Session 6
David Mullich
Game Design 1
The Los Angeles Film School
Designer Perspective: Yuji Naka
G4 Icons Episode #37: Yuji Naka
Playcentric Design Process
Involving the player in your design process
from conception to completion.
 Setting Player Exp...
Step 1: Brainstorming
 Set player experience goals
 Come up with game concepts or
mechanics
 Narrow down the list to th...
Step 2: Physical Prototype
 Create a playable prototype using pen and
paper and other craft materials
 Playtest the phys...
Step 3: Presentation
 Presentation is often made to secure funds
to hire the prototyping team
 Your presentation should ...
Step 4: Software Prototypes
 Create rough computer models of
gameplay
 Playtest the prototype
 Modify prototype until i...
Step 5: Design Documentation
 Use the notes you’ve been taking during
prototyping (you have been taking notes,
haven’t yo...
Step 6: Production
 Staff up and create real artwork and
programming
 Don’t lose sight of the playcentric process
during...
Step 7: Quality Assurance
 Quality Assurance, or QA, is the testing of
your game by professional testers
 Make sure your...
Your Class Project
1. Write A Concept Proposal
2. Prototype The Core Mechanic
3. Add Formal Elements
4. Add Dramatic Eleme...
Ideas
All games start out as ideas.
Some games come from one
powerful idea, but most are
formed by combining many
ideas to...
Inspiration
Ideas don’t come out of thin air. Game designers are
influenced by personal interests and hobbies.
Spend a sig...
The Lens of Infinite Inspiration
To use this lens, stop looking at your game, and stop
looking at games like it. Instead, ...
The Lens of the Problem Statement
To use this lens, think of your game as the solution to
a problem:
 What problem, or pr...
Game Designer’s Notebook
Many designers carry a journal for jotting down their
ideas and analyzing games they’ve played.
Stages of Creativity
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes
the classic stages of creativity:
 Preparation: Becom...
Elaboration on Elaboration
Having an idea for a game does not simply mean saying,
“I want to make a game about studying Ch...
BRAINSTORMING
Brainstorming
A group creativity technique
to find a solution to a
specific problem by
gathering a list of ideas
spontaneo...
Brainstorming Done Right
Brainstorming Done Right!
Brainstorming
Osborn’s method of
brainstorming has four
general rules:
 Focus on quantity
 Withhold criticism
 Welcome ...
Brainstorming Best Practices
 State a Challenge
 No Criticism
 Vary The Method
 Playful Environment
 Put It On The Wa...
Six Creative Ways To Brainstorm
Six Creative Ways To Brainstorm Ideas
Idea Methods
 List Creation
 Index Cards
 Mind Map
 Stream of Consciousness
 Shout It Out
 Research
 Surrealist Gam...
Exquisite Corpse
 Write an article and an adjective on a piece of
paper
 Fold the paper to conceal it and pass it to the...
15 More Tips
 The Write Answer
 Write or Type?
 Sketch
 Toys
 Change Your
Perspective
 Immerse Yourself
 Crack Joke...
Designing For Innovation
 Design games with unique play mechanics – think
beyond the existing genres of play
 Appeal to ...
Game-Defining Concepts
A “game-defining” concept is as a component,
mechanic, or other design element that is so
closely c...
Game-Defining Concepts
What makes a concept “game defining”?
 Presenting clever, elegant, or unusual
resolutions to in-ga...
Now brainstorm your own idea!
Break into two groups of 3-6 and brainstorm
some game ideas.
The challenge is to come up wit...
EDITING AND REFINING
Reasons To Reject A Game Idea
 Technical Feasibility
 Market Opportunity
 Artistic Considerations
 Design Experience
...
The Lens of the Eight Filters
 Does this game feel right?
 Will the intended audience like this game
enough?
 Is this a...
Editing Session
Hold an Editing Session on a different day than
your Brainstorming Session.
