Sunday, 22 November 2009

Game Design

The one thing that has always puzzled me about the games industry is: how are games designed? Who is the person that is responsible for the idea of one game? What is their inspiration?

Little Big Planet is an excellent example of great game design; it has originality in its gameplay, level design and character design. All imagination and adventure has been brought together in this game, and it is basically up to you what you do with it; and not only that, but you are able to create your own levels and publish them online. In a way, each individual person who creates a level, becomes a games developer. In the actual gameplay mode (and in your own level, maybe), you can clearly tell that it isn’t a realistic place; however the objects on the level are all using materials which actually exist! The main reason I am so fascinated by this game is that the materials in the game, say a ball on an elastic piece of string, the elastic string would react physically as it would in real life.

Just like building a house has a blueprint, so do games. The Games Design Document (GDD) is basically the blueprint of a game; so every single necessary detail put onto the blueprint, will be on the game; but if it isn’t on the blueprint, don’t expect to see it on the game. The GDD is a reference document that all members of the development team will use to find specific information; and to make sure there isn’t an overload of information in the document; they have an Art Bible or Test Plan, holding additional information for the game (which is still as equally important as the GDD).

I think that the most important parts of a game for me is the technology, storyline, realism, attention to detail, and originality of the game. I really can’t stand games where women are practically naked with boobs the size of melons, or guys with weapons so big that it is physically impossible to lift up, or a game that has a ‘flash’ cover up but is basically the same as every other game out there… I could go on and on… It really gets under my skin!

That is why I love games like, Little Big Planet, Eye Pet, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Fallout 3. I don’t believe that I am a ‘girly’ games player, but attention to originality is the key thing for me.

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