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In the Beginning: Concepts

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UberAllen17

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It[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]s imperative to start your game project with a strong[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] dignified concept. Without a solid concept stage in development[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] you could end up half way into a game and realize the game doesn[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t make any sense. That[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]s why I[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]d like to talk about my short experience with video game concepts. By the way[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] I[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]m Allen Lambert[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] the owner/project manager and game designer of Broken Limits Media. Follow me @afliii and drop me a message at facebook.com/afliii.

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In the 1.5 years I[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]ve been writing for BLM[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]s projects I[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]ve realized that a crucial[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] sometimes lacking area of game development is in the very beginning. The conceptual stage(s) of the game are the most important moments of development. It[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]s like the beginning of a game (as relevant as it can get). All video games start out with an opening story to lay out what the heck is happening. Do we have a time limit on how long we have to kill every terrorist attacking the nations[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] capital? Why are there terrorists in the capital? Who could have allowed them to get here[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] what technology do we have to defend ourselves[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] what do they have to use against us[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] and will they turn into zombies after we kill them? There can be a lot of information in the opening scene. In the beginning[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] there was an idea[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] a way[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] knowledge required to move forward. There must be a strong beginning to be a strong ending[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] because as they say[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] [font=georgia, serif]"[/font]You finish how you start.[font=georgia, serif]"[/font]

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If you start your game concept lazy and begin to develop a game based on a lacking game concept[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] how do you expect to finish a quality game? Chances are you[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]re going to have issues. BLM is taking 2-3 months to simply do concepts[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] game design building[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] and basic prototype aspects of our game[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] The Undead Castle. We haven[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t generated any solid models. We haven[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t cranked out any deep music tracks. But[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] we have sketched models[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] characters[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] tunes[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] and we have a solid prototype with undead following sounds and movement[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] rooms that generate randomly within the castle walls[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] and other basic game features (HUD and so on). We[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]re geared up to work on another game in the 2D platformer genre as well. That game is still in early concept stages[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] because I believe in strong concepts. In fact[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] I[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]m in the process of writing three separate game concepts. I think it[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]s safer to examine multiple options so that the team all agrees on the select project and have a clear vision of what we[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]re going to do. In the early stages[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] back when we settled on the Undead Castle[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] I presented three concepts to the team and they all selected the Undead Castle. It was actually a struggle for me[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] as I didn[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t know if the game had potential. I wrote it[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] but I was very skeptical. Rest assured[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] the game is going to be great!

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Let[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]s rap things up. Take your time on making your game concept(s) and don[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t feel like you[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]re wasting time. You[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]re likely going to develop for at least 6 months for a nice quality[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] polished game. Have your artists[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]coders[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] and song writers [font=georgia, serif]"[/font]sketch[font=georgia, serif]"[/font] along side the development of your concepts. If you[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]re an indie team then building your portfolio is important. Does it hurt to design a song sketch or two that will not make it into a game? I don[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t think so. Whatever doesn[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]t kill you... Just take your time[font=georgia, serif]'[/font] enjoy writing and designing games[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]and get plenty of feedback.

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Patch-300x175.jpg[size=2]
A concept sketch for a game concept. Yes.

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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Leave a comment if you[font=georgia, serif]'[/font]d like to hear more about Patch. (C) Copyright Broken Limits Media LLC 20[/font]13

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