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The Tiny Game Design Tool
 

The Tiny Game Design Tool

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My talk at IGDS 2012, where I present a new way to write game design documents and a little game design tool.

My talk at IGDS 2012, where I present a new way to write game design documents and a little game design tool.

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    The Tiny Game Design Tool The Tiny Game Design Tool Presentation Transcript

    • The Tiny Game Design Tool and other little useful things. Written by Federico Fasce
    • Hi!Hello there! My name is Federico Fasce
    • And I’m one of the cofounders of Urustar, a small game design studio located in genova,Italy.
    • A game is a system capable to generate emotions through agency in a ritual space.Here is our little definition of what a game is. That’s just what a game is for us, and it defineswhat kind of games we love and we want to make.
    • Games like Ed Key and David Kanaga’s Proteus
    • Or like thathgamecompany’s Journey.
    • How we (don’t) work.So, how we do game design? Let’s start saying how we don’t (always) work.
    • The Game BibleWe kinda hate the whole concept of Game Bible.
    • We feel it’s an enormous waste of paper and energy
    • Rule #1 NOBODY reads the Game Bible.That’s because of various reasons. First one is that you get always the feelings nobody reallyreads the Bible. Actually, is very difficult to cover all the complexity of a game system in alinear document. Even the game designers are often puzzled when reading the bible.
    • Rule #2 The Game Bible is NEVER in sync with the project.Secondly, it’s very hard to keep the documentation up to date.
    • Rule #3 You write the game OR you write the Bible.Third, you tend to write documentation when you have to write gameplay instead.
    • How we REALLY work.Now, here’s how we are trying to work now.
    • The FIELD NOTES METHOD (still experimental)This is our experimental method.
    • Based on SCIENCE!
    • We took inspiration from the voyages of the Beagle
    • Where a young Charles Darwin was doing what every science and naturalist does.
    • To observe, take note and learn from what they see. Our methods works in a same way. Theproject is conducted in an iterative fashion. For each iteration the game designer publishes adocument divided into two parts. Each part is further divided into two paragraphs.
    • DescriptionFirst part is descriptive. Here the game designer observes and describes how the game is like.
    • #1 Observations (What is right? What wrong?)The designer start with general observations about what is right and what is wrong in agame.
    • #2 Results (What has been achieved?)Then they state the results. What goals the team achieved with this release?
    • PrescriptionThe second part is dedicated to prescriptions: how the designer intends to address problemsand improve the game?
    • #3 Hypotheses (What possibilities emerged?)First, they state the hypotheses: what new things could the team add to the game? What stuffseems to make sense now?
    • #4 Corrections (What will be done next?)Then, the corrections. Each problem emerged in the first part is now addressed with apossible solution.
    • Only two rules 1- Each part of the field note is open for comments. 2- Only the game designer can publish a new field note.All this stuff has just these two simple rules.
    • The TINY GAME DESIGN TOOLAnother little thing we produced is the Tiny Game design tool
    • It’s a small tool meant to be used by beginners and in game jams.
    • For further information about this one, have a look at http://tinygdtool.urustar.net.
    • MDA FrameworkMechanics Dynamics Aesthetics Hunicke, Zubek, LeBlanc – 2004
    • Playing a game is a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles. Bernard Suits
    • http://tinygdtool.urustar.net
    • Everyday in our office.To finish, these are some tools we use when in office
    • ##MARKDOWN (because Word is too mainstream)Markdown has quickly become the standard for all our documents. It’s fast, easy to use andexportable pretty much everywhere.
    • The emergent task planner http://davidseah.com/The ETP by David Seah (http://davidseah.com) is a great instrument for activity tracking
    • And Basecamp suite is unvaluable to keep all the team on the same page.
    • Just a little game.
    • Alien EaterThis is our newest little game. We made it using the Field Notes system.
    • Thank you!federico@urustar.net @kurai @urustar