Got a game design question? I have a game design answer (probably)!
Yes I am currently working on an iPhone game right now, but all games, console/pc/mobile, work the same.
The first thing you need to do is document everything you want in the game, inside a game design document. There are a lot of reasons why you need this document, I'll list the ones off the top of my head right now.
-You need everything organized
-You need to re-imagine the idea in order to communicate it to other people, the vision in your head might make sense, but if others can't see your vision (especially if they're trying to make your vision come to life) then that vision will ONLY remain in your head and never see the light of day. Getting it down in a document is the first step to communicating your ideas to the outside world.
- During development, you WILL forget why you made certain decisions, documenting every decision and feature will bring context to why you made these decisions in the first place.
- Having at least a game design document shows that you are taking this serious and you know what you want, it's hard for your team to help you if they don't think you're taking this serious.
- All of time and sweat is put into coding a game, the last thing you want is to code something that isn't fun or doesn't make sense. Having a game design document will bring your game into context and you can more clearly understand what it really is. It's like a paper version of your game.
-It will speed up development because everyone should be on the same page and everyone should want the same thing. If it's in the document, everyone knows what to shoot for. Communication is very important in development teams, wrong messages can lead to tons of development time being wasted and lowered morale.
For the most part, a game design document consists of a few key components. It doesn't have to have all of these especially if its a hobby, but the more information you have the easier it will be for your team to follow along. This is a very skeleton version of a GDD.
-Demographic - Who is this game for, what audience is this aimed at. Example, 0-9 year old boys, Racing Game
- Platform - Xbox 360, iOs
- Overview - At a glance, what is this game about? Example," 3 Ninjas find their Sister kidnapped and venture out to find her abductors in this side scrolling beat em up. Traverse Shanty Town through 7 different levels with a mean boss at the end of every one."
- User Interface - I usually like to make user interface mock ups, for every screen in the game, in Photoshop, very crude but it gets the message along.
- Gameplay - The question to always keep in mind when writing this section is what the player will be asking "what do I do and how do I do it." You have to at least have an answer for that question, the second question they're going to ask is "why do I care". It's be nice to have an answer for that one too.
- Art Direction - This is where you decide on the art style of the game. I usually use reference pics or early art concepts done by the artist.
- Technical - I'm no programmer but I like to explain out how the system would work for the game, especially if you're going to create an editor, this is where you would put things you need in an editor.
Now the rest of what you put in here is really dependent on the kind of game it is but you want to really detail it out. If you have levels? Then have a levels section, if you have enemies? Have an enemies section etc. If you start getting down to numbers, like for example, you have 300 weapons and each weapon has a power, defense, cost etc. I would go ahead and just make an excel sheet to organize all these figures and then have a link in the game design document to that excel sheet.
Once you have a design document sorted out, ONLY THEN will you be able to make a decision on how the game should be coded and what to work on first. The artist can start working on art concepts during this "design" or "ideation" phase, but probably should not be working on in game art until you A) Know EXACTLY what you want and B) Know how the game is going to play. Until then, use placeholder art. Your game should be fun with placeholder art anyway, if it's not, all the coolest art in the world is not going to make it fun, and that's the point of your game after all, to be fun.
I love and play all games but I would have to say my favorite is Fighting games. I seriously own it up at King of Fighters, MvC2, SFII and any other fighting game you can think of. I also own pretty badly at Puzzle Fighter II, anyone fell free to test me.
Yes, I have heard of it, looks really cool actually.
As far as being a political angle, I highly doubt it. As far as teaching kids a "better perspective", I highly doubt that as well. Here is why people play video games. Before I go into this I would like to note that I think that games DO provoke influential and positive changes in humans through exercising rarely used areas of the brain. Very few times in "real" life are we required to make rapid fire decision sequentially, balance parameters at ever increasing difficulties and plan a plant assault against zombies. Only in games can you do this and be rewarded for your problem solving skills and dexterity so much in such a short amount of time. Now on to my analysis.
People play games for the mechanics and not so much for the wrapper. The wrapper in this case is America being taken over and defending your homeland. The wrapper is used as an engagement tool. In this case, it offers up some pretty unique scenarios and engaging material. I can guarantee you this though, even if the wrapper is the most well thought out and engaging scenario in the world, if the gameplay is crap, people will not play it. People will only play what is good and it's the mechanics, not the wrapper, that determine this. Games are nothing if they are not fun. The wrapper however does not really influence the way people think, people play because of the mechanics. If people were influenced by the wrapper and not the mechanics then there would be 60 million new Farms in the U.S. because of all the people that play FarmVille. Do you really think that THAT many people LOVE farming so much? People play FarmVille because it's fun, people play COD because it's fun. I do not condone running over hookers but I do it in GTA because it is fun quite frankly.
