Note: this paragraph only refers to a particular example of where this might occur. I am also asking in the general sense. I'll do my best to try and explain exactly what I'm doing first of all. Below is a screenshot of Nintendo Nightmare, specifically of a cheat box in game. It can a lot of things, including the arbitrary addition of objects to the game. (I would rather not try to go into details as Game Maker has some pretty bizarre programming features that this ability revolves around.). I would probably compare it to a more feature-filled version of the whole Minecraft Command Block modding trend that's been going around the internet. Now obviously, questions that are about Game Maker's code in and of itself are not allowed, but would asking how something that already exists in the game works and/or what it does under certain circumstances be allowed?

enter image description here

In the more general sense to the question, is asking how a specific object in a game works in a non-code sense allowed? I mean like asking what will happen if a certain enemy ends up outside of bounds, or the exact height of a character's jump. These don't seem like game dev or physics things as this isn't the real world (obviously) and the game isn't being "developed". Plus, it's most of the time something most players with experience playing a game can answer. I mean, I guess this is all about to what depth one can ask about the mechanics of a game. I'm not sure if all game mechanic questions are not allowed or if there are some which are allowed to be here.

  • 1
    You're looking at "development" in too literal of a sense. Just because a game isn't being "developed" doesn't mean questions about the particulars of a game's internals and code isn't part of the development of a game. – Kaizerwolf Mar 13 '17 at 13:08
  • @Kaizerwolf but if the game is already completed and one is merely asking as a player wishing to know the exact mechanics or about why a bug exists, how is that development of a game? Developing a mod surely counts and i see that but how is asking how a particular mechanic interacts within a level in any way "development"? – user64742 Mar 13 '17 at 18:56
  • 2
    Again, you're seeing "development" too literally. Questions pertaining to the hows or whys of a game typically falls under the development side of things. – Kaizerwolf Mar 13 '17 at 19:05
  • @Kaizerwolf so asking what will happen if you (legitimately) glitch out of bounds in the Stanley Parable is a development question as well as a question asking how one was capable of the glitch (as in whether it was a missing wall or just quick reflexes)? – user64742 Mar 14 '17 at 0:49
  • 1
    I think the important thing to ask is "Who can answer my question with authority?" - can a gamer answer with extensive knowledge from playing the game, or will it require different knowledge - knowledge of how the game works internally? If it's the latter, it's unlikely we'll be able to help you. – Robotnik Mar 14 '17 at 5:03
  • It's worth noting that we, as gamers, have access to more mechanical information about games than ever. Things like the catch rate formula in Pokemon would never be sussed out by someone who has only played the game, but it's something that we've discovered thanks to rom hackers and code miners. I agree with @Robotnik that it's very unlikely we'd be able to answer most of these questions, but I'd argue they wouldn't necessarily be off-topic, just left unanswered. – Gendreavus Mar 14 '17 at 16:09

Firstly, it may be a good idea to have a read of the Tour page if you haven't already. This helps to give a general sense of what Arqade is good at, and what we've determined doesn't work well for our site.

Following on from that, if you need more in-depth info on a topic, you can also check out the Help Center, which has dedicated pages for What topics to ask about, and What types of questions to avoid.

Both the Tour and the Help Center are available from the 'Help' menu on the top-navigation bar:

Top-Nav with Help dropdown

Now, on to the topic at hand:

Nintendo Nightmare's Cheat Box

...would asking how [Nintendo Nightmare's cheat box] works and/or what it does under certain circumstances be allowed?

I would say that, given that Minecraft Commands are on-topic here, its fair to say that asking about commands and how to use them for the cheat box would also be on-topic. This is knowledge that someone playing the game would know.

So for example, these types of questions would be acceptable:

  • How do I add [an object] to the game using the cheat box?
  • How can I modify the properties of this object?
  • What parameter can I specify to place an object upside down?
  • I'm getting error "Invalid command" when using the cheat box, how can I fix it?

However, asking how the cheat box works under the hood would be off topic. How exactly the object turns commands into objects in-game isn't something that we (as gamers) would know about. The original developers of the game/mod would be able to answer this, but as gamers are very rarely the developers, we would not be able to answer something like this.

As it is, we've explicitly called out these sorts of questions as being off-topic:

Please note, however, that site policies prohibit questions of the following types:

  • Speculative questions about developer intent, with respect to both mechanics and narrative

- Help Center: What topics can I ask about here?

In General

...Is asking how a specific object in a game works in a non-code sense allowed? ...[e.g.] what will happen if a certain enemy ends up outside of bounds, or the exact height of a character's jump. ...

I think it's a good idea to draw from the Tour page for this:

Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do.

In other words, so long as your question is specific, focused, and something that can actually occur, you should be ok to ask it. Here's a real-world example of an NPC being somewhere they shouldn't: How to get Father off the roof?

On the other hand, open-ended, theoretical questions like "I was wondering what would happen if [NPC] in [Game] was placed [Out of Bounds]" aren't what we're here for:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where ...

  • you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: "What if ______ happened?"

Help Center: What types of questions should I avoid asking?


When you have a specific, focused game-mechanics question you want to ask, first ask yourself:

  • Can a person who plays this game answer the question?

If the answer to that is 'Yes', then you should ask it!

  • I should probably clarify that the box isn't just special commands. It takes in raw source code for the engine the game was developed in. Asking how that code is compiled is probably a breach of their intellectual property. That I would definitely agree is less even a design question and more of just a general CS question. I was more referring to how different objects in the actual interact. :p – user64742 Mar 14 '17 at 17:17
  • Also, I have definitely read the tour page. I was just looking for more exact precision on what the community's thoughts are. – user64742 Mar 14 '17 at 17:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .