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Video Game Design. By Alexandre Mandryka Design and creative consultant www.gamewhispering.com. What a Game Designer was. Karateka. Prince of Persia. Jordan Mechner (80s). Game Maker. Programming. Art. Rules. Levels. Game creation evolved.

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video game design

Video Game Design

By AlexandreMandryka

Design and creative consultant

www.gamewhispering.com

what a game designer was
What a Game Designer was

Karateka

Prince of Persia

Jordan Mechner (80s)

Game Maker

Programming

Art

Rules

Levels

game creation evolved
Game creation evolved
  • Game design is already a huge responsibility
  • GD and game vision require different skills
  • They each need full time attention
  • Let’s discuss Game vision and Game design

Game Making

Game vision

Game Maker

Programming

Art

Rules

Game design

Levels

Level design

slide6

Let’s make a great game!!!

Fun!

Beautiful!

Ideas must be clearly stated

Ideas must be communicated

Ideas must be understood

slide7

Team

Business

Creative

Implementation

Communicate through different layers

Adapt rationally to adjustment

a project vision is a sentence
A Project Vision is a sentence …
  • That describes what the project is about, what it tries to deliver
  • It implies strong choices that will make the game stand apart
  • That will help make consistent decisions throughout the project
  • Similar to EA’s Core X, Ubisoft’s meaning …
examples
Examples:
  • Halo 2’s Online: “Recreating the Lan Party Online”
  • NFSU creators said “Need for speed, but at night”
  • Prince of Persia 4: “How far would you go by love?”
  • This is a creative statement
the mandate informs the vision
The mandate informs the vision
  • Xbox was an hybrid between a console and a PC
  • Microsoft needed a bridge between the two

Mandate was:

  • Halo 1 had to deliver FPS to consoles
  • Target the American teenagers
  • Create a Hollywood-blockbuster product
game vision my guess
Game Vision (my guess)

In response to the mandate:

In the most desperate times, faith is your most valuable ally

  • Overwhelming odds
  • Badass & Faceless hero
  • Twisted open-ended plot
dutch in predator village scene
Dutch in Predator(village scene)

“Stick around”

Assess situation

Kill sentries

Get in/out of cover

Move in the open

One-liners

Winning the fight

Stealth approach

Tense fight

LD

GD

GD

LD

AI

Anim

Sound

Increasing enemy accuracy

“Losing” animations

“Winning” Music

Allow intelligent & stealth approach of all encounters

Assassination move

Encounters designed to support clear transition to “winning”

“Losing” behavior

Health regen

feel like they re a ninja
“Feel like they’re a ninja”
  • Can read enemies’ minds
  • Can toy with enemies

AI

  • An AI that you can anticipate
  • Search patterns will never include 180 turns

Art

  • Enemy visuals should convey their behaviors/functions

LD

=> Back to the “support intelligent / stealth approach” item

slide16
So …
  • As you saw, Project Vision isn’t just an abstract sentence
  • It is not also only aimed at game design
  • Break it down to more concrete details
  • Each discipline must respond to it
from mandate to features
From mandate to features

Mandate

Execs

Vision holder(s)

Product Vision

Player Experience

Vision holder(s)

Leads

Discipline team

Discipline team

Feature

Feature

Feature

Discipline team

game vs toy
Game VS Toy

Rules, what you can, or can’t do

Winning/Loosing conditions

Nothing is forbidden

Everything is allowed

Designing a game is all about defining rules

that let winning strategies emerge

slide21
Rule
  • A principle or condition that customarily governs behavior
  • Limits how you can act
  • Deal with same constraints as others and still win!
offside
Offside

What if there’s no offside?

What is the effect on the optimal strategy?

two types of rules
Two types of rules
  • Direct rules
  • How you score points
  • Directs optimal play

Indirect rules

Limits unwanted strategies

You can’t decide player behaviour directly

Rules only prevent unwanted strategies

depends on your target and intention
Depends on your target and intention
  • Plays with frustration
  • Teases anger and violence
  • Talks to the needs of the mass
slide31

Intended experience

Precision

The most regular wins

Sum of 4 runs

slide32

Intended experience

Fearless

The most outrageous wins

Best of 2 runs

halo s 30 seconds of fun
Halo’s 30 seconds of fun

accuracy

good

Engagement

Enemy killed

average

Out of ammo

Player Choice

Reload

Melee

Grenade

making games is a creative process
Making games is a creative process
  • Not assembly work
  • Take reference in other creative industries
  • Rationale over opinion
  • Focus on skills, develop specialists
slide36

THANK YOU!

ANY QUESTIONS?

AlexandreMandryka

Design and creative consultant

www.gamewhispering.com