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Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham

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Chapter ThirteenTurns, Ticks, & Time

Introduction

One of the common stumbling blocks for novice video game designers is understanding how to design real-time games. This chapter aims to demystify “realtime” and show how the use of flowcharts can help a designer specify a design as a rigorous series of concrete steps.

The learning objectives for this chapter are:

  1. Be able to describe how turn-based and real-time games are similar and how they differ.
  2. Understand how a game’s mechanics can be structured into a main game loop.
  3. Become familiar with flowcharting as a game design tool.

Turns and Real-time

Most tabletop games are structured into turns and rounds, with players’ actions unfolding one at a time. Much more unusual are tabletop ...

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