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Author Topic: Example of game systems design  (Read 2714 times)

Trixer

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Example of game systems design
« on: Sep 20, 12, 09:34:46 AM »

Hey guys,

So I have been part of more indie game dev teams then I can shake a stick at... and all of them have had great ideas (why else would I be there?) but none of them knew how to take it down on paper, or at least make it tangible.

It ends up being really annoying because the designer only takes down stuff as its needed... giving the illusion that he is just kind of creating it as we go... THIS IS REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD... DO NOT CREATE AS YOU GO OR YOU WILL NEVER STOP GOING... BACKWARDS!

Anyway, I have been working on my own design lately, just playing around. I am a lead programmer and TECHNICAL designer for the company I work at, technical design is something games lack as well but Ill post an example of that when the time comes and I start doing mine.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xpco6tedvmb41ot/FmQeVKTv6d

These are some basic flow charts that, take down basic stuff about the game. The colors of the squares don't currently mean anything, but generally you would set them so that they either matched a corresponding game system, or they denoted some kind of data type (like this is a list, or this is a class...)

All in all I have maybe 45 minutes into all of them... Its really basic stuff and nothing I am doing here is magic... but it has already helped snag two artists... 45 mins worth of work for two really good artists? YES PLEASE!

Its ok if you want your job to the be the "idea guy" but you have to know how to properly take these "ideas" down so that other people can see them. I don't for a second think that anyone is not capable of putting their ideas down into "mind maps" as they were called, and nor is this all you have to do to design game systems, however its a REALLY REALLY good start.


I hope that people will take my above charts, and start translating these ideas into their own projects. Its really easy to give a programmer these charts, and they can get an overview of everything our character has to do, or everything our areas have to do, or how crafting will loosely work.

It also makes designing each part of the project more simple, and implementing it is much more straight forward. It gives "chunks" for your team to work on at a time, but at the same time allows them to know where other game systems might