[Unity Tips][Design Tips] Reoccurring Advice

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[Unity Tips][Design Tips] Reoccurring Advice

Postby StrykerSub » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:42 am

Before I start, this thread is intended towards H-Game developers (Primarily), some of this content may seem somewhat harsh, however it is intended as constructive criticism and there are always exceptions to what is said here.

General Game Design Advice:
I’ve been doing game design / game development for roughly 10 years (I’m not linking to that) and I could link dozens of articles for game design but I’d rather just address some things I’m consistently seeing on here. I’m not saying games being created on here are bad or pointing the finger at anyone; but rather just lacking in some areas that could easily be improved upon, help people understand game development a bit better and getting the best out of their hard work.

  • Video Games are meant to be fun, that should be your top priority. You should ask yourself this every time you decide to make a gameplay feature for your game, “Is this fun?”.
  • World Scale, just because you can make a 1:1 sized city in a game, doesn’t mean you should or need to. I’ve played too many games (Mostly RPG Maker) where I spend ages just travelling around and being confused to where to go, what is relevant and what is not. This is what single screen over world maps are good for!
  • If you've only got one "scene" or feature, focus on that! I’ve seen plenty of games have a really cool story focus or gameplay mechanic but then get stuck doing something irrelevant most of the time. If you game is only 20 minutes long, so be it!
  • Grinding… Personally it's one of the worst things I see and I see it a lot. Mindless grinding for (literally) hours to make some basic progress with little to no reward. Burning time for the sake of it isn’t fun, people will lose interest and what's the point then?
  • Repetitive Tasks, Much the same as grinding, having to do something over and over is so uninteresting. If its pivotal to your game, make it fast and quick! For example if it's a life sim game where you have a job, do not have 3 pages of text, just have a quick 1 second screen that's skippable, we can assume what happens there. If its about earning cash or a stat, have a way to increase the productivity of the task so we do it half as much.
  • Easy Mode / Cheats, A great way to make your game accessible is to have a way to burn through the content faster or in an easier manner. Having an Easy mode that earns you double, even triple XP/Money/etc is always welcomed. If you can’t implement an easy mode, try adding cheats; they don’t need to be ‘Unlock all’ but rather things like ‘Give 1000 gold’ etc, allow to bypass any grinding or repetitive tasks and just get on with your story! Some of us are time deficient!
  • One Chance, I’ve played games where I’ve missed my opportunity on content purely because I messed up a single interaction or didn’t realise I had to do something in order to gain access to content. You should be making it very apparent (To the point where you actually tell your players) that a negative consequence will happen if you do X or if you want X content do Y. People do not have the time or patience to completely replay your game.
  • Instant Game Over(Death), If you plan on putting the player in a game over situation, give them an Auto Save, Checkpoint or a save point. There is nothing worse (Personally happened in several games) than a game instantly killing me after going through the first 20-40 minutes of a game and have the game (or me because I haven’t been in danger) not save. It’s a cliche that you get the auto save before the boss fight, but there is a reason for it. Starting over from the beginning is a big slap to your players face, avoid it.
  • People will only play your game once! If someone has downloaded your game it's likely they’ll only load it up once! You may only have this one opportunity to tell them your story, so hook them in and give a real taste of your game. You may notice in a lot of modern games you play the first chapter with all the abilities unlocked, then you lose them in the next chapter, it's designed to give you a taste of what is to come and something to work towards.
  • Time, Mentioned a few times above, time is the most valuable thing we humans have. Try avoid wasting it in your games, if a puzzle is too long, shorten it. If it's too complicated, remove it. Here’s a video that shows that exact frustration… http://setheverman.tumblr.com/post/1523 ... video-game
  • Avoid Walls of Text, if you need to teach your player how to play your game, show them don't tell. Assume your audience will not read more than a single paragraph at a time and that paragraph needs to be focused on one feature/thing and not a dozen. For example use symbols or images to represent a collectable resource than text label. If your game is complicated and you need to teach your player a lot, try having a 'intro' level that introduces each feature one at a time.
  • Tips, Its a pain to add to some games but having a tips feature to remind players how to operate a feature in your game (Espically if they haven't been using it) helps them out a lot. Like everyone, skip the tutorial and wing it works most of the time but that one important thing will be missed. If you don't want to setup a complicated system for tips/tutorials, at least do one tutorial for the unique feature in your game that separates it from the crowed. e.g. FPS but jumping makes you invert gravity tip.

