One of the things which I learned is that in the field of Game Design “Execution” of an idea is a very important and critical process.
If a common idea is given to 5 different groups ,we will have 5 different games based on the common idea. Game Design is about Team Play, how the members will play with the idea.
The Following post is based on the experience and game design philosophy which I formed while working on Student project “A Tale of Sand “.
After our team finished brain storming ideas and mechanics based on design and play experience from similar genre. Documentation got started mostly about “Formal Systems” (Rules of the Game”).It is natural that every team member will have his/her own vision about working of particular mechanic . They are not to blame when they say some mechanic will be perfect but in reality it can be a game breaking or game making one. Due to linear thinking some members cannot see the probability space of mechanics and end up assuming how mechanics, systems and levels will play out. So it is more important for the designers to see mechanics in action and play with Dynamics early in the process.
Process: Formal Systems (Rules) –>Convert into Mechanics and Systems –> Design Play (Playing with Dynamics)
Tools must enable Design, shouldn’t hamper the process.
After Documentation, either the designer or programmer should convert the written rules to Code (Mechanics and Systems). The main part of crafting code is to keep in mind to create Design Tools. It should be easy for Designer to use with no or very less modification or steps.
Practical Use in Project “Tale of Sand”:
1. Formal System: When Character collides with respective object it acquires respective powers. When it collides with Glue it acquires “Sticky” power which enables the character to stick to static objects like wall.
2. Design Tool: Designer has to Just Drag and Drop Scripts on Objects which are to be source for Elemental Powers and choose the specific Power.
3. Design Play: Designer can play with dynamics and decide where to place objects and where it makes sense.