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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 By AlexandreMandryka 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 • 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
In response to your business opportunity Establish the Product Vision
Let’s make a great game!!! Fun! Beautiful! Ideas must be clearly stated Ideas must be communicated Ideas must be understood
Team Business Creative Implementation Communicate through different layers Adapt rationally to adjustment
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: • 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 • 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) 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
Making it more concrete Player Experience
“Players want to feel like Schwarzenegger” Which Schwarzenegger please?
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” • 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
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 Mandate Execs Vision holder(s) Product Vision Player Experience Vision holder(s) Leads Discipline team Discipline team Feature Feature Feature Discipline team
Blowing your mind now Let’s talk about design
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
Rule • A principle or condition that customarily governs behavior • Limits how you can act • Deal with same constraints as others and still win!
Offside What if there’s no offside? What is the effect on the optimal strategy?
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
Talking about “unwanted” strategies ... Check this video
Depends on your target and intention • Plays with frustration • Teases anger and violence • Talks to the needs of the mass
Intended experience Precision The most regular wins Sum of 4 runs
Intended experience Fearless The most outrageous wins Best of 2 runs
Halo’s 30 seconds of fun accuracy good Engagement Enemy killed average Out of ammo Player Choice Reload Melee Grenade
All good things come to end Wrapping it up
Making games is a creative process • Not assembly work • Take reference in other creative industries • Rationale over opinion • Focus on skills, develop specialists
THANK YOU! ANY QUESTIONS? AlexandreMandryka Design and creative consultant www.gamewhispering.com