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Play games -> become a better designer?

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#1 IgeL   Members   


Posted 06 July 2000 - 03:09 AM

I''ve played a lot since I got my hands on a computer (it was sweet old 286 then). Few years passed and I played (Space Crusade was #1 on that 286) without thinking the game''s design. Then I started thinking "wouldn''t it be nice to have this and that here and there". Pretty normal progress I guess. When I''m (and I suppose most of you) thinking of a new game, I _always_ imagine some old game (UFO is probably the number one here, heh). So now imagine, if you haven''t ever seen a computer game. You''re just told that "we can do anything, just use your imagination". You wouldn''t have any idea of the games that exist at the moment. What would you do? So the point (question) is that is it good to play so much games? To some point yes (learning from mistakes others make etc) but you just cannot create things you might have been able to do if you haven''t seen any games. Or can you? Erm well, hope you understood...

#2 Ingenu   Members   


Posted 06 July 2000 - 03:46 AM

Good question, I think you might ask a Psy cause it''s the kind of think he must be aware of

I do think that we are limited to what we''ve seen, and it''s hard to create a game based on nothing.

Playing many games won''t make that we cannot have a new idea.
After all, the first game where based on nothing since no computer games existed before them.

Advice : Do NOT, never make a ''best that this game'' game.
You''ll fail.
Think as your own as a new creation, using elements from any game (computer or else) you''ve seen.

Because computers have limited power and interactivity, you can''t simply come and say ''I''ve a great idea'' without any clue of what we are able to do.
Since the other games are often a good representation of what can be done, knowing/playing them is helpfull.

Can you really think that killing someone is not evil ??
NO, but this is not true, killing someone is not evil.
It''s just our civilisation that tell that.

So I do think you''re limited, but not by the other games, rather by you''re general ''culture''.

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

#3 Silvermyst   Members   


Posted 06 July 2000 - 07:28 AM

To me, the danger of creating games after playing games, is that sometimes one will start to create games simply to solve problems of other games (for example, you''re playing a game you like, but you think it could be much better...so you start making your own game, similar to the one you''re playing, but ''better''). What is very possible at that point, is that you''ll not have enough of yourself in that product to really make it what you want it to be. It will most likely be just like that ''other'' game with just a few ''enhancements''.

I think one should ALWAYS start out with a fresh new idea, and then take PARTS of other games, just general ideas, to create your own game. Because, with all the games out there, it wouldn''t be too surprising to find that one of them has already found the perfect solution to one of your game''s problem areas. Or a game has exactly what you think your game should have (you might not even have known before you started making your game).

Use what''s there, but make the core of the game your own design/idea.


#4 Whirlwind   Members   


Posted 06 July 2000 - 07:54 AM

There is more to playing games and saying ''that is a great feature.'' If you have a memory like mine, you also need to write it down . Of course, never design a game to use a feature, that is the worst way to design. You design a game and role play what features it will need and then check your notes to see what games had good implementations and then see if that implementation will work. Never add features ''just because'', tie the features in with the rest of the game, either the story or the theme. It is a bit odd having a heard deer run through a mountain pass - on an airless planet - simply because game X had that neat feature and you wanted to use it.

Game design is an art, and if at first you don''t succeed, don''t be surprised.

#5 IgeL   Members   


Posted 09 July 2000 - 01:56 AM

(I _personally_ have no problem at all with designing, I was just curious...)

Toys. Yes, toys. Oh god how they are just waiting there to be used in a computer game. I got such an inspiration from my old soldier-set (the plastic figures, helicopters and such). I will probably start documenting stuff now, because this is something that just cannot be explained via IRC. It shouldn''t be too complicated either, so "my" coders should be able to do it.

And you know what''s so special in this? I don''t have an existing image of some game in my head (well I''m imaging Space Crusade''s battlesystem, mine will just have more variables).

There are a few things I''ll have to think about. Because the game will be turn based, it will need some kind of a nice (and) fast gameplay. First I thought that pixels would do the graphics (one pixel/one unit) but it could be pretty weird. Maybe I''ll use some 5x5 for the bigger units... Or something, I''m working on it.

Erm, am I talking too much about myself? )

#6 Paul Cunningham   Members   


Posted 09 July 2000 - 02:36 AM

The best thing you can get from playing games is learning what people want and like in games. So i believe i can safely say that if one doesn''t play games they will somewhere along these lines encounter a fundermental problem with their (computer) games design.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

#7 DavidRM   Members   


Posted 09 July 2000 - 07:21 AM

The thing is...many developers rationalize game-playing as "design research" to the point that they have about 0 productivity. They spend so much time "researching" that they never get anything done. And there''s *always* a new game that needs "researching"...

Is this why it seems to be taking 2-4 years to develop a new game these days, even with a full-time staff working on it? I think it bears a chunk of the blame, to be sure.

Be aware of what''s in the latest games, especially in the genre you''re interested in. That much *is* necessary. But if you find that you''re playing/researching more hours in the day than you''re working on your own product/project...well...don''t expect finish anytime soon...

Samu Games

#8 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   


Posted 09 July 2000 - 07:33 AM

Playing too many games is a bad thing for a designer. The temptation to want to create "game X but with new feature Y" is apparently too tempting for most designers to overcome.

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