LAFS PREPRO Session 2 - Game Concepts

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Game Design Lecture for Session 2 of The Los Angeles Film School's Game PreProduction course.

Game Design Lecture for Session 2 of The Los Angeles Film School's Game PreProduction course.

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  • A game begins with a concept. Most,everybody already has lots of ideas for games they want to work on. And not just the designers. Programmers, managers, artists, executives, testers, marketers, salesmen - they ALL have game ideas. Perhaps they all chat up their ideas, perhaps some of them have written concept papers to present their ideas.Some examples of possible sources of game concepts:Brilliant inspiration - a designer or artist or someone on the team has an idea for a game, usually one that's revolutionary and not yet done to death in the marketplace. Most industry outsiders probably think this is the main source of game ideas, but that ain't necessarily so. The license hook - Perhaps the game company has acquired the license for (the rights to make a game based upon) a movie or personality or book or whatever. Star Wars, Tony Hawk, Hollywood Squares. Jackass, Junkyard Wars, Battlebots, Martha Stewart. (Okay, so nobody has made a Martha Stewart game yet, but you get the idea.) If the company has spent a lot of money to acquire a license, you can bet that they're going to want to make a game based on that license. The technology hook - Perhaps the engineers have spent a lot of time, energy, and money to create some game technology (an engine or a way of making a game machine do something new, like water or fog). Perhaps the decision makers decide they want to make a game that takes advantage of this technology. Filling a gap - The company's marketing wizards might analyze the market and decide that there is a genre or platform that is under-represented (either by the industry as a whole, or by the company itself) and that it would be a good idea to make that kind of game. Following coattails - The executives look with awe upon the success and profitability of a particular game (made and published by another company), and decide to ride the tailwind of that game by making something similar. Orders from above - Perhaps the boss gets an idea for a game (it might be his pet idea or it might just be a passing fancy), and the designer is set to work on the details. Sequels - self-explanatory.
  • A game begins with a concept. Most,everybody already has lots of ideas for games they want to work on. And not just the designers. Programmers, managers, artists, executives, testers, marketers, salesmen - they ALL have game ideas. Perhaps they all chat up their ideas, perhaps some of them have written concept papers to present their ideas.Some examples of possible sources of game concepts:Brilliant inspiration - a designer or artist or someone on the team has an idea for a game, usually one that's revolutionary and not yet done to death in the marketplace. Most industry outsiders probably think this is the main source of game ideas, but that ain't necessarily so. The license hook - Perhaps the game company has acquired the license for (the rights to make a game based upon) a movie or personality or book or whatever. Star Wars, Tony Hawk, Hollywood Squares. Jackass, Junkyard Wars, Battlebots, Martha Stewart. (Okay, so nobody has made a Martha Stewart game yet, but you get the idea.) If the company has spent a lot of money to acquire a license, you can bet that they're going to want to make a game based on that license. The technology hook - Perhaps the engineers have spent a lot of time, energy, and money to create some game technology (an engine or a way of making a game machine do something new, like water or fog). Perhaps the decision makers decide they want to make a game that takes advantage of this technology. Filling a gap - The company's marketing wizards might analyze the market and decide that there is a genre or platform that is under-represented (either by the industry as a whole, or by the company itself) and that it would be a good idea to make that kind of game. Following coattails - The executives look with awe upon the success and profitability of a particular game (made and published by another company), and decide to ride the tailwind of that game by making something similar. Orders from above - Perhaps the boss gets an idea for a game (it might be his pet idea or it might just be a passing fancy), and the designer is set to work on the details. Sequels - self-explanatory.
  • Video game genres are used to categorize video games based on their gameplay interaction rather than visual or narrative differences. They are classified independent of their setting or game-world content, unlike other works of fiction such as films or books. For example, an action game is still an action game, regardless of whether it takes place in a fantasy world or outer space.Within game studies there is a lack of consensus in reaching accepted formal definitions for game genres, some being more observed than others. Like any typical taxonomy, a video game genre requires certain constants. Most video games feature challenges to overcome, so video game genres can be defined where challenges are met in substantially similar ways.Most games fall within a particular category. Some bridge different gaming styles and, thus, could appear under more than one category simultaneously.
  • There are many different genres of games.

