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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October 27th - Programming & Game Design

October has been a mixed month where I've been spending quite a lot of time on learning Game design. I haven't stopped working on improving my programming though and been continuing to work my way through The Nature of Code, which is a free e-book if you are interested. 

The biggest benefit so far in learning from The Nature of Code is that it's helping me get a much better foundational understanding of how to use vectors  linear algebra and applying forces to create both better movement. 

Here is a quick GIF of a flying-type creature where the wings are moved using a looping rotation script based on cosine and the body utilizes a vertical force to push itself up and is affected by gravity and whether the wings are flapping or not.

Since I have access to the Advanced Game Design curriculum as a part of the teaching staff at the CEA, I figured I should use this opportunity to learn as much as I can and round out my understanding of creating games. Two primary areas of interest that I've been focusing on is Level Design and Storytelling. 

Level Design

Prior to this I've never delved too deeply into what makes a good game level. As a result I've been blown away by how multi-disciplinary and deep it can get when it comes to the design process of making a good game level. One of the best breakdown for evaluating good level design is a presentation by Scott Morin who goes over what he has determined are core principles. Some of these principles are : Mass & Void, Elevation, Scale, Function and Form.

You can check out an introductory presentation here which I would highly recommend if you want to learn more about level design.

I'm also been working my way through a recommend book called Architecture Form, Space, And Order. It's not specifically about game and level design but its been helpful in introducing me to design concepts and I can see it serving as a great inspirational resource.

Two other fantastic level design learning resources has been the GDC talks An Approach to Holistic Level Design and Creative Process for Level Designers by Steve Lee. He explained how level design can have a big impact on gameplay, presentation and story experience.


What differentiates games from other entertainment medium such as books or films is that there is a big interactive component to games. I'm learning that most general good story telling principles still apply but what you really need to deeply consider is the interactive component. This is especially so when it comes to who the main character of the story is.

Are the players playing as the main character themselves or are they playing in place of a character. This type of decision can significantly impact the structure of the story and the game experience.

Halloween Art Piece

There was also a Halloween art contest which I decided to participate in. Here was my 360-video submission that I created using Unity and Blender.


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