Very Simple Trick That Will Save Hours When Balancing Your Game

When developers write games they might forgot that it’s not necessary to store all the game data in the actual code. Some programmers simply use arrays to store information about weapons or units. I really recommend using Excel or some other external program for this. If you need to store values for real-time strategy or for a role playing game (besides some other genres) then it’s very handy to use some sort of spreadsheet for this, instead of trying to manipulate arrays.

When you store game information (like weapon or armor attributes) to an external spreadsheet you can export them and use the exported file in your game. Besides, when you use some external file format (like .CSV) then you also give players easier chances to create mods for your game. It’s very easy to change weapon and armor values when they are stored like this.

Here’s an example pic on how we are handling strikes for Edoiki game.

When I need to change something, I simply edit values and export .CSV file and the game reads the values using a small code I’ve made. Believe me – it comes extremely handy when there are lots of modifiers and you need to balance game.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Nice tip!
    Using this save a lot of time, not to compiling and compiling :D

    I will try to use Lua, i heard its very good…

  2. Thanks for the tip.

    P.S. I’ve just enabled MyAvatars – so if you guys create a free account at MyBlogLog you can get your pic appear right here on the blog comments…

  3. Lua is great – but I’d use GameMonkey Script..


    It’s like Lua except more like C – so it’s easier to understand. Plus it’s coded in C++ and is easier to integrate (no manual stack manipulation like with Lua)

    I’d program most of the stuff in GameMonkey too – not having to compile to see your changes saves a LOT of time.

  4. Integrating Lua for simple config style stuff is just a matter of a few hours (if you’ve never ever done anything using Lua). With a bit more time you can add a simple console to your game and tweak the values live and from there on you have a whole new world of possibilities to start with.
    Beats the hell out of clunky XML – it’s great for interdependent data mostly changed using various tools but less ideal for fast and easy tweaks.

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