Edit your list down to the top...
TURNING YOUR IDEA INTO A
CONCEPT
Creative Center
Your game’s creative center consists of two
elements:
 The Razor: Determines which features
belong and do...
Come up with a Razor and Slogan for:
 Grand Theft Auto
 Call of Duty
 World of Warcraft
 Candy Crush
Let’s deconstruct a game most of us have played
Analyze:
 Formal Elements: Procedures, Rules,
Objectives, Resources, Conf...
Take your list of 100 game ideas you came up with earlier
today and narrow it down to your 3-6 favorites (one for
each mem...
ELEVATOR PITCH
Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short summary used
to quickly and simply define a product and
its value. The name "e...
Elevator Pitch Structure for Games
Game Title is a game genre
set in premise for target
player. It features core
game mech...
Example Pitch
Somehow it always falls to
Mustachio to rally his friends for
their many adventures. Run and
jump through a ...
Tips For A Successful Pitch
 Get In The Door
 Show You Are Serious
 Be Organized
 Be Passionate!!!
 Assume Their Poin...
The Lens of the Pitch
 Why are you pitching this game to this client?
 What will you consider “a successful pitch”?
 Wh...
Storyboarding
The most powerful way to explain your new
features is to storyboard them.
LAFS Game Design 6 - Conceptualization
LAFS Game Design 6 - Conceptualization
LAFS Game Design 6 - Conceptualization
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LAFS Game Design 6 - Conceptualization

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Session 6 of the Los Angeles Film School's Game Design 1 class.

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Transcript of "LAFS Game Design 6 - Conceptualization"

  1. 1. Session 6 David Mullich Game Design 1 The Los Angeles Film School
  2. 2. Designer Perspective: Yuji Naka G4 Icons Episode #37: Yuji Naka
  3. 3. Playcentric Design Process Involving the player in your design process from conception to completion.  Setting Player Experience Goals  Prototyping and Playtesting  Iteration Tracy Fullerton
  4. 4. Step 1: Brainstorming  Set player experience goals  Come up with game concepts or mechanics  Narrow down the list to the top three  Write up short, one page description of each  Test your written concepts with potential players
  5. 5. Step 2: Physical Prototype  Create a playable prototype using pen and paper and other craft materials  Playtest the physical prototype  Modify physical prototype until it meets player experience goals  Write 3-6 page gameplay treatment
  6. 6. Step 3: Presentation  Presentation is often made to secure funds to hire the prototyping team  Your presentation should include demo artwork and a solid gameplay treatment  If you do not get funding, get feedback from your funding sources about what to modify or start over again
  7. 7. Step 4: Software Prototypes  Create rough computer models of gameplay  Playtest the prototype  Modify prototype until it achieves your user experience goals
  8. 8. Step 5: Design Documentation  Use the notes you’ve been taking during prototyping (you have been taking notes, haven’t you?!) to create a first draft design document  Work with team members to make sure the design is achievable and correctly described in the design document  Some designers now prefer creating a wiki to a static design document
  9. 9. Step 6: Production  Staff up and create real artwork and programming  Don’t lose sight of the playcentric process during production!  If the designer waits until production to really start designing the game, it can lead to all sorts of problems!
  10. 10. Step 7: Quality Assurance  Quality Assurance, or QA, is the testing of your game by professional testers  Make sure your gameplay is solid before your game goes into QA!
  11. 11. Your Class Project 1. Write A Concept Proposal 2. Prototype The Core Mechanic 3. Add Formal Elements 4. Add Dramatic Elements 5. Balance the Dynamic Elements
  12. 12. Ideas All games start out as ideas. Some games come from one powerful idea, but most are formed by combining many ideas to create a unique whole. It’s very possible that initial ideas will be (or should be) abandoned, and lots of new ideas will be considered during the process.
