GamerKnight is a coder working with virtual and augmented reality tech. I am always looking to meet new people who are serious about games development.

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Posted by GamerKnight on Feb 11th, 2013

How hard is Games Design?

A few years a go when I first started to get serious about programming my own game I thought this would be easy. I thought to myself I play games all the time. I would totally make the best game in the world. I will write up a games design document this week and release a game in a few months.

Obviously to any one that has been doing it for a serious length of time knows this is not true. Its so dam hard to get GOOD game concept written down. Sure your ideas sound great in your head, but trying to define the core mechanics of a game, into sound coherent written form is a nightmare. Its both fun, frustrating and just down right time consuming. No wonder so many people never make it to release.

Then you get the people that think that a games core elements don't even need to be defined, you can just make the game up as you go along. I am a firm believer that this is not true, sure the game changes over time, it evolves and the original idea is just a distant memory. But the core mechanics, the core elements stay the same throughout the life cycle of the project, and ultimately define what the game is about and what challenges the player faces.

In my eyes a game is a set of core mechanics and challenges, both of which are intertwined. The core mechanics define how the player interacts with the world and how the world offers feedback to the players input. Challenges come in many forums but follow a simple principle. A player is faced with a task, if he succeeds he is reworded, if he fails he is punished. An example of which could be anything from moment in a platformer, all the way up to collecting and moving items around to solve a puzzle, hell even a head shot.

What is my point here, to be honest I am not so sure any more. What I am really looking for here is to know what you guys and gals think about games design and the importance of writing a solid games design document. Or how do you go about creating games and getting your ideas out there. I can not be the only one faced with these issues.


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S.W.A.T Feb 11 2013 says:

so true without this no-one will ever get anywhere games start with just pen and paper an idea

+2 votes     reply to comment
yone Feb 11 2013 says:

It a need to think hardly about the gameĀ“s mechanics first. It have to be fun and nifty, and you have to be very sure you have the skills to do it. And I think guys who make a solid game with a 2 - 3 ppl team is crazy!

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GamerKnight Author
GamerKnight Feb 12 2013 replied:

Interesting point.

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Raqual1990 Feb 12 2013 says:

Writing a solid game design is, of course, very important. But equally so is the flexibility of the team to change the concepts if they aren't working or aren't fun to play with. Ideas tend to sound better in our heads because it's almost impossible to think of the exact implementation or interaction between the elements. I guess a good design document is important but it shouldn't be too ridged.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GamerKnight Author
GamerKnight Feb 13 2013 replied:

I agree, I have come up with what I thought where the best ideas to hit gaming since Mario saving the princess Haha. But once you start to really develop the idea and write it down you realise just how terrible that idea really was.

Thanks for the advice.

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