Level Up! Following a book

I have had some time off recently as I have been working my summer job and having family over for a couple of weeks. Enough is enough however! I must get back on track with the project!!!

I have decided that I wasn’t too keen on the idea for the last game and it suddenly struck me as why. I had FORGOTTEN to brainstorm! Eurgh, I threw this noob mistake aside and decided to focus on a book called Level Up-The guide to great video game design. This book is taking me step by step throughout the games design process and I am looking forward to going through the steps and getting a game completed. I have finished the first four chapters and have been impressed with some of the information in the book.

Chapter 1

Entitled Welcome Noobs, this chapter talks about the essentials of games design. The history and origin, the games design industry and its various job roles and last but not least tackling the question : What is a game?

What did I take away from this chapter? I found out that a game needs a minimum of three things. These are 1) A Player, 2)has rules, 3)has a victory condition. These make pretty good sense because without a player there can be no game.

The other thing I liked was the realisation that adding rules and an objective to a time wasting activity turns that time wasting activity into a game. This was a great piece of information because it relieves the stress of forcing fun and makes games feel like something that people have always and will always play.

Lastly the greatest thing I picked up from this chapter was making sure your game objective can be summarised in a simple way. Think of designing a 1950’s board game box. How would you right the goal of the game on the box in a quick and interesting way that explains all of information necessary.

Chapter 2

Entitled Ideas, this chapter talks about idea generation and different sources of ideas. First of the bat I was hit with this concept of abstract inspiration. Basically this means that getting inspiration from anywhere is a good way to get ideas and one of the worst ways to get ideas is to get them from other games. Scott Rogers describes how this idea generation stagnates the games design industry and causes games to become samey. He suggests that we as designers get our inspiration from varied sources and watching as many non game related lectures as you can in order to vary your ideas. He also suggest working with people outside of the games industry to provide more variety.

Another idea he suggested was too play a game you don’t like and see if you can change anything in the games design to make it a game you would like to play. I think this is a great idea and I am compiling a small list of games that I will post in the future that I would like to work this technique on.

Finally he talks about removing the un-fun in the game at every development process. At the end of every design decision or improvement got through and remove all of the un-fun this way all that your game will be left with is….. you guessed it! Fun!!!!

My next step in this process is to go away and brainstorm some ideas. To get these I am going to go onto the Ted ex talks you tube page and click on some videos and write down some keywords from these videos. I will post a list of all the videos with links in a separate blog post. Once I have these keywords I will extrapolate them into abstract game concepts and try to take these ideas as far as i can into the ridiculous. Once there I can evaluate them and see if they would make fun games.

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