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I am starting out as a game designer. need Feedback.

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Hello all, I am an aspiring game designer & i've been working on a casual Puzzle platformer game meant for iOS & android (basically the mobile platform). I have attached the GDD & paper level designs here. Can someone please go through them & provide a little feedback? I would appreciate honest & constructive criticism. Thank You.

Download my Project samples from here-

[sharedmedia=core:attachments:7916]
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:7915]

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Given that my internet security program just had a mass spazz about downloading from this website - Can I make a suggestion that you upload it into a more accessible format i.e. one that simply can be viewed. This might also explain a lack of replies so far.

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Ok... I have uploaded my GDD & a level design example document. I am particularly looking for feedback on my GDD-

1.How well written is it?
2.From a technical point of view, is it clearly understandable for a programmer?
3.What have i missed that should be in there?
4.Any recommended changes?

Apart from these, i am open to all suggestions & critics. Thank You.

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I've only read the GDD properly, the Design Examples... I'm thinking they should be moved into the GDD itself, not a seperate file.
I'm also assuming this is about making the document readable by other people.
---
On the whole, I liked it. I'm not sure I'm meant to "like" it, but hey, it contributes to the point I'm making here.

I'm no programmer (yet), and I'm no expert (yet), but I can address your first question;
1. How well written is it?[/quote]
It's good, but it's not perfect.

So, my question is this:
"How did you write this?"

By which I mean,
How long have you been writing it for?
How many times have you proof-read it?
How many times have you put it away, to revisit at a later date?
How many other people have you shown it to?
etc.

I guess my grand point is; you need to put it away for 2 weeks, forget about the ideas, then revisit it to proof-read and re-organise it. As the first step.

For step two, what you could do, is print it out, take it to a friend (the one who's insanely good at English) and hand them a red pen. After all that work, when you think it's perfect and are expecting it to come back with no red marks... they will destroy it ;). So many times I've had "perfect" documents handed back to me, unreadable through all the red marks. Don't be disheartened; you want this, it's so helpful for creating a document that can be understood by anyone.

This all depends on what you want from it; to be understood, or to be perfect. I almost lost the will to read on about half way through, the language is good, a little work would make it completely understandable, but a bit more work on the document as a whole would make me want to read it. That's the key if you're trying to use this document to "sell" the idea to other people (like a potential programmer).

Hope these ideas help,

Wyrm.

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In a quaint little farm, the early morning silence is broken by the cries of waking chickens & ducks as their master, farmer John begins his routine inspection of the farm house.

Farmer John sings a jolly tune & collects the eggs laid by the ducks when suddenly, he notices something glittering under one of the ducks. He lifts the goose and is astonished to see that it has laid golden eggs instead of regular ones. The other ducks can’t believe their eyes. John is overjoyed. He takes the eggs & feeds a lot of worms to the Goose & even names her “Goldie”. However, in his excitement, he forgets about the other ducks & they receive very less worms to eat. John even makes a special home for Goldie.

The other ducks realized that if Goldie kept laying golden eggs, John wouldn’t care for them anymore. Jealous of Goldie and her good fortune, they plan to do something about it. So, the next morning, before John’s routine inspection, they escape from their cages & enter Goldie’s special home. They snatch her eggs & run away towards the old barn. Goldie runs after them to rescue her eggs. When she enters the barn, she sees the ducks sitting with her eggs beside them. She is left with no other choice- defeat the other ducks & get her eggs back.
[/quote]

Notes

  • Ducks and geese (goose in singular form) are two different types of birds.
  • Grammatically your story has some flaws which you would want to resolve. For example: don't use the term "&" instead use "and".
  • Clarification needed with the other duck's motives. If Farmer John fed them very little and they were worried about not being cared for, would they be jealous of Goldie or would they be fearful of starving to death (or some other dire fate) or a combination of both.
  • As a lead in to the game it is not brilliant, not very original but it does work as an introduction. However, it is by no means terrible, I have seen a lot worse.


