Basics of Computer Game Design

Read this article and learn some of the basics of video game design for the PC platform. You’ll learn some of the important things that any computer game designer should know. You’ll find out how web-based games compare against standalone games and the difference between concave and convex for 3D collision detection.

Web-based versus Standalone Games First, let’s start with some definitions. Web-based games are developed to be run within a browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. Standalone games are designed to run independently without significant assistance from other software. Now, let’s get the real info: how to use each type of game best. Web-based games are, of course, best used for websites. Some of the basics described can also be applied to other platforms. Flash is the most common format for web-based games; however, Java is sometimes used, but I do not recommend this language.

Game Design


The best way to sell a web-based game is to offer a license that allows people to change the game and promote their site or product. Selling the source code is also possible. Web-based games can also add content to your site and incentivize people to keep visiting the site.

On the other hand, standalone games are usually developed through an IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

An IDE is an all-encompassing development environment where software code can be developed from start to finish. Of course, selling to prospective gamers is the main way of generating profits from standalone games.

Standalone games can also incorporate advertising from other companies to generate additional profit, though this must be balanced with the gamer’s entertainment needs. You must use third-party tools and the main software development tool to develop your games’ media, such as graphics, sounds, etc.

Interestingly, some tools that produce flash games can also create standalone games from the same original code. Adobe Flash is one such tool.

Here’s a final tip: Always look for free or possibly open-source tools for programming games before considering more expensive commercial tools. You’ll be surprised at what tools you can find for free or at a meager price these days.

Difference Between concave and convex for for3-DD collision: The objects you see in 3-DD games almost always use simpler 3-DD meshes to simulate collisions. This is to save on processor usage.

Most game physics engines use convex meshes to simulate collisions between objects and calculate raytracing.

Why? Because using convex meshes allows for much more optimized collision detection than concave meshes and other arbitrary meshes.

Modern engines are increasingly adding support for other meshes in collision detection, but using convex meshes always remains the fastest method.

Here is an important difference in plain language. Concave meshes have at least one “dent” or one inward curve. Convex meshes have no inward curves. As a result, it’s important to know the difference between concave and convex. How do you tell what is concave and what is convex? The simplest method that I recommend is the line test.

A convex mesh will never let a straight line pass through more than two polygons, no matter where the line is drawn. A concave mesh, however, allows a line to pass through two or more polygons. What to do with more complex objects, you ask? Using simple convex geometry for collisions is fine for simple 3D things, but sometimes, more complicated 3D objects need finer simulation. The answer is simple: Use multiple convex meshes to handle collisions for complex 3D objects! I hope you have learned some computer game design basics from this article.
I look forward to seeing your creations. Damien Davidovic is the author of a recently released video course on making money from Video Games.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.