GDC 2013

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Ernest Adams and I did a talk on Machinations at GDC 2013 in San Francisco. Below you can find the examples we used during that talk.

Space Exploration Game

This diagram was partly build live and illustrates the basic concepts of Machinations. Spot the Dynamic Engine pattern.

We used Multiple Feedback to counter some of the effects of the Dynamic Engine

The final version shows off the use of charts and artificial players

FPS Economy

Next up was an example of how Machinations can used to create a system that automatically scales the balance between ammo and enemies in a typical FPS game. Vary the skill level of the player between (10 and 40) to see the effects of better skill on this balance. Two of our suggestions can be found below.

Waking Mars

Waking Mars was our example of a non-trivial game economy and that also illustrates how an internal economy can be used to create progression mechanisms.

The diagram is a simplification to understand some of the games core mechanics.

The second example shows how the concept of biomass is used to measure progress.

In the final example the plants start seeding themselves which makes the economy much more dynamic (now the game can be lost too!)


Civilization city economy served as an example that sometimes it is best to focus on particular subsystems of the whole game.