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Basics of Game Design by Michael Moore

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57
CHAPTER 4
ON MOVEMENT
Most games have some kind of movement. Movement deals with the
physical displacement of game objects in a two- or three-dimension
world. In board games, movement is usually restricted to special
spaces on a at surface, and the player generates a random number
through dice rolls or other mechanics to move a token from space
to space around the board. For such games, it is important to keep
players within established boundaries; otherwise, the game dissolves
into anarchy. Imagine a Monopoly player deciding to take a short-
cut” because the dice roll would otherwise cause his token to land on
the “Go to Jail” space. e other players would be up in arms because
he broke the rules of the game.
In video games, movement is also very much restricted. e
game engine has restrictions to keep players from moving a charac-
ter, unit, or token wherever they want. Video games oen reect the
real world when determining how movement is restricted, so a car
can’t move through a lake, projectiles don’t shoot around corners, or
a character can’t scale a building with his bare hands. At other times,
players have to learn on their own where not to move—for exam-
ple, discovering that walking into molten lava is deadly or strolling
through a cloud of putrid-looking gas is poisonous.
In the documentation, the designer denes how movement
works and what restrictions are involved. Any special actions that
characters or other game objects are expected to perform should be
worked out in detail with the art and programming teams before
incorporating them into the design document. e initial concept
may have to change when the game is implemented, but it’s better to
start o with as full a description of how movement works as pos-
sible so that both the programmers and artists know what assets they
will have to build and how those objects will interact with the game
environment.

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