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Good game design software?


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#1 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 567

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:33 AM

Silly question I know, however I'm looking for game design software, not game making software. That is, I want something that I can design a game in, then move into another program such as unity to create it. Because of the really iffy definition of game design, which has always been a problem and never officially corrected, I can't really find anything i'm looking for through google.

 

I'd appreciate any and all links, thanks.


If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10070

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:56 AM

Most professional designers write their designs in Microsoft Word, and use Excel for creating tables, and use some graphic utility to make wireframes, sketches, etc. - like Google Sketchup, or Gimp. Google Drive also has the capability for writing designs or creating tables, if you want free and sharable.

See http://legacy.igda.org/games-game-july-2006

Edited by Tom Sloper, 23 May 2014 - 09:56 AM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Tenebrae   Members   -  Reputation: 396

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:01 AM

I do everything on paper, then scan and move the stuff (if it's art), to illustrator or photoshop to work on. If it's writing, then paper first and then on a computer. Basically, if the paper model works, then I would go ahead with the game.

 

If you don't have photoshop, go with gimp or maybe deviant art's muro or something. Illustrator, I think the free version is called inkscape? If you are using Unity, then the ability to put in the psd's is pretty great.

 

Or are you working on something for 3d? Maya, poser, bryce, depends on what you are most familiar with and stuff.


Let me create worlds, and I'll let you imagine they are realities.

#4 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1651

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:01 PM

I have been dreaming for a while of makig a program that handles game design from idea to production. One tool. If I get this programming stuff down well enough, then perhaps one day I can make that program. As of now, I have not found anything that can do it.

I have however, found an open-source game engine that I can use as a base to start. But I can only begin to edit the engine when I learn C++.

I have a bunch of 3d programs I can think of that you can use to design a game, but not just one.

Have any idea (mockup) of how you would want such a program as you desire to look?

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#5 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10121

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:29 PM

I do everything on paper first, then move to the office suite, open office suite or google docs. Very rarely do I need more, in which case I use my bamboo tablet in anything (even if Paint).
I also use Gliffy or anything similar for UI-specific designs.

#6 Andy Gainey   Members   -  Reputation: 2047

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:36 PM

Machinations is an interesting tool to check out, used for diagramming your game's abstract economy, and then digitally play-testing it.  (some sample diagrams)  I personally ended up fighting it as much as utilizing it when trying to diagram my own ideas, but that might be more my fault.  And even if not, the concept of the tool is absolutely excellent.  Especially since it is simultaneously a diagram that can quickly summarize a complex system and a functioning version of that system that can be poked, prodded, and analyzed.

 

See also the book Game Mechanics:  Advanced Game Design, which uses Machinations diagrams extensively to talk about game mechanics and design patterns.


Edited by Andy Gainey, 23 May 2014 - 04:13 PM.


"We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves." - John Locke

#7 BarefootPhilosopher   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:43 PM

http://www.nevigo.com/en/articydraft/versions/

Check our Articydraft by Nevigo.

The original is pretty reasonably priced I think, even for indies. I haven't used it myself but intend to once I've reached a more advanced stage in my game design.

#8 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 567

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 07:50 PM

thanks guys! you were all helpful, I'll check out articydraft and machinations and have a look at how they work. The book also looks interesting andy, I'll bookmark it and wait for a sale.

I've always used word etc. to transfer game ideas but I wanted to see if there some programs that could achieve the same affect with a better interface/ui.


If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#9 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3159

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 11:32 PM

Hi,

 

"Design" is design!  Development is development!  The two really should not mean the same thing.

 

The way it typically goes is:

1) Concept Stage

2) Design Stage

3) Development Stage

4) Testing and Deployment Stages:  Alpha and then Beta

5) Publication / Distribution

 

In the Design Stage, often game developers start with rough pen or pencil sketches of the gameplay and label the game functionality if needed.  Another design technique is the use of flowcharts for game functionality and game coding structure.

 

The design art can be used later for advertising the game once it is done, if the design art is suitable. Design art can sometimes be illustrated scene by scene to represent the gameplay. Once a game development company gains success, the need for game design art for conveying the game concept to investors, game development leadership, and eventual marketing campaigns ( such as by a publisher like Ubisoft ) will become obvious.

 

You need to grasp the industry standard jargon and realize that genre of video games and even individual company culture shapes the needs of design.

 

There are many software for design and which ones to use depend on your skillset, the needs of the game development, and your personal  preference.  All of this will take time and effort for you to realize for yourself.

