When designing a new game there’s a set of steps that are always worth considering. This document’s intention is to fulfil a create a list of steps that’s needed when designing any sort of game, that could form some sort of simplistic checklist to aid designers.
This will of course carry the limitation of not mentioning specifics that certain genres/platforms/engines/teams/audiences may require.
Ideation – gathering and specifying the core ideas
Purpose – What is the purpose of the game you are designing? Is the goal financial, to gain recognition, to develop skills? Why are you making this?
This may change throughout development, but it’s useful to know at least why this project is being made now.
- To release a non-commercial game to help build up a portfolio.
- To release a sponsored game for a charity to help express a serious message.
- To release a low-budget commercial game that will and sustain its own costs of development.
- To release a high-budget commercial game that will make a significant profit.
Audience – Who is the game for? Is the intended audience broad or specific? Who is the primary audience? How many people do you estimate will play the game? How important is it that you reach that amount of people?
- The game’s target audience is
- The game’s target audience is potential employers, the game should be a strong portfolio piece.
- The game’s
Form – What is the intended platform? What type of engine will the game be built out of, and what software might be used for its development? What is the schedule period for its release?
Not everything needs to be determined at this stage, but having some provisional ideas are helpful. If you don’t have a brief/limitations enforcing some of these options it’s worth determining what is or isn’t available.
- The game will
Specificity and the Core Concept –
Documentation – planning/mapping wider designs
Defining core elements –
Anchor development –
Design for humans –
Documenting to be read/not be read –
Specify and summarise –
Numerical Design/Paper prototyping –
Sanity check –
Development – bringing design to reality
Identifying issues –
Mapping Limitations –
Elegant solutions –
Making changes –
When to move on –