Transcript

  • 1. Session 2 David Mullich Concept Workshop - Game PreProduction The Los Angeles Film School
  • 2. Game Concept  High Concept  Game Genre  Target Player  Play Value  Competition  What’s Unique  Game Engine
  • 3. High Concept High-concept is a term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily pitched with a succinctly stated premise. It can be contrasted with a low-concept, which is more concerned with character development and other subtleties that aren’t as easily summarized.
  • 4. High Concept High-concept narratives are typically characterized by an overarching "what if?" scenario that acts as a catalyst for the following events. Often, the most popular summer blockbuster movies are built on a high-concept idea, such as ”What if we could clone dinosaurs?" High-concept ideas can also be presented as familiar genres or properties based upon a different theme. For example: “Street Fighter with Politicians.”
  • 5. Game Genres  Defined by gameplay interaction  Classified independent of their setting  Most fall within one genre but some are a combination of two or more genres
  • 6. Game Genres
  • 7. Game Genres  Action  Ball and Paddle  Beat’em Up  Fighting Game  Maze Game  Pinball Game  Platform Game  Shooter ○ First Person Shooter ○ MMO FPS ○ Light Gun Shooter ○ Shoot ‘Em Up ○ Tactical Shooter ○ Rail Shooter ○ Third Person Shooter  Action-Adventure  Stealth Game  Survival Horror  Adventure  Real-Time 3D Adventure  Text Adventure  Graphic Adventure  Visual Novel  Role-Playing  Western/Japanese RPGs  Fantasy RPGs  Sandbox RPGs  Action RPGs  MMORPGs  Rogue RPGs  Tactical RPGS  Simulation  Construction/Management  Life  Vehicle  Strategy  4X Game  Artillery Game  Real-time Strategy  Real-time Tactics  Tower Defense  Turn-based Strategy  Turn-based Tactics  Wargame  Other  Casual Game  Music Game  Party Game  Programming Game  Puzzle Game  Sprots Game  Trivia Game  Board Game
  • 8. Target Player  Interests  Age  Gender  Income Level
  • 9. Bartle Player Types
  • 10. Casual vs. Hardcore Players
  • 11. Play Value This is a short statement that indicates what the player is trying to accomplish in the game – his role and goal. This helps indicate the type of person the player is, and what is fun for him.
  • 12. Play Value The player might be driven by the desire to:  Compete or cooperate with others  Fight enemies and deal with threats  Be immersed in a another time or place  Explore an environment or build something  Solve puzzles and overcome challenges  Experience fear, suspense or humor
  • 13. Competition Are there already games on the market like the one you want to make?
  • 14. What’s Unique What’s new or different about your game? How will it stand out from other games?
  • 15. Game Engine
  • 16. 1. Create a 1-Page Concept Overview PowerPoint that lists the following information:  High Concept (short phrase or sentence describing your game)  Game Genre  Target Player  Play Value  Competition  What’s Unique  Game Engine 2. Put your PowerPoint into your instructor’s DropBox 3. Write an Elevator Pitch for your game concept that will take 30- 120 seconds to deliver and has the above information. 4. Email your Elevator Pitch to your instructor (dmullich@lafilm.edu) 5. Present your PowerPoint and Elevator Pitch to Class
  • 17. 1. Place the following information on the Overview Page of your Game Design Document:  High Concept Game Genre  Target Player  Play Value  Competition  What’s Unique  Game Engine
  • 18. 2. Write an Ideal Play Session page for your Game Design Document  Create and name an imaginary player and then put yourself in their shoes playing the game for five minutes,  Focus on the player's experience: what they're seeing, what they're hearing, what they're doing, and what they're thinking about. Any thoughts or feelings they have should be reflections of what is going on in the game.  You may write this in paragraph form or as a step-by-step list.  You know lots more about your game than you may suspect -- this exercise is meant to tease this part out! Have fun with this!