  13. 13. Inspiration Ideas don’t come out of thin air. Game designers are influenced by personal interests and hobbies. Spend a significant part of every day doing something other than playing games:  Read a book  Go see a play  Listen to music  Exercise, draw or sketch  Study a new language  Volunteer at a neighborhood organization
  14. 14. The Lens of Infinite Inspiration To use this lens, stop looking at your game, and stop looking at games like it. Instead, look everywhere else.  What is the experience I have had in my life that I would like to share with others?  In what small way can I capture that experience and put it in my game? Jesse Schell, Lens #11
  15. 15. The Lens of the Problem Statement To use this lens, think of your game as the solution to a problem:  What problem, or problems, am I trying to solve?  Have I been making assumptions about this game that really have nothing to do with its true purpose?  Is a game really the best solution? Why?  How will I be able to tell if the problem is solved? Jesse Schell, Lens #12
  16. 16. Game Designer’s Notebook Many designers carry a journal for jotting down their ideas and analyzing games they’ve played.
  17. 17. Stages of Creativity Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the classic stages of creativity:  Preparation: Becoming interested in a topic  Incubation: Period where ideas “churn around” in your subconcious  Insight: The “aha!” moment, where an idea comes together  Evaluation: Deciding whether the insight is worth pursuing  Elaboration: Fleshing out the idea
  18. 18. Elaboration on Elaboration Having an idea for a game does not simply mean saying, “I want to make a game about studying Chinese!” Games are formal systems, and an idea for a game usually includes some aspect of that system. As you work through your idea, elaborating on its unique elements, it might turn out no one would recognize your language interests in the final experience.
  19. 19. BRAINSTORMING
  20. 20. Brainstorming A group creativity technique to find a solution to a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. In games, brainstorming is used to generate a large number of ideas about game's concept, mechanics, setting, characters, etc.
  21. 21. Brainstorming Done Right Brainstorming Done Right!
  22. 22. Brainstorming Osborn’s method of brainstorming has four general rules:  Focus on quantity  Withhold criticism  Welcome unusual ideas  Combine and improve ideasAlex F. Osborn
  23. 23. Brainstorming Best Practices  State a Challenge  No Criticism  Vary The Method  Playful Environment  Put It On The Wall  Go For Lots of Ideas  Don’t Take Too Long
  24. 24. Six Creative Ways To Brainstorm Six Creative Ways To Brainstorm Ideas
  25. 25. Idea Methods  List Creation  Index Cards  Mind Map  Stream of Consciousness  Shout It Out  Research  Surrealist Games
  26. 26. Exquisite Corpse  Write an article and an adjective on a piece of paper  Fold the paper to conceal it and pass it to their neighbor  Write a noun on the the paper you were handed, fold it, and pass it to your neighbor  Repeat with a verb; article and adjective; finally repeat with a noun  Everyone unfolds their paper and reads the poems they are holding
  27. 27. 15 More Tips  The Write Answer  Write or Type?  Sketch  Toys  Change Your Perspective  Immerse Yourself  Crack Jokes  Spare No Expense Jesse Schell  The Writing on the Wall  The Space Remembers  Write Everything  Number Your Lists  Mix and Match Categories  Talk to Yourself  Find a Partner
  28. 28. Designing For Innovation  Design games with unique play mechanics – think beyond the existing genres of play  Appeal to new players – people who have different tastes and skills than hardcore players  Try to solve difficult design problems like:  Integration of story and gameplay  Deeper empathy for characters in games  Creating emotionally rich gameplay  Discovering the relationships between games and learning  Ask difficult questions about what games are, what they can be, and what their impact is on us individually and culturally
  29. 29. Game-Defining Concepts A “game-defining” concept is as a component, mechanic, or other design element that is so closely connected to the identity of the game that it is inevitably talked about when the game is brought up.  “King” mechanic in Checkers  Letter-tile combinations in Scrabble  Polyhedral dice in Dungeons & Dragons  Running and gunning in Doom
  30. 30. Game-Defining Concepts What makes a concept “game defining”?  Presenting clever, elegant, or unusual resolutions to in-game issues.  Showing information in a concise, centralized, or attractive manner.  Creating tension, or acting as a game’s primary demand for strategy.  Taking common elements and implementing them in an original manner.
