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Form/paperwork for analyzing a game design or comparing two?


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#1 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5056

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:24 PM

I'm going to start a project where I analyze the designs of two similar games and compare them to each other.  While I could make up a form for this, if such a form already exists I might as well save effort by using it.  So, has anyone seen such a thing?  It would probably be more similar to a game review from a player's perspective than a design document.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


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#2 Ludus   Members   -  Reputation: 970

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:08 PM

The format of such a form would largely depend on the genre of game. Depending on the genre of game, you may focus on certain aspects that aren't as important or don't even have analogues in other genres. For example, take a look at this paper which focuses on comparing elements of different 2d platformers: http://games.soe.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/smith-sandbox-08.pdf. You can see that it gets very detailed in its analysis of specific elements, and a lot of these elements are specific to that genre or aren't as important in other genres.

 

I would say it would be best to create your own form that is tailored to the elements of the genre of games you're trying to compare. The first step is to carefully assess what those elements are.



#3 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5056

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:38 PM

Yeah, that's a good point; probably any standard form would be largely irrelevant since I'm looking at combatless pet breeding sim games.  Viva Pinata and Plant Tycoon are the two current candidates, though I've got half a dozen other games that could contribute a note here or there.  I'm mainly interested in comparing how the player's progress through the game works (how it's earned and how it's restricted) and how the actual details of the pet raising/breeding and environment maintenance/improvement work.  Plus any "keep-busy" activities that go one while the player is waiting for other things to happen on their own.

 

Nice example you linked to, that's a classy piece of work.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#4 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2308

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:14 PM

I'm mainly interested in comparing how the player's progress through the game works (how it's earned and how it's restricted) and how the actual details of the pet raising/breeding and environment maintenance/improvement work.  Plus any "keep-busy" activities that go one while the player is waiting for other things to happen on their own.

 

 

you're doing what i call "market research", where you analyze the design of a product of interest (usually  some sort of competitor).  

 
probably best to come up with your own list of criteria by which you weigh, measure, and dissect each title.

Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

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#5 wodinoneeye   Members   -  Reputation: 876

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:22 PM

probably would incorporate trees of questions' as an awful lot of factors become relevant/irrelevant depending on which way more general questions are answered  (subtree ignore if answer is X or this subtree vs that subtree is used)


--------------------------------------------Ratings are Opinion, not Fact

#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5056

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

Here's what I ended up with:

 

1. Why are the two games fundamentally similar (probably genre), and explain how this is why you picked the two to compare.  Optionally, mention other games which share this similarity and might be useful for further comparison.

 

2. What is the core gameplay of each of the two?

 

3. What are the game's ultimate goal and achievements/subgoals?  What gains (such as upgrades, money earned) is the player's progress through the game measured in?

 

4. How is the player's progress through the game restricted and regulated?

 

5. What is the major difference between the two games?  Which approach or combination do you like better and why?

 

6. For any other major difference, ditto.

 

7. For each of the two games, did either have an obvious flaw unrelated to this comparison, and what would you do differently to change that flaw?

 

8. If desired, note any interesting details of either game, such as specific items sold, prices, durations, etc.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.





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