 

I use paper and pencil or pen, GIMP, Inkscape, and LibreOffice for my game designing at the present time. Hopefully things are clearer for you now. smile.png


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#10 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7837

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 01:19 AM

I'm a big fan of mind mapping tools for (initial) game design, it has a natural structured, top-down approach, thought it might not be very useful if you like to produce lot of text. Here's a free mind mapping tool: free plane



#11 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1651

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

I used to use Celtx for planning.

 

I see they have gone subscription now though. Shame. 


They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#12 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1651

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:04 AM

I am following this topic as a reminder to do some searching myself for a program that will help me with the design process. Right now I am looking for a screenplay program (move directing assistant) because making a game is much like making a movie. The assets are the actors, and the program are the instructions. 

 

Here is a list of programs I have found so far:

 

http://screenplayreaders.com/final-draft-alternatives/

 

Also, a storyboard application seems it would work also. 

 

I think for now I am going to use the iPad app called Celtx Shots:

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/celtx-shots/id467370902?mt=8


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 29 May 2014 - 09:28 AM.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#13 walterwhiter   Members   -  Reputation: 119

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:48 PM

First make some wireframes and then send it to a designer to make it ;)



#14 orizvi   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:50 PM

I personally quite enjoy One Note for design purposes. Its less rigid than Word or Excel in terms of layout. When I'm designing, I'm not necessarily interested in making a document I can present with, I just want someplace to scribble my notes and the occasional doodle.

 

Excel and Word are great when you're creating more formal specifications.



#15 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 567

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 07:51 PM

Wow, thanks for the info guys! I'll start answering person by person.

 

Ashaman73

I've never really used mindmaps but I can see the great advantages in them, I might start using them for the initial planning stages when I setup the different variables (like what powerups for this ship etc.). Freeplane looks good, I'll give that a go.

 

Tutorial Doctor

I also have only ever done normal fiction writing for my games story, but it's always had its problems and incorporating the different people have sometimes made it hard to understand. Screenplay writing would be far more beneficial, not to mention I can separate lines with info on how to proceed without confusing the story, that'll be a great help indeed. I don't like using storyboards as I prefer to keep what it looks like in my head and to convey that to any artist I might collaborate with or myself in order to make those thoughts come to life. I prefer my imagination to sort of create and re-create what's going to happen rather then get something permanent set down. I'm not sure if that's such a great idea in larger projects though, so I'll have to have a think about it. I'll check out the link later.

 

Also, I had a look at Celtx, but I don't feel the subscription is worth it when I can do the same thing with a bit of time and effort.

 

Orizvi

I used to use One Note all the time, however I never thought about using it for game design. its free-form ability can certainly be useful, it might be a great way to collaborate all my notes and work into one area.

 

Walter Whiter

I don't understand, did you misunderstand what I was asking? Or am I misunderstanding you? Wireframes can certainly be useful to get an idea or multiple ideas running, but I'm looking for what's useful once you have your idea and are designing it. So in essence, I would be the designer in your comment.

 

3Ddreamer

Everyone who actually works in the industry understands the difference between the design and the development, unfortunately google and most people who aren't don't understand it. That's why it was difficult to allocate any substantial information on the matter.

 

Additionally, I was looking for software that would help me design games, regardless of such things such as what the company needs to look at. I'm not up to, or anywhere near, the stage where I would be pitching my game to a company, so the only thing I'd be looking at right now is what I need to create the genre of game I'm in. Which you're right, it depends on what I'm creating. Which means everything people are telling me about will be useful in one way or another.

---

I believe that's it, thanks guys! This is really invaluable help.


If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#16 Joshua.Hower   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

First I just wanted to say this was a great topic I've had the same question for a while.

 

I usually start everything pen and paper and if I can I make a board game prototype and let my friends play to see if the concept is enjoyable. I use this mostly for mobile game ideas, or to start fleshing out a bigger project.

 

As for software I have used Articydraft before, it is pretty cool and makes it easy to set up over arching ideas, I feel it's better suited for character development mapping as well as story or other complex systems. The issue I ran into was people I worked with had some difficulty understanding articy due to not being familiar with it. (this could be just the people I worked with but it is a problem I faced).

 

Mind mapping software is probably my favorite to pass around to team members I use bubbl.us. There is a fee but I don't emember how much, it wasn't bad though. It's simple and can be exported easily into jpg's and I find most people can read it easily and get a good grasp of what you mean. There is an example image in one of my design forum posts.

 

Even though those programs are cool and neat to use I have to admit I do use Word and  Excel a great deal more, the majority of my work is written into Word. As well as my data tables going into Excel, Everyone has their own preference but I run into more people who just want to see word documents or excel tables than anything from my other software.

 

Hopefully something I said helps, good luck on your search!






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