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sunandshadow

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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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)

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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.

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