in Game Design to check it out. Learn a lot about the design philosophy of Game Feel. The book did an incredible job tangibilizing abstract concept like Game Feel to something you can closely examine.
Game Feel Book by Steve Swink
Source for all gameplay are in the description of the video but I think I'll leave it here too. All of these guys deserve their credits since I use their gameplay. Hopefully they won't issue a takedown against this video. Tried my best to only use their video for examination purpose.
My last video that I made that I touched on in this video if you're interested.
Level-by-Level Analysis Episode 3
> I haven't heard of Chris Franklin so I'll check him out.
He's fantastic! I especially love that he promotes many games I haven't otherwise heard of.
> I couldn't really follow this tbh...
Yeah, sorry. I literally mean he uses first-person perspective too much, as in "I thought this." This is another academic writing thing, though I understand that YouTube video essays are inherently more personable than that medium of discussion. Reviewers should try to wring out their biases when analyzing text (text here meaning the content of the game, not literal text). None of the reviewers I mentioned fully abstain from this, but (like I said) Joseph Anderson seems to embrace his anecdotal perspective. This is a hard concept to fully communicate, but it's probably the cornerstone for why I'd label his style unprofessional. It's also a big factor in why his videos seem dense with so much filler - an essayist really doesn't need to qualify their statements with "I think..." when everything they say is already inherently coming from their point of view. And I do think the other reviewers I mentioned constitute a form of academic writing on games, just one that's more accessible.
> I haven't played the game mind you
Yeah, and that's another academic writing thing - analysis should be written for people who are already familiar with what's being analyzed. I still enjoy analysis videos of games I haven't played, but I shouldn't be the target demographic in that case.
> I don't get the impression these statements are designed to provoke...
They probably aren't, but it's reflective of an unprofessional writing style. Using words like "worst" and "best" rarely promotes interesting discussion.
> I strongly (and passionately) disagree with this...
I know it's hard work to make videos and it sucks when their points are rendered irrelevant (if I could find that CGP Grey video where he talks about someone else planning a video exactly like one of his and losing all steam once Grey's video steals all the attention, I'd link it). However, the date of publication is everything, and I'm sure Joseph has at least gone to Korok forest since the 1.1 update - since that's where the consistently worst framerate drops were - and seen the drastic improvements. It came too late to help his experience with the game, but the author has a responsibility to mention it since the world he's publishing the video in is the world where the 1.1 patch has been out for weeks. Or, you know, cut that section entirely since everyone else covered it at release and he said nothing new about framerates, anyway.
> I'm watching the video you linked now...
KingK suffers from many of my same complaints I just wrote up, here. Here's a comment I left on his Wind Waker video that I'll just quote here in its entirety because it's easier to quote than link YouTube comments - it's really not necessary to read but I believe I'm consistent in my complaints given that this was written a month ago.
> As a fan of a lot of these analyses-type videos and having watched your OoT, MM, and now WW videos, I have a few critiques. Main thing: be more succinct. It comes in a variety of forms - especially the times when you're trying to be humorous (brevity being the soul of wit and all). I'd pretty much recommend cutting out a lot of your humor except for the hardest hitting jokes - otherwise the jokes become tiresome and make me want to just watch matthewmatosis's reviews for the umpteenth time. Also cut waaaay down on the swearing - it doesn't make the viewer respect you any more, it doesn't make you any funnier or relatable, and it can at worst be off-putting when the viewer's trying to take you seriously. The emotional tones should in general be more reserved (like during your rant on the minigames, which I thought brought up rather valid, critical points) as it changes the tone from "discussion" to "rant" and makes your points less respectable. In general, though, I feel like you belabor many of your specific points. Just listening to you explain your bias towards this game was agonizing in the beginning as I got the gist in 10 seconds what you took 45 seconds to describe. Like at 28:11 , you don't have to defend yourself as "not being a game designer" - just assume your authority on the subject and don't waste time (and make me question your ethos) with such an empty point about why you bring up your points. This is a bit of a snobbish acadamia-sort of observation, but I'd try to limit your usage of first and especially second person pronouns - the audience can think for themselves and the more you bring yourself into the equation, the less impartial your stance seems. Also, some of your footage and editing seems ever-so slightly ill-timed, like at 36:11 when you don't actually show the doors in the room unlocking in a linear order, or even earlier where you mention how nice the great sea theme is while playing dragon roost in the background (I know you played great sea before then, but still). Another acadamia-obnoxious-observation: there's a lot of retelling of what happens in the game (or the text, rather) when you can skip over a lot of that as a reviewer. With video games, this point is less important and I did appreciate your overview of sidequests that I never bothered with, but your explanations can definitely be more succinct (as can everything). It becomes overbearing when you go through each boss in order saying little else than "they're easy". Overall, I seriously think this video could be 15 minutes shorter with all the filler and repetition cut out - I definitely wouldn't be shy about leaving more on the cutting room floor next time. All that's to say I think this was a decent analysis, and me writing that up that critique of your presentation was also a means for me to further reflect on my own analysis video I'm developing and its room for improvement. Thanks for the video, and I look forward to Skyward Sword.