People play games because games can give you constant feedback the you don't get in "real" life. Addictive? Possibly. Influential? Not really. Engaging? Hell yeah.
Well, in general most games have a certain pacing. When things ramp up too fast it gets frustrating and there is a point most people will put up with before it becomes disengaging. That is why a lot of designers make sure to carefully ramp up the difficulty while still keeping it challenging.
Games that are challenging are fun, but making something difficult does not necessarily correlate with being fun. For the most part games in general have a really serious balancing act on their hands because when designing a game you are basically creating a lot of variable/random factors (to create tension) that you then need to reel in and control afterwards, so sometimes you get levels like the one you described.
Most games have this "calm down and relax" easter egg type level stuck in betwixt the difficulty for the most part, however as far as having a level that did this on command, hmm, it could work, but like I always say, it's not the idea, it's the execution.
I have heard of it, but I just googled it to refresh my memory.
Yeah and I do think that games made back in the day were pretty clever as far as how they got so much bang for their buck. If you think about all the levels and music in that tiny 8bit Mario Bros. 3 cartridge it will blow your mind. There are some clever uses of memory nowadays as well, but back then there were less resources so developers really had to push it to the limit in order to get the features they wanted. For example, Mario has a mustache not because he was designed that way, but because with the room they had for his spite, only a mustache would distinguish his face. Us game designers now have it easy, we don't have to work with nearly as much restrictions.
The older generations definitely get my respect.
In my opinion the future of PC games is fine for now, I think it's something like 90% of computer users use a PC. Consoles on the other hand might be hitting some hard times. There will always big big budget games, but some of those smaller budget console games might bite the dust if the console makers are not innovative enough to warrant a customer buying a $50 game.
I think Nintendo is doing, and always has done a great job in staying fresh in the market. They did motion control properly with the Wii, they did cool touch screen with the DS, and the 3DS looks promising. I do think however, that mobile games like iOS and Facebook games are coming on strong right now. It's more accessible to more people and there's not as much overhead to develop these games than most console games. The console games need to really step it up because when you have games being sold for 99 cents, you better make sure your game is way more fun in order to compete, and you better provide an experience that you can only get with a console game.
Not sure but ever since 4 years ago they changed it to both addition and subtraction. Get back on that level design son!
I can assure you that I have no idea but I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with the actual game design. Chess is a great game though ( ._.)b
Yes I am very familiar with this game. There have been some attempts to recreate what Unreal Tournament gave us but I am a little surprised that not a whole lot more attempts were made, and I think a lot of the reason is because people didn't really get what made it work.
A lot of times, people look at a successful product and try to emulate it without fully understanding what made it work. There were a ton of beat em ups and shooters around when I was growing up, I got really tired of them. Why? Because developers saw something like Double Dragon or Galaga and said "Hey that sells, let's make that" and just slapped new art on an existing convention. However, these developers who made the one millionth platformer game never bothered to stop and think what made this game work, all they thought about was the wrapper, in this case it being a first person shooter.
The guys who did that game really spent a lot of time tweaking the levels, tweaking the pacing, tweaking the weapons. A lot of games that followed didn't really spend the time doing that because that would mean that you understood what made a game good, unfortunately most games are made for profit and with the cheapest overhead, which means you don't have a lot of time to finish said games, which means not a lot of time for tweaking, and polish and all that good stuff, only time for taking their wrapper.
There are a lot of good games now, but I am glad they are not like Unreal Tournament, Unreal really did what they did well, and it worked well because you didn't see anything like that before, this innovation along with their solid game functionality and polish made it what it was. It's hard to emulate that but it's (apparently) harder to create something new using those same rules.
In the end it's not the wrapper that matters, it's the execution and Unreal executed very well. If developers would look at the underlying reasons for why it worked and if they took time to really understand pacing, polish, engagement, communication and balance and not just "hey GTA made money let's make True Crime Streets of L.A." then we would have better games more often.
Ideas are a dime a dozen, and there is no such thing as a "good idea". The only thing that matters is if you can justify the idea and execute it. Can you make what's in your head reality? Can you make the most of whatever your idea is about. Can you make someone care about your idea? As far as I'm concerned the only real measure of intelligence is this, can you get what you want.
You know, there's a lot of people that dream, there's a lot of people that plan, there's a lot of people that look at the ins and outs, the pros the cons, but in the end can you get what you want? If you can't then none of that matters. Getting back to my point though, the ideas are not the problem, it's the persistence in completing them and seeing them through to the end is what really matters. Another thing to point out is that for the most part, ideas are just the wrapper, what really matters is clearly explaining the goals and how to achieve them, engaging a player enough so they care enough (giving great feedback/plussing/polish) to push through, and offering the player catharsis, and a feeling of transformation (that they learned something valuable) as a reward for their engagement. If you have that core element of fun down, then almost any idea, or wrapper, will work.
It's not the idea, it's the execution.