• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
SinisterPride

Ideas are a dime a dozen...

88 posts in this topic

For some business applications, where requirements are very rigid and the general type of problem is pretty familiar, then a waterfall / non-iterative approach can make sense.

 

But for game design, at least for me personally, an iterative approach has been useful enough that I can't imagine using a non-iterative approach, from a practical basis.

 

To take just one example, I had initially imagined/planned/designed that the movement UI would be heavily accelerometer based.   But, before I settled on my current movement AI, I quickly prototyped 3 different UI's: accelerometer, traditional buttons, and swipe. Over the course of a few weeks, myself and 2 others tested all 3 prototypes, and I made quick coding tweaks to fix bugs / fine-tune.  We found that what I envisioned (the accelerometer), was absolutely terrible and so got scrapped completely and ended up going with swipe.  

 

I'm very glad that I (or anyone else) did not spend dozens of hours making extensive, detailed plans based on using the accelerometer, as all that design work would of been wasted.  

 

This isn't to say a nice design or an "ideas guy" is bad, I think they can be extremely useful in some situations.  Specifically, where they are not set in stone but willing to rapidly iterate, and you already have enough programmers and artists.

 

For a small hobbyist team, an ideas guy even without programming or art skill could still be extremely useful to the team, as long as they are able and willing to do a lot of non-design tasks and grunt work the team needs too, as opposed to spending 90% of their time on ideas.  If they spend 25% of their time or less on idea generation / design documentation, and 75% or more on other useful tasks, it could work out. 

 

I'm talking about things like:

 - recruit additional members: go to arts colleges and compsci colleges, hand out business cards, tack on your posters, go to game boards

 - community outreach - go to web boards and chats and try to find new alpha testers

 - find and purchase things like server hardware as needed

 - schedule interviews with prospective new team members

 - book meeting rooms / library room time / videochat and coordinate schedules for team meetings

 - grunt work to relieve the artist: sometimes the concept artist needs 100 images to be resized in a way you can't automatically batch it, this is an area the ideas guy can help out, getting the artist back to working on the aspects of concept art creation only they have the skillset to do

 - update the team's game website with content / blog posts

 - research cost-effective marketing plans

 

If someone is the "ideas guy" and refuses to help out with these kinds of things, when the programmer(s) and artists are overloaded with work, that is probably what people are objecting to.

 

Now, if the team is big enough, say 10?  20 people?  At a certain point, I think a full-time purist ideas guy / game designer or even several could make sense, depending on the situation.  I haven't worked on game development teams that large, but hypothetically I could see a lot of value at that point in a true purist ideas guy, for some scenarios.

 

 

 

 
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aww man.. You guys sure wrote alot for me to respond to tongue.png My keyboard finally gave out on me 2 days ago. I guess the poor thing deserves to R.I.P. after all the hardcore gaming and intense writing I put it through laugh.png  I responded through my phone for the last few replies. I'll post up the draft responses I have mostly written up on my phone. Won't get around to fully replying to all my threads till tomorrow, had a long day at both jobs sleep.png I read everything though, good valid points which will pose tough responses. Thanks for the input/contributions guys, keep up the good work  
 
Sin ?§• ??§?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was en route to my second job from the first a few hours ago when something happened. I made an odd correlation between my jobs and the prominent political debate between those who are design oriented and those who are development oriented.

I work as a building superintendents' assistant and as a security guard. My job at the building entails maintenance and contracting work (generally hard physical physical labor). As a security guard I'm meant to take on the role of an observer, reporter and at times a deterrent.

The correlation I made is in between the different modes of thinking/action I require in each job. At the building I'm expected to think less and do more (I AM expected to think though). As a guard you're expected to observe and think to realize things before they occur or react as they're occurring (here my state of mind is almost opposite).

The reason I found this relevant is that either one of these states of mind are often default modes of procedure/thought for people.

Some are "Do-ers" and reacting impulsively/instinctively works for them. Others are thinkers and planning/organizing is their approach to almost everything.

I first made this correlation between the types of people in martial arts where the technical types and the impulsiveness/instinctive types stand out largely in contrast.

To wrap my point up , Game design and development seems to have the same contrast. People who are development oriented are hands on learners and perform better while having a creation to tinker with. Design oriented people are more comfortable envisioning and planning (extensively at times) before enacting said plans. The prejudice that exists between the two types of people is a needless one. More often than not they're both capable of the same feats. They just go about it through different paths.

I'm still working on those replies (long work day :-\). They should be up tonight.

Sin ?§•??§?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People who are development oriented are hands on learners and perform better while having a creation to tinker with. Design oriented people are more comfortable envisioning and planning (extensively at times) before enacting said plans.

Most decent computer scientists spend days of architectural and design planning before writing a single line of code. Most decent game designers implement prototypes early, and tinker with them constantly in order to hone in on the desired behaviours.

 

Corollary: generalisations are generally worthless.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this thread should be an argument.
It has grown into one, of a sort, but it shouldn't have.

 

I see it as more of a debate on opinions at times. But yes, your right, it shouldn't be. Like I said a few posts ago "its a needless prejudice".

 

Sinister, just reading the name of the thread, I would think you would support the idea that designers should not be idea-people, but rather a more involved and versatile tool  in the development process.

 

I was half asleep during my last post, poor choice of words. Yes, I do in fact believe "idea people" are useless in the sense that they are commonly refered to on here. I also believe that designers should have a hand in EVERY aspect of the development process. Especially if it is THEIR vision (as someone stated, a lead designer isn't always the one to come up with the idea being worked on. I'll look up who said that and edit this to give them proper credit when I'm more awake/coherent) that is being brought to life.

 

it involves getting your hands dirty and starting out all alone (or with friends) until you have something to convince that team that they want you as one of theirs.

