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ETak

Brainstorm

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 Hello.

It's been so long I've been brainstorming about some ideas but haven't managed to turn them into complete design documents.

 

I want to know techniques you use for brainstorming about your games to come up with the best solution and ideas for your games.

I know it might be a complete creative process but I'm sure everyone has made some rules for himself/herself to complete a design document.

 

After so much brainstorming I decided to keep 4 ideas for 2Dgames but haven't been able to complete them.

How can I find out if something is practical or the project will end up in failure?  only by trying?

 

 

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I don't know about everyone else but I do a lot of pen and paper prototyping. It usually takes a few hours but with some simple rules I can set up a similiar version as a board game. I used dice, grid paper, ruler, flash cards and a pencil, with these I can set up all sorts of ways to flesh out an idea or see if it is fun.

 

For example I layed out a game called Bomb Voyage (working title) into a board game in about 2 1/2 hours.

 

The concept was simple the player picked a character to play as, each character had to find specific items relating to them on a cruise ship before it sank. A bomb was planted on board hence the title.

 

Say you pick average joe as your character, you would need to find his daughter, wife, and dog.

 

To layout the map I just drew different levels of the ship on grid paper, movement was handled by dice and a movement modifier based on your character.

I had a deck of flash cards with items on them that you would draw after your turn was over to represent finding them.

I used monopoly pieces to identify level obstacles such as fire, broken beams, people and etc. each item gave you a bonus to get past obstacles but you could only hold so many at one time.

 

I used Dice rolls to see if the player cleared the obstacle or not, varying levels of the roll resulted in different effects e.x. If a panicked mob is rushing down your corridor you need a 5 to dodge them. Adding any modifiers to your dice roll the final result had to be >=5. If you rolled a 1-3 you were stunned and lost a turn, a 4 you couldn't move but you were safe and a 5 or greater you bypassed the crowd and continued your turn.

 

The time limit on the level was represented by a set limit of turns before the ship sank. It took a few plays to whitle this to an appropriate number. Every 10 turns a secondary explosion woud go off and that would randomly generate new obstacles on the map. Handled that by just tossing tokens onto the map.

 

I tested out a lot of things but it even let me realise how many players should be in one game at a time, so I knew the minimum of differing characters I had to make.

 

Then it all fit neatly in a box and I could bring it anywhere to let people test it out and give feedback.

 

This might seem like it went off topic a bit, I just wanted to share some ideas on how you can represent game actions through a board game and somewhat of how it at least helps me decide which project I'm going to follow through with.

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Having an example of a complete design document for a similar game is tremendously useful, because then you can follow the simple method of seeing what "holes" your design has compared to the example, and can focus on brainstorming them one at a time.  The brainstorming step would include researching what other games have in that part of the design, as well as just generating ideas.

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I commute a lot so I like to change the radio to any station that's playing music and when a song starts I build a game to match the music. Often songs I haven't heard of are easier to build ideas on, its the top 40 and classics that I have a harder time with. When I'm done driving I usually jot down notes and the song and listen to it later to further the brainstorming.

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Thank you guys. So you guys have come up with different ways to simulate your games. That's great. I have to find a way for simulating my own games too. I use mind simulations but it usually only works for stories and coming up with the whole idea of a game but not details. I imagine things and go into them to play the story.

 

The board game simulation sounds very practical. Thank you everyone. I hope more people share their solutions.

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