> Remember that bit you said about Anderson taking controversial stances?...
Touché, but the little criticisms I've levied about un-academic writing and longwindedness do amount to comparative unprofessionalism. He does show why "he thinks" combat is shallow (he seriously needs to cut out those "he thinks" types of qualifiers), but he can get all of his points across in a far more concise manner.
I'm going to throw in a new pedantic complaint real quick: why does he center the text of his lists in the video? His lists start with numbers! Numbered lists are always aligned by the . or ) which separates the numbers from their text! Just... frame composition, man. It's like getting upset with kearning and ligatures, but damn if it doesn't have an easy solution to look more professional.
> I don't know. It just sounds like you want more videos by the other people you mentioned...
I do, but
> I'm surprised so many people (not just you by any stretch) lump these guys all in together...
/r/videogameanalysis is the subreddit for that. It is a new phenomenon that sort of started with Egoraptor's jokey Megaman X video and morphed into serious discussion videos from the home grown video game community - not academics from other media trying to apply their understanding of something like film to games. It's taking actual textbooks on game design and distilling them for the masses. I'm amazed whenever I see a new person that enters this "scene" and brings up original points with new personality. Noah Caldwell-Gervais is an example of one of these types whom I respect yet don't enjoy watching. Joseph Anderson I can't respect when he doesn't meet the bar set by other "video game analyst" -types. There's of course something less serious about having these discussions on democratic platforms like YouTube and Reddit, but seeing Anderson's videos getting the praise they get worries me about the future quality of this entertainment and these discussions.
> If I had to sum it up, I'd say matthewmatosis makes me change the way I think about a game on a deep level. Anderson points out what I feel like I should have noticed myself.
That's actually a pretty good sum-up that should negate everything I said in the previous (pretentious) paragraph. They speak to different audiences, but that seems like such a cheap conclusion when they're both in-depth, highly analytical long-form reviews.
I don't know - I think I'm a hate-watching troll at this point, and that bugs me. I can say "people should have higher standards" but at what point is that just me saying "people should have my standards"? It feels like wading through muck to find the golden nuggets of insight in Joseph's videos. Other people don't have that experience. Ok. This isn't a profound statement about the degradation of knowledge about games, but the more I try to argue my point the more it seems like that's the stance I'm taking. I just really don't enjoy his videos, and I probably shouldn't think about it beyond there.
There's more than likely a happy medium here. Does floaty feel too floaty and inhibit the players ability to aim? Do tight controls feel to rigid and break the feeling of being a spaceship in free-flight?
You just need to nail down the feel. Flying should feel like flying but also still give the player all the control they need.
Sure the middleware could do a kind of "sensor integration" helping to translate different axes of movement, rotation from various devices using quaternions into a standard control scheme though that's kind of missing the point for games. For scientific applications such as viewing large datasets, the emphasis is on precision while: picking | zooming | moving data around. You could call it an objective -based approach to interaction.
