Developer Diary #2

10 Feb

Design and Planning – Lessons from the Text

This week most of my work came from reading chapter 3 of the textbook which covered design and planning of my game. A lot of the material in the chapter focused on coming up with the idea for your game. It suggested things like writing down a bunch of words that pop into your head, looking and random Wikipedia pages, and going to random entries in an encyclopedia. In my case I already have the concept of my game decided so although this information was interesting it wasn’t relevant at this time for me.

The rest of the chapter talked about planning out your game. It covered things such as a core statement and a list of features and mechanics for the game. Overall it got it into my head that I needed to do some planning and find a way to write down my ideas as they come to me.

Planning the Game

I did a few things to help arrange my thoughts and plans for my game. First of all I followed the game outline form provided in the text which consists of a core statement, list of features, world description, and victory condition/goals of the game. This was somewhat helpful in hammering out the general description and goal of the game. Most of this I had already had a solid idea of in my head but it was good to have things down on paper just in case I need to reference it for further design decisions.

Link to Game Outline

Game Outline


The second thing I did in reaction to the text was to purchase a sketchbook primarily for making level design documents. This way when I have an idea for a level I can quickly sketch it out and write down the important details so that I won’t forget it later when it comes time to actually implement it. Aside from the basic sketch of what the level will look like I can add notes about how the puzzle will be solved and how difficult the level is.

Sketching out all of my level designs is also helpful to give me a better perspective on how all of the levels will fit together, especially considering the early levels. I was careful to design the early levels with the purpose of slowly introducing all of the different spell mechanics so that the player will be able to solve more complicated puzzles when they come.

In addition to level design documents I have begun to sketch other ideas for the game as they come to me. For example I have a few sketches of generally what I’m planning for some of the GUI screens and menus. Another sketch shows what I have planned for a couple of the enemies in the game as well as a prop for future levels that involves enemies. This is very helpful because although I am no-where near ready to implement some of these things I can record my ideas for later.

To view the design sketches go here

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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Developer Diary


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