  31. 31. Now brainstorm your own idea! Break into two groups of 3-6 and brainstorm some game ideas. The challenge is to come up with ideas for games you can make with GameMaker and can be done by the end of the term. Try to generate 100 ideas in 60 minutes.
  32. 32. EDITING AND REFINING
  33. 33. Reasons To Reject A Game Idea  Technical Feasibility  Market Opportunity  Artistic Considerations  Design Experience  Innovation Needs  Marketing Goals  Business and Cost Restrictions
  34. 34. The Lens of the Eight Filters  Does this game feel right?  Will the intended audience like this game enough?  Is this a well-designed game?  Is the game novel enough?  Will the game sell?  Is it technically possible to make this game?  Does this game meet our social and community goals?  Do the playtesters enjoy this game enough? Jesse Schell, Lens #13
  35. 35. Editing Session Hold an Editing Session on a different day than your Brainstorming Session. Edit your list down to the top 5 to 10 ideas and discuss each thoroughly. Be positive and discuss the strengths of each idea. Narrow your list down to 3 ideas and schedule brainstorming sessions to focus on features and define the creative center of your game.
  36. 36. TURNING YOUR IDEA INTO A CONCEPT
  37. 37. Creative Center Your game’s creative center consists of two elements:  The Razor: Determines which features belong and don’t belong  The Slogan: A catchy phrase that gets potential players (and the marketing department) interested in your game
  38. 38. Come up with a Razor and Slogan for:  Grand Theft Auto  Call of Duty  World of Warcraft  Candy Crush
  39. 39. Let’s deconstruct a game most of us have played Analyze:  Formal Elements: Procedures, Rules, Objectives, Resources, Conflict, Outcomes  Dramatic Elements: Challenge, Premise, Character, Story  Dynamic Elements: Objects, Properties, Behaviors, Relationships
  40. 40. Take your list of 100 game ideas you came up with earlier today and narrow it down to your 3-6 favorites (one for each member of your group). For each one, come up with:  Game Title  Core mechanic (action/purpose)  Razor (statement defining appropriate game features)  Slogan (statement describing the game’s play value) Present your ideas to class, and the class will choose their favorite from each group.
  41. 41. ELEVATOR PITCH
  42. 42. Elevator Pitch An elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product and its value. The name "elevator pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. The term itself comes from the scenario of accidentally meeting someone important in an elevator. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, then the conversation will continue after the elevator ride or end in the exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting.
  43. 43. Elevator Pitch Structure for Games Game Title is a game genre set in premise for target player. It features core game mechanics that bring play value. Unlike competition, this game unique differentiation.
  44. 44. Example Pitch Somehow it always falls to Mustachio to rally his friends for their many adventures. Run and jump through a side- scrolling world made of and inhabited by blocks. With mustaches. A world full of action, puzzles and arbitrary danger that Mustachio faces boldly with his mustache-fueled power to make block duplicates of himself. What? Cloning AND mustaches?! You betcha!
  45. 45. Tips For A Successful Pitch  Get In The Door  Show You Are Serious  Be Organized  Be Passionate!!!  Assume Their Point Of View  Design The Pitch  Know All The Details  Exude Confidence  Be Flexible  Rehearse  Get Them To Own It  Follow Up Jesse Schell
  46. 46. The Lens of the Pitch  Why are you pitching this game to this client?  What will you consider “a successful pitch”?  What’s in it for the people pitching to you?  What do the people you are pitching to need to know about your game? Jesse Schell, Lens #95
  47. 47. Storyboarding The most powerful way to explain your new features is to storyboard them.
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