In this lab, get together with your team. You’ll want to choose an idea for your game project. You can use one of the ideas from the brainstorming tutorial, or choose a new idea as a group. You’ll develop that idea into a complete game design overview.
By the end of this lab, you should be on your way to having a complete Game Design overview that you can give to others. Aim to have a complete first draft finished during this lab. You can always revisit it later in the week to polish or revise it.
The layout of the document isn’t cast in stone, but here’s a suggested layout:
- At least one picture!
- Either a concept sketch, photoshopped image or an image of a similar game for comparison (“It’s like Company of Heroes, but with Ninjas”).
- Go nuts here - sketches, Google image search, whatever you need to help convey your idea. It could be an artistic style you want to show off, ideas for characters, rough sketch of a level layout or anything.
- Core concept
- One sentence description of the game, something like:
- This game is about being a/an...
- This game simulates...
- You are a ____ who has to ___.
- What do you hope to achieve with this game?
- How will you measure the game’s success?
- Non goals
- Rule out the things you won’t do
- This helps you stay on track and avoid feature creep
- A paragraph or two to flesh out the core concept. Try to touch briefly on each aspect of the elemental tetrad (story, mechanics, aesthetic, technology). Also highlight what parts of the design are familiar, innovative or revolutionary (note that revolutionary implies more risk, and more payoff, so on a 5 week development schedule, think it over carefully).
- Risks / Open Issues
- Note down any issues that you don’t have a solid answer for yet. Note any thoughts you have on how to address these issues.
- Feature set
- Approximate amount and description of content (how many levels, characters etc).
- Additional detail as appropriate – screen layout, required technologies, look and feel, user interaction etc.
- Don’t be vague – be specific.
- Make it interesting to read. You want others to enjoy reading this and giving you feedback, not feel like it’s a chore.
- Think of your audience (your classmates and the teaching staff).
- Write as simply as possible.
- Break up all that text – use white space, headings and images.
- Read through the resources at the beginning of this document.
- There isn’t a specific length expected here, but 2-5 pages might be a guideline. More important is to not leave the reader with too many unanswered questions about the basics of the game.