The Four Perspectives of Game Design: Insight from the Mobile Fringe. The Four Perspectives of Game Design: Insight from the Mobile Fringe By Tony Ventrice [What can you learn about game design from working on mobile titles?
Cellphone game design veteran Ventrice (Guitar Hero Mobile), now working with iPhone developer Smule (Ocarina/Leaf Trombone) on music games, discusses the key conceptual layers of game building that are common to all titles.] A salesperson might understand the importance of a compelling brand but have no concept of game mechanics.
An engineer might understand a compelling game mechanic but not understand the methods of teaching it to the user. Creating a successful game requires critical cross-discipline coordination, yet all too often team members only understand the facets of the design that face their own specializations. It is the responsibility of the game designer to bring these specialized perspectives together in a comprehensive design. Reduced Depth. Increased Breadth. ConceptParadigmMechanicsInterface Related articles: Settlers of catan Flowchart v1. Cindy Dalfovo's Blog - Considerations on flowcharts, dialogues and Design Documents.
The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. I consider myself to be more of a writer, a stories teller, than anything else - that, and my passion for games explain my interest in the written part of the game - writing the dialogues, the story and outline interactions with the player... However, this area of development is still... very far from being mature. While there are games like Fallout that give you a lot of freedom to make your own decisions along with a great story, and that nowadays the number of games with great stories is increasing, it's a field with a lot of space for experimentation and new approaches - the industry itself would probably be glad if people tackled the problem of creating worlds with meaningful decisions with a straighter approach.
I'm writing a little dialogue-based game, only to experiment with it. Story Games - Flowcharts for Game Design: Dissecting your game like a science class frog. Machinations: Game Feedback Diagrams. Features - Structuring Key Design Elements. All games start as an idea, something like "Wouldn't it be cool to be a space marine and blow up zombies on Phobos" or "Wouldn't it be cool to be a pilot in a starfighter involved in an epic struggle to overcome the oppression of a star empire gone bad" or "Wouldn't it be cool to drive modified street cars on Tokyo streets at night.
" These idea sparks are often the source of long conversations between developers late into the night at the studio. Another potential starting point for a game is a licensed property; i.e., "make a RPG/RTS/action game using XXX license. " (Fans may want to play that license specifically. Major licenses include Star Trek, Star Wars, D&D, WWE, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.) This article discusses how to turn the structure that your business context and your game ideas provide into a game concept worthy of fleshing out into a game design document. Business Context Shapes Design, Or Does Design Shape The Business Context? Features - The Chemistry Of Game Design. “…it was clear to the alchemists that "something" was generally being conserved in chemical processes, even in the most dramatic changes of physical state and appearance; that is, that substances contained some "principles" that could be hidden under many outer forms, and revealed by proper manipulation.”
I recently happened across a description of alchemy, that delightful pseudo-science of the last millennium that evolved into modern chemistry. For a moment I thought that the authors were instead describing the current state of the art in game design. Every time I sit down with a finely crafted title such as Tetris or Super Mario Brothers, I catch hints of a concise and clearly defined structure behind the gameplay. It is my belief that a highly mechanical and predictable heart, built on the foundation of basic human psychology, beats at the core of every single successful game.
What would happen if we codified those systems and turned them into a practical technique for designing games?