    At the end of the 20th level, you can view a cutscene or storyboard showing “Goldie” coming out of the barn & taking her eggs to her nest, when she is suddenly attacked by the other ducks & her eggs snatched away again. Goldie chases them to rescue her eggs indicating that the story will be continued in an upcoming version.
    [/quote]

    One aspect of this entire cutscene is that you are suggesting to player that an upcoming sequel will be pretty much the same as what they have played. You might want to change it up a little so that the player would look forward to a sequel. For example the chickens having heard of the situation were the ones waiting in ambush after Goldie had defeated the other ducks and was returning with her eggs. Having said that, there is also a strong traditional reality that many sequels tend to be the same as the original with only minor differentiations.

    Overall for a document written in what is most likely a second language ( I make this assumption on the basis of confusion of ducks and geese as the same thing) you have done fairly well. The layout is clean and legible. The logic of design is concise.

    I do however recommend that you obtain the services of someone who has stronger English skills than yourself to help tighten the language up and smooth out some of the grammatical inconsistencies.

    On a completely different note: I do see an opportunity to build an achievement system into your game as well for example: "No egg left behind" - This achievement is awarded for obtaining all eggs in the game.

    On a final note I think you have made a good start and it is my hope that you are able to maintain your motivation all the way to the end.

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So, my question is this:
"How did you write this?"

By which I mean,
How long have you been writing it for?
How many times have you proof-read it?
How many times have you put it away, to revisit at a later date?
How many other people have you shown it to?
etc.


Thank you so much for your feedback. I am sorry i am a little late in replying as i was busy with work (my job...uggghh) Anyway, to answer your questions-

Before writing the GDD, i took nearly a week to come up with the game idea, i wrote my ideas on paper, crossed out stuff that i felt would not work or would break the game and then finally wrote the GDD. But please note that this is actually the first Game design document that I've written. I started out as a digital artist with an immense love for games and i used to come up with my own game ideas- i wrote down a lot of them on a notebook- with little sketches, doodles, notes and random ramblings. : ) .But as i kept learning more about the game development process, I realised how important a GDD was. Which is why i decided to take an idea & concept and develop it as well as i could. I've learnt everything i know from the internet (this includes sketching, 3d, 2d, graphic design & a little bit of creative writing). I am currently working on creating more variations for the levels, other objects that i can use, mini games etc. There are a few more ideas also which are more simple than this. I don't have any programming skills but i have a friend who is willing to help. So i am trying to come up with ideas that would be simple yet fun to play, that we can develop for our first true game.

I proof read most of it every time i make major changes and i've put it away for more than a week at a stretch before working on it again.

Apart from you guys, only two of my friends (including the programmer) have seen it. But we are all amateurs at this. I also showed it to a professional game designer here and she agrees that for my first GDD, it is well written and i do have the skills to do better.




Notes

  • Ducks and geese (goose in singular form) are two different types of birds.
  • Grammatically your story has some flaws which you would want to resolve. For example: don't use the term "&" instead use "and".
  • Clarification needed with the other duck's motives. If Farmer John fed them very little and they were worried about not being cared for, would they be jealous of Goldie or would they be fearful of starving to death (or some other dire fate) or a combination of both.
  • As a lead in to the game it is not brilliant, not very original but it does work as an introduction. However, it is by no means terrible, I have seen a lot worse.

    Overall for a document written in what is most likely a second language ( I make this assumption on the basis of confusion of ducks and geese as the same thing) you have done fairly well. The layout is clean and legible. The logic of design is concise.

    I do however recommend that you obtain the services of someone who has stronger English skills than yourself to help tighten the language up and smooth out some of the grammatical inconsistencies.

    On a completely different note: I do see an opportunity to build an achievement system into your game as well for example: "No egg left behind" - This achievement is awarded for obtaining all eggs in the game.

    On a final note I think you have made a good start and it is my hope that you are able to maintain your motivation all the way to the end.



Thank you so much for all the clarifications. I thought Geese meant female ducks, LoL. I am currently changing the story a bit. And yes you are right- English is not my native language but I've read a lot of English literature and even wrote some prose and poetry. So I am learning all i can.

I am also working on the achievements and i will add your suggestion to the list. Thanks.

I'll update this thread in a few days with an updated GDD and some of the new ideas that I've been working on.

Thanks again for the awesome help.

by the way, is there any game design tests or exercises you'd recommend?

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