Typing Games: how and why?

A beginner’s guide to designing typing games and exploring their niche market

A short article based on this genre study was published on gamedeveloper.com

If you already know some typing games, you probably have an opinion, good or bad. If you don’t know much about them, no worries, that’s what I expected. The genre is very niche, and for good reason: how odd to want to control a game with typing! It is indeed so odd that it brings unusual and pretty exciting design challenges. But the genre is so niche that there are few, if any, design resources available. That’s where I come in! I’ll try to give a good overview of typing games based on my personal experience as a game designer on Epistory and Nanotale, various typing games I’ve played, and interviews I’ve had with other typing game developers.

I plan to cover a bit of the history and background around popular typing games, then delve into the design considerations that typing poses and the solutions we can find. Finally we’ll look at where the genre is headed.

Continue reading “Typing Games: how and why?”

A simple format to archive design decisions

This article written during Nanotale’s development describes how we kept an archive of decision-making within the design documentation with the help of a few simple icons.

Before starting production on Nanotale, we took some time to prototype various typing gameplay ideas. When prototyping, you have to focus on the things you want to test, and iterate on them as fast as possible. There is no time to document everything. But the prototypes do not always speak by themselves. (Sometimes there is no playable build to keep, like the time I tested interactive dialogs by acting as the NPC and talking through Slack with a colleague. We will get back to that.) So we needed a way to archive what we learned from each iteration, in a format that would be quick to write and read.

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Handmade vs randomized level design in Epistory

This is an old article that was written as a dev blog post for Epistory, a typing adventure game and the first project I worked on at Fishing Cactus.

The problem

As in most puzzle / adventure games, Epistory’s level design, is designed manually from the world layout to the smallest puzzle. But to save time and money, we need to automate everything else, like generic and repetitive patterns or effects that give life to the world. That is what this article is about: the level building of all the things that are not unique or designed for a specific purpose. Continue reading “Handmade vs randomized level design in Epistory”

Epistory is not your usual typing game

This is an old article that was written as a dev blog post for Epistory, a typing adventure game and the first project I worked on at Fishing Cactus.

It all starts with (good) intentions

When you start creating a game. When you think you have a great idea to turn into a great game. When that idea has just been tested and when your team thinks it may very well become that great game you have in mind. There is something you know you must do. You may have already done it during the early design process but the original vision has changed now that you made different rough gameplay tests and added new members to the team. That thing – the title already spoiled it – is defining your intentions. Continue reading “Epistory is not your usual typing game”