 

Thank you for stating this because I'd like to reiterate something as I have a few times already. I haven't been day dreaming and spewing ideas for the last decade as so many would like to believe. Yes, I've been developing my ideas since some time around highschool when my goal of becoming a game designer/developer started to become clearer. Yes, I went to college for a year and some where I studied Multimedia Development and learned as much as I could before not being able to afford my college financially. My, at times, humble/modest demeanor/way of presenting myself may give off the impression that I am a complete novice, but I assure you I am not.  A while back, I stated in a post alot of the things that I have on paper/am/have worked on. I'll go find it so i can quote it real quick.

 

I'm not one to boast or speak of my achievements and capabilities with high regard but in this case I'll push it just a bit.

 

I've done my own concept art, written my own lore, designed my own technical input/motion layouts, taught myself basic scripting in hopes of being able to atleast contribute or do some of the programing, designed skill and spell systems and trees, developed the way(s) I want to track expierience which isn't as mainstream as we're used to/have seen, designed multiple menus, huds, UIs and concepts for tracking things that are usually displayed on huds without having to clutter the screen, extensively thought of time mechanics to interact with varying other mechanics in the worlds' enviroment as well as for character development, explored methods for online multiplayer which localizes server loads between players wishing to play with each other (sort of like lan with a bit of a twist in networking) which would in theory allow large gatherings of adventurers without requiring dedicated servers by spreading the load of bandwidth allocation to each individual player wishing to play, developed professions which tie into character development in a direct way not just as varying side benefits, extensively tied the environment into said professions while theoretically eliminating extensive rendering of resources in the enviroment when entering and moving around areas, theorized on ways to minimize input lag by uniforming control and response methods between the world and the player/npcs (this ties into the combat system as well).. and other stuff that I probably cant think of off the top of my head.. 

 

I don't know if stating this gives an idea of what I have down on my notes but I have definitely gotten my hands dirty in my opinion.

 

Concept sketches and diagrams of how a mechanic work (to show that this has really been thought out, and practiced) aren't.

 

I love you right now NoAdmiral laugh.png You just put into words what I originally set out to say with my original post. This thread has definitely become what I envisioned it being, a large fountain of information established/built through debate and discussion. Do have to disagree with one definition within that statement though.

 

Prototypes are even better.

 

Concept sketches and diagrams ARE forms of prototypes as someone so graciously mentioned earlier (again I'll find and give them props later, haven't even had breakfast yet tongue.png).

 

The bigger the project (and thus time-investment for each member of the team), the more work you need to put in to giving these artists and programmers a reason to pick your project over all of the other great projects out there.

 

Thank you for the advice. You are truly and utterly corrrect. This is what I have set out to do with my chain of threads pertaining to Project: Alter Ego. I don't expect to find anyone willing to jump in whole heartedly with the reception I've received so far but hopefully as they see more and I clarify things more it will become a possibility.

 

Thank you for your contribution and input/feedback Sir NoAdmiral smile.png It is in fact (in my opinion atleast) one of the most pivotal, productive and constructive criticisms/feedbacks/responses I have yet received.

 

Sin ?§• ??§?

Edited by SinisterPride
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done my own concept art, written my own lore, designed my own technical input/motion layouts, taught myself basic scripting in hopes of being able to atleast contribute or do some of the programing, designed skill and spell systems and trees, developed the way(s) I want to track expierience which isn't as mainstream as we're used to/have seen, designed multiple menus, huds, UIs and concepts for tracking things that are usually displayed on huds without having to clutter the screen, extensively thought of time mechanics to interact with varying other mechanics in the worlds' enviroment as well as for character development, explored methods for online multiplayer which localizes server loads between players wishing to play with each other (sort of like lan with a bit of a twist in networking) which would in theory allow large gatherings of adventurers without requiring dedicated servers by spreading the load of bandwidth allocation to each individual player wishing to play, developed professions which tie into character development in a direct way not just as varying side benefits, extensively tied the environment into said professions while theoretically eliminating extensive rendering of resources in the enviroment when entering and moving around areas, theorized on ways to minimize input lag by uniforming control and response methods between the world and the player/npcs (this ties into the combat system as well).. and other stuff that I probably cant think of off the top of my head..

I don't know if stating this gives an idea of what I have down on my notes but I have definitely gotten my hands dirty in my opinion.


I'll bite the bullet here just say this frankly: Sorry but no, these do not count as actual "achievements" or "work". And what you are doing is certainly not "design". Edited by Legendre
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know what.. Legendre.. Do me a favor. Next time you feel like saying something you know is going to be a useless comment of no worth to anyone but your condescending ego, keep it to yourself. I'd like to bring in a mod or staff to share their opinion on this because frankly I've tried to be nice and I've tried to honestly take your criticism/feedback in an unbiased fashion. I've come to the conclusion that although you may have contributed quite a few times in ways I appreciate, the majority of your post have been of negative/tactless opinion and commentary. Either say something constructive (doesn't have to be nice, you can tear me a new one if you don't agree) or don't say anything at all, got it?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rofl.. Yup, I'm 100% sure of it now. You're opinion means nothing to me. Trust me, it's not because of HOW you're saying something. It's because you gingerly assume you know EVERYTHING that I have done towards each stated point. You know nothing about me yet since you're first post you have had all sort of pretentious,condescending, assumptious remarks. Yes, you have the right to comment on what you THINK is wrong on my approach, yes you can ASSUME all you want about how little I've done, and yes you can bash any statement and opinion I may make or have. But no, you won't sit here with all certainty and tell me that my efforts aren't what I know them for a fact to be. I've lost all respect for your opinion Sir, you can choose to keep replying however you want but I won't give you the benefit of reading anything you say from here on. Again, I'd like a staff or moderator to interject please.

-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0