Whereas the role of the gameplay programmer is in conveying subjective -based game feel through the interaction space which might include visuals, sound and so on. Developers should still be able to define characteristics such as responsiveness, dead zones, logarithmic scaling for longer -throw movements or button presses. The physical controller being just one part of the overall system used to communicate sensation. Take Mario's jump from the NES for example, it seems stupidly simple but there is an entire book that has been written about it's properties.
Another example might be the implementation of control in two different FPS games: "Call of Duty: Ghosts" and "Battlefield 4". One game has gone to the extent of degrading it's graphics in order to provide rock solid 60Hz polling of the controller, providing crystal clear response. The latter does the opposite and privileges large draw distance and numbers of players but the controls are 30Hz and feels squishy, slightly unresponsive. The brain creates an idea of "sensation" from many different modalities and the control surface is a part of that palette.
Can't agree more on the first one. Also, Mathematics for Computer Graphics and Game Feel
I've been putting together content for years about videogame design on my development blog HobbyGameDev, some of which might be applicable for the kind of thing you're looking for. A lot of it is design and production focused, and a handful of technical tutorials. Small teams, solo developers, and non-commercial projects are the main audience but a decent chunk of it can be extended or adapted to games of other scales or contexts.
I'll also suggest the book Game Feel by Steve Swink.
It's a subject that interests me greatly, especially as a novice game and user interface/user experience designer. This book is a damn fascinating read on the subject, and while it deals a lot with the hypothetical, it's still insightful nonetheless.
I used to hate math, too. Rest assured, you don't hate math, you hate the way you've been taught math. Math is beautiful and wonderful and every bit as lovely as the most eloquent of sonnets. There's true beauty in Euclid's proof that there are infinitely many primes, and in Cantor's proof that the infinity of the real numbers is greater than the infinity of the integers, or in any proof of the Pythagorean theorem. Math isn't about numbers, or equations, or multiplication tables, it's about seeing the beauty that comes from exploring a set of rules, be that algebra or calculus or geometry.
If you want to make video games, you've come to the right place. If you want to try it out, Ludum Dare, a 48 hour game jam, is coming up soon, and you can make something very simple for it to see if coding is for you. More than math, computer science is about problem solving and logic. The math is there, but that stuff can be done with calculators and Wolfram|Alpha. Even if you don't like code, you may like designing games, and if you do, you can make simpler games with less coding knowledge in GameMaker or Twine or Stencyl until you've built up enough of a portfolio to justify working with coders to make your designs become reality. (GameMaker, Twine, and Stencyl are all really mature tools at this point. GameMaker was used to make Hotline Miami, and Twine was used to make Depression Quest)
Note, however, that game design is not just being an "idea guy". Game design is real work involving real problem solving, playtesting, and a lot of study of the greats of the past, like any artistic endeavor. You'll want to play and dissect the great works of the past and see how they tick and why they're still memorable all these years later, read things like Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design", or Steve Swink's "Game Feel" to understand what games are and what they can be, so you can push those boundaries in new and exciting directions.
This is getting lots of love- what do folks think is the best section of this to include?
It feels important to include a reading that's particularly relevant to game design - do y'all think that this is the one to include? I'm also considering a section from Game Feel if anyone has thoughts on that. Might be too specific...
Alternatively, is there a short reading, or section from a book, that has an interesting way of contextualizing what it means to design a game, or perhaps how designers think about games differently than theorists?
I recommend the book: Swink - Game Feel
SUNY Represent! (Binghamton Alum)
You should check out this talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg
Right now your game is missing that "Game Feel" (which coincidentally is the title of another awesome book you should read by Steve Swink http://www.amazon.com/Game-Feel-Designers-Sensation-Kaufmann/dp/0123743281).
Also, I can't tell if your capture software is dropping frames or your video is. If it is the capture then you should really find good capture software. If it's the actual framerate that we're seeing then you need to get on top of that ASAP!
Finally I would consider making the camera tighter/closer on the characters, and compressing the overall architecture of the levels. The world right now seems so big and empty. Your level design does not excite me. I should want to explore your world, and the design should be encouraging me to do so.
Here are some good free level design reads