Game Design



  • Hello all, I’m trying to design a game, likely to be highly complex. I was hoping someone might help explain several features of the process.

    1. Mapmaking-How do you draw maps? I have, in the past used blank maps from the internet, and then used paintbrush to edit them into the shapes I like.  However, these never have the level of resolution I feel necessary, and working with that resolution slows my computer heavily. Second, the colors feel wrong, and my game has a majority neutral territories starting out, and I feel like a map with huge amounts of white is an automatic turnoff. How do you all deal with neutral coloration?

    2. Rules - How do you get the diagrams, and pictures found in A&A. Obviously a one-off printing won’t have that kind of quality, but how can it be emulated? How do you ensure you have covered everything?

    3. Units - I’ll probably just use units from other games, but how do you design them. I’m good at designing rules and maps, but I’m no artist.

    4. Playtesting - If you’re lucky to get in, say, 1 game in three months of A&A, how do you test a game? It’s not that I don’t have time, just no one to play against.



  • Try making the game in Triplea first.  Not only can you play the AI (ok, the AI sticks and is designed for Revised, but it works for rough testing), but you can play the game online.

    There is a whole mapmaking/gamemaking tool that anyone can use for free.  I can’t claim to have much experience with making new games (Just playing them on Triplea), but there are dozens of games for Triplea.



  • While this sounds great, the game is intended to have a design reminiscent of Diplomacy, so many players are required. I guess I’ll just have to pay people to play


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    @Croesus:

    1. Mapmaking-How do you draw maps? I have, in the past used blank maps from the internet, and then used paintbrush to edit them into the shapes I like.  However, these never have the level of resolution I feel necessary, and working with that resolution slows my computer heavily. Second, the colors feel wrong, and my game has a majority neutral territories starting out, and I feel like a map with huge amounts of white is an automatic turnoff. How do you all deal with neutral coloration?

    For a neutral colour, I’d recommend light grey.  It’s not as stark as plain white, while at the same time it doesn’t call attention to itself the way most colours do.

    On the question of the map itself, there’s an old wargaming trick that you might want to use if the geography of your game is imaginary (which I think it might be because you refer to editing maps into the shapes you like).  It’s a trick for drawing maps of fictional continents on paper, but I imagine it can be adapted for computers – perhaps by first drawing the map in outline on paper, then scanning it (probably section by section due to size considerations).

    The trick is to get yourself some maps of various existing medium-sized or small-sized places whose shapes aren’t as recognizable as those of well-known countries.  Maps of islands in foreign countries – available for free from travel agents or from government tourism agencies – work nicely.  You pick the ones you want, cut them out, and fit them together in a way that looks good to create a large continent, with each island consituting a country.  You deal with the odd-shaped cracks between the various countries by turning them into mountain ranges, deserts, large lakes, or small independent countries (like Switzerland).  Once your map is assembled, you cover it with sheets of thin white paper and draw a clean copy of the borders in black felt pen to produce your outline map.



  • While that trick is legitimately awesome, and will be used someday. I refer to the distortion that Larry gets. The island of Java would never be the size it is in game, nor would any territory in all of Europe. How does he get a general shape, and then distort it to work?



  • @Croesus:

    While this sounds great, the game is intended to have a design reminiscent of Diplomacy, so many players are required. I guess I’ll just have to pay people to play

    There are often games played on Triplea of 4 players and sometimes as many as 8;  Either in teams or free for all (Yes a version of diplomacy is played too).



  • How do you intend to play test? Like in your area, or online? Because with the latter I’m sure the community would love to help you out.


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