What do you use to design your game concepts?

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jbskaggs
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What do you use to design your game concepts?

Post by jbskaggs » Sat Dec 19, 2020 1:04 am

Way before you even start to code - what is your method or or what do you use to flesh out the concept?

A word processor?

Storyboarding?

A pad of paper and a pencil?

An art program?

Maybe a tile map editor or level editor?

What would be your typical steps in your method to flesh out your concepts to bring you to a realistic game concept that is clear and clarified?

Would love to get some ideas to better my concept clarification process.

sphyrth
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Re: What do you use to design your game concepts?

Post by sphyrth » Sat Dec 19, 2020 1:17 am

I mostly do "cloning" jobs.

1. I see a game that I like - ("I want to make a game like this.")
2. There are features that I want to put in, there are features that I want to put out.
3. Scribble down notes in a paper.
4. This is actually the coding part... where my game will most definitely diverge from the game I was originally cloning.

jbskaggs
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Re: What do you use to design your game concepts?

Post by jbskaggs » Sat Dec 19, 2020 1:47 am

Thats sorta what I do- I use google drive and create a document and fill it with my notes-

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Xii
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Re: What do you use to design your game concepts?

Post by Xii » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:35 am

What I do is play many different games, watch other people play many different games, casually, professionally and speedrunning; study what games other devs have made and how. 99% of my free time is spent this way.

Then, I write down notes on my desktop/phone. Every single game idea I have, I write it down. Most of them are not good. I ruthlessly recycle, combine, and mutate ideas. They evolve over time.

Because I think about games literally all day, every day, I've become good at "simulating" ideas in my head. I know what works and what doesn't by virtue of thinking about it.

Having done this for years, it was psychologically taxing to only think about making games for so many years, while not actually making any. But it's become clear to me that that is the only way to make truly great games. And now I've reached the point where all this research bears fruit; I've culminated the process into a set of games that are the best combination of the best mechanics I've ever thought of, in the best themes I like. My magnum opus, if you will.

Then I have to convert this into an actual, playable game. What I do is think hard about the technological systems and measures I'm going to need that are shared by all the games in this set. I imagine an idealized API I'd like to have developing them, having toyed with many programs intended for this purpose.

As I go to bed, I think about the next feature I want/need to implement from that imaginary API, to get the result I visualize, and when I wake up the next morning, I somehow know exactly what needs doing next and how it must be done, and - to my recent surprise - have it finished before breakfast!

An enormous part of being a single independent developer, is planning around and along your strengths and weaknesses. If there's some task you don't enjoy, minimize its part in the puzzle as much as you can. I'm good at drawing graphics, but I don't enjoy the task itself, so I've designed my graphics to be as low-effort to implement as possible. I really enjoy worldbuilding, so I've made sure my games support that aspect by being highly explorable.

jbskaggs
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Re: What do you use to design your game concepts?

Post by jbskaggs » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:39 am

Great and insightful response!

lucked
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Re: What do you use to design your game concepts?

Post by lucked » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:43 pm

Xii wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:35 am
What I do is play many different games, watch other people play many different games, casually, professionally and speedrunning; study what games other devs have made and how. 99% of my free time is spent this way.

Then, I write down notes on my desktop/phone. Every single game idea I have, I write it down. Most of them are not good. I ruthlessly recycle, combine, and mutate ideas. They evolve over time.

Because I think about games literally all day, every day, I've become good at "simulating" ideas in my head. I know what works and what doesn't by virtue of thinking about it.

Having done this for years, it was psychologically taxing to only think about making games for so many years, while not actually making any. But it's become clear to me that that is the only way to make truly great games. And now I've reached the point where all this research bears fruit; I've culminated the process into a set of games that are the best combination of the best mechanics I've ever thought of, in the best themes I like. My magnum opus, if you will.

Then I have to convert this into an actual, playable game. What I do is think hard about the technological systems and measures I'm going to need that are shared by all the games in this set. I imagine an idealized API I'd like to have developing them, having toyed with many programs intended for this purpose.

As I go to bed, I think about the next feature I want/need to implement from that imaginary API, to get the result I visualize, and when I wake up the next morning, I somehow know exactly what needs doing next and how it must be done, and - to my recent surprise - have it finished before breakfast!

An enormous part of being a single independent developer, is planning around and along your strengths and weaknesses. If there's some task you don't enjoy, minimize its part in the puzzle as much as you can. I'm good at drawing graphics, but I don't enjoy the task itself, so I've designed my graphics to be as low-effort to implement as possible. I really enjoy worldbuilding, so I've made sure my games support that aspect by being highly explorable.
Great response! gonna steal some tips

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