Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody,

I'm very interested in learning what is your process for discarding core game concepts that you've have come up with. Knowing that it is very hard to work on more that one development at once and plenty of people have more than one idea for games in their head, how do you discard or prioritize your concepts? Have many of you created prototypes and only then found the concept is not good? Have you found that there are core concepts that are bad and can never be iterated to get a playable/good game?

Any advice is very much welcomed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Sometimes I just ask myself, "will people have fun playing this?", and when the answer is no, I scrap it.

It sounds obvious by sometimes i can go down a path for a long time and then realize that it is simply not fun enough to make it in.

 

Hope that helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2019 at 6:54 AM, Tomato Head said:

how do you discard or prioritize your concepts? Have many of you created prototypes and only then found the concept is not good? Have you found that there are core concepts that are bad and can never be iterated to get a playable/good game?

1. I stop working on the discarded ones, and I focus on what seems the best one. 2. I suppose this must have happened to me, but I can't come up with a specific example. 3. No, I haven't. 

These questions skirt the issue you're having. If you get more specific about the problem that prompted them, maybe we can be more helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Adjaar said:

Sometimes I just ask myself, "will people have fun playing this?", and when the answer is no, I scrap it.

It sounds obvious by sometimes i can go down a path for a long time and then realize that it is simply not fun enough to make it in.

 

Hope that helps

So what I understand from what you are saying is that SOMETIMES there is no way of knowning whether a idea is worhwhile unless you develop a little bit more. As you got more experience you probably learn to discard these faster, right?

7 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

1. I stop working on the discarded ones, and I focus on what seems the best one. 2. I suppose this must have happened to me, but I can't come up with a specific example. 3. No, I haven't. 

These questions skirt the issue you're having. If you get more specific about the problem that prompted them, maybe we can be more helpful.

The problem I have is that there is more than one game I would like to make. All ideas seem viable and are at the same technical level. I would like to have some criteria to be able to discard the lesser ones or the at least prioritize (first A, then B, then C). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Tomato Head said:

All ideas seem viable and are at the same technical level. I would like to have some criteria to be able to discard the lesser ones or the at least prioritize (first A, then B, then C). 

Make a decision grid. Include your gut feeling. Maybe the ideas don't all go well with a favorite theme; which ones do, which don't. What are the pros and cons of each idea. And what about your gut feeling, and how long will they take relative to one another, what do you have to learn to make this one versus that one? You can get a numerical score and you can turn that into priorities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

Make a decision grid. Include your gut feeling. Maybe the ideas don't all go well with a favorite theme; which ones do, which don't. What are the pros and cons of each idea. And what about your gut feeling, and how long will they take relative to one another, what do you have to learn to make this one versus that one? You can get a numerical score and you can turn that into priorities. 

This is a great idea. Thank you for the tip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well one thing that at least helped me, but is easier said than done, is to try to visualize features/designs from players perspective

As a designer I feel it is easy to over-engineer features simply because you have expert knowledge. Knowing the ins and outs of your design can be quite a curse some times when it comes to player reception

I know many times where I had to completely revise a feature because it was way to complex. Complexity can be good but if it takes 5 years of playing and a phd to understand and master you've gone done wrong.

Plan -> Prototype -> Playtest -> Review -> Revise -> Repeat

Time-consuming for sure but at least for me I have yet to find any golden rules that replaces this. 

Oh, and be humble! Even if you're the designer it doesnt mean that your first draft/ideas is really what your playerbase wants

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BG109 said:

try to visualize features/designs from players perspective

That is essential!

8 hours ago, BG109 said:

Complexity can be good but

But simplicity can be even better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/23/2019 at 2:04 AM, BG109 said:

Well one thing that at least helped me, but is easier said than done, is to try to visualize features/designs from players perspective

As a designer I feel it is easy to over-engineer features simply because you have expert knowledge. Knowing the ins and outs of your design can be quite a curse some times when it comes to player reception

I know many times where I had to completely revise a feature because it was way to complex. Complexity can be good but if it takes 5 years of playing and a phd to understand and master you've gone done wrong.

Plan -> Prototype -> Playtest -> Review -> Revise -> Repeat

Time-consuming for sure but at least for me I have yet to find any golden rules that replaces this. 

Oh, and be humble! Even if you're the designer it doesnt mean that your first draft/ideas is really what your playerbase wants

At what time it is interesting to get outside feedback? I know that super early maybe you yourself might not have the most polished ideas so getting negative feedback might kill something that it could be good latter on. Getting feedback latter might make you already super attached to something you have created and make it hard to let go (and also mean a great loss of time).

Should we understand that some people might be able to contribute to your ideas even without a prototype (probably other game designers) and some others have to see something working to be able to add something produtive to you? How negative feedback should impact what you are doing? Some people just don't like certain specifics of some games while other find them great fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 3:13 PM, Tomato Head said:

At what time it is interesting to get outside feedback? I know that super early maybe you yourself might not have the most polished ideas so getting negative feedback might kill something that it could be good latter on. Getting feedback latter might make you already super attached to something you have created and make it hard to let go (and also mean a great loss of time).

Should we understand that some people might be able to contribute to your ideas even without a prototype (probably other game designers) and some others have to see something working to be able to add something produtive to you? How negative feedback should impact what you are doing? Some people just don't like certain specifics of some games while other find them great fun.

Good question, I can only speak from my own personal experience here so please keep this in mind

I usually like to iterate a few timesbefore getting external feedback, at least based on real gameplay. 

Also,I would say that I spend, maybe 40% of the time thinking about the design or designing on paper before doing anything else, then maybe 20% implementing it and another 40% polishing/iterating it. Figures can differ but main thing is that, at least for me the actual coding/implementatio  is a minor part

However, if you know that you want to have feedback start preparing early! Unless you already have a good followerbase getting people to actual playtest is HARD! I remember trying to get my first beta test going, finding playtesterstook a lot more time than i would have guessed

Concerning loosing a lot of time, yes that can happen. Right now I am working on a patch that will completely change the crafting system in my own game. The first version took countless hours to make but I decided to pull it out behind the barn so to say... The new version will be much better. Handling sunk cost can hurt a lot, but I think it is sometimes unavoidable in order to improve the product.

As for negative feedback, learn to love it ;) Of course your style will not suit everyone so you can discard some, but getting proper negative feedback to act on is way more valuable than someone just saying "this is good!". 

As for a personal example: At one point I was getting feedback complaining about the difficulty at the start of the game. My gut reaction was "It is supposed to be hard, its simply that player that cant manage that type of game!" But then i had to remember I had countless hours of gameplay AND knew the ins and outs of every mechanic. Sure, a game can be hard, but if it is nearby impossible right from the start no player is gonna like it. So I dialed it down, a lot, at the start and introduced a more gradual difficulty slope. And the feedback became way better :)

Oh well, a lot of rambling sitting on a train with time to kill but maybe you could find some usable parts at least :) Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!