General and Genre Advice

  • RPG Makers, don’t take it personally but if I want to play a good RPG, I’d play something like Final Fantasy. Don’t let this stop you from making your dream project by any means, just understand that if you want to tell a story or make a fun game, having hours of grinding and combat isn’t everyone's cup of tea and professional companies have it nailed by now, focus on what makes your game interesting and unique from the rest.
  • H-Games, As mentioned above about repetitive tasks and grinding… a person only has so much ‘stamina’ that they may lose interest in your colourful scenes by the time they reach them, you can space out sex scenes but keep your audience 'interested' in between these scenes.
  • One handed controls, seriously… If people want to play an action game, they’ll load up one that was made by professionals over a 2 year period, people are playing this h-game for a reason so why make it difficult for them. Go for Mouse or Keyboard only, not both.

Unity3d Tips:
Scroll View Setting. If you're going to use “Scroll View” make sure to set the scroll sensitivity something greater than 1. 1 = 1 Pixel per scroll tick, 10-14 works great. A lot of games miss this and the scrolling is too slow that you just end up using the scroll bar on the side.

Do not include the debug files from your build, they unnecessarily bloat your games file size increasing the download size. (These files were removed in a recent update I believe?) You should only have “YourGameName.exe” and “YourGameName_Data” folder in your build folder, any additional files should be removed (Unless intentionally put there of course). Those files have been known to be upwards of 200-300MB’s each and greatly affect the download time and size for doing literally nothing.

Rename and remove your Inputs. Inputs can be accessed by going to Edit>Project Settings>Input. I’ve seen tons of games with “Fire1”, “Fire2” and “Fire3” with zero context to what these buttons are actually doing. As a rule of Thumb you should be removing/renaming these as one of your first steps in a new project. I use “Left Action” and “Right Action” for the mouse inputs, easily rebindable with less confusion.

Change Quality Presets, by default Unity has the 6 “Good”, “Beautiful” etc settings. For me this is the classic “What highest setting can I put it on and what did they develop on”, but we can easily fix this! We can change these by going to Edit>Project Settings>Quality. First thing you should do is choose either “Good” or “Simple” and rename it “Standard” (Renaming 'Good' preferred). This will indicate that this is your targeted performance setting and you should be using this at all times when developing your game. Now load up your most visual scene and click on “Fastest” (Lowest setting) and see things disappear and not render correctly (IE lighting is near pitch black etc). If you’re having this issue you should just outright remove that setting from the list, no point in having a graphics setting that will break your game. You can come back later and add it back if you want to do the work to make the graphics work at that setting. Side note, higher settings should be regarded as a “Bonus”, when you begin development you might set your game to the highest setting but later on after you’ve built half your game it’ll start to slow down etc. Leave that to the user to decide. If your game is 2D, you likely only need 1 Preset as 2D rendering is fairly straightforward, experiment with it and get it looking correct and remove the rest of the presets as not to confuse people. And of course last thing we should do is rename all the presets, You should have Standard in the middle so anything below that should be interpreted as ‘not very good’ ie “Low” and “Lower” etc, same for the higher than standard settings, “High”, “Highest”. Really you should have a dedicated graphics options menu for a final product but that’s adding another level of complexity.

Resolutions, this doesn’t happen often but some people develop 4:3 games but still leave in 16:9 resolution options which breaks their game. Goto Edit>Project Settings>Player, crack open the Presentation and Resolution tab at the bottom and then the Supported Aspect Ratios. Untick anything not supported by your game. Also check out the other settings in this menu, really good tweak-able options throughout.

That's some of the basic's I've got to offer for now, if you've got a question about Unity or a design choice just let me know below.
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Re: [Unity Tips][Design Tips] Reoccurring Advice

Postby DraturaXXX » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Great advices! Thank you for putting effort and time into this.

I can also recommend to have a look at Extra Credits' YouTube Channel as well as the official Unity tutorials.
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