When it comes to organizing coherent networks of information documents are not of much importance. A lot many things need to be written in the pre-production phase of a game. However, there are ways in which writing can be limited. In this blog post, I will be discussing about some of the tips which can be used for efficient designing at the outset of the project.
A design document contains rough text which is open to interpretation. No words can express the estimated feel of the game. On the other hand, the important mechanics of majority of the game concepts can be coded and tested quickly. Developing a prototype is better than writing a corresponding detailed design description. A prototype helps in describing and providing means for analyzing the quality of game concept.
This is the perfect starting point for the preproduction process. A playable sample can give every team member a solid sense of what the game will be. Everyone can give their feedback on the same. A working prototype works better than anything else. Avoid using fancy visuals as they might not let you and your teammates to judge the gameplay. Pretty images might camouflage the shortcomings in your design.
Game development is a time-consuming process. There’s no one who wants to go through huge number of documents. An effective design document must focus on presenting the important information to be used by each teammate. The document should be written in simple and descriptive language. The font used must be big. Content should be arranged in a manner that is fluid for users irrespective of their reading skills.
Long paragraphs must be avoided as they eat readers' time and interest. Writing in a simple language gives you time to focus on other amazing design tasks. It is advisable to spend more time in drawing than in writing long technical documents.
Keep your Peers in Consideration Whilst Writing:
Design documents may be written for client, manager, or developer. Different readers have different requirements. A client would not be interested to know the technology you will be using for implementation. On the other hand, developers might need some of these details to analyze the technical constraints involved in the process.
Asking your readers for a feedback on what you wrote can be a good way to improve your writing skills. This will help you create perfect documents.
Run Tests in Advance:
End clients may reject a coherent design if they don't get to see the resulting game at the first place. There might a number of discussions or arguments over a specific mechanics especially where there is more than one option.
In such cases a set of reference games will be useful. The benefit of this is that every team member can visualize the difference between two mechanics. Everyone can eventually experience the benefit of one over the other.
Start Your Day with Research:
Brainstorm for new ideas. However, it must not be a continuous task as it may leave you exhausted. Also, switching between concept research, programming, drawing, and writing is not a good idea. A short term work plan is essential to boost productivity. Create a to-do list and gather all the ideas on your arrival at office. Structure your work in such a way that it helps make the best use of your available time. This helps you focus on the overall picture and helps in arranging your ideas.
Game designer must be skilled at gameplay programming. This also makes easy for you to communicate with developers. You can also test your ideas yourself.
Game designer with coding knowledge is a perfect fit for a game studio. All you need to do is get equipped with coding basics and few samples of your work. Developers will find your coding language useful as they will get a playable example. For professional advancement it is important for you to have programming skills. Skill along with versatility makes a good lead.
Make Use of Images:
Attractive images are worth a thousand words. They can truly reflect your game's ambiance. Easy to read diagrams can be used to describe systems. The overall visuals and feel delivered by your documents will impact how your colleagues perceive your work.
Curtail the Iterative Loop:
All design related jobs make it critical to iterate. An iterative workflow helps you handle limited features at a time and get feedback on them before they are polished. Shorten the loop so that your peers can ensure that you are going in the right direction.
Use Analytics in the Initial Stages:
Irrespective of the number of testers working on the project, you can track different types of data with analytics API. This will give you an idea about the balance in your project. This data is helpful in the initial stages of your project. Use a tool like GameAnalytics to track and plot the data.
Make use of Efficient Tools:
When it comes to prototyping some IDEs have edge over others. Many developers use HTML 5 IDE construct 2. Actual developers working on corresponding game might choose to go with another engine to code the final product. It is always best to go with common set of tools. Unity is a perfect tool when it comes to native games
Make Use of Placeholder Content:
Ensure that you avail of placeholder assets and snippets of code. When it comes to game concept, it is important to find the right design direction.
All in all it can be said that for speeding up the game design process you need to use prototypes, write code with teammates in consideration, and ensure that your presentation is lucid.
Michael Waugh is a Tech Blogger & work with Potenza Global Solutions. PGS is leading mobile game development company that involves a team of expert game developers and designers who are trained to deliver various mobile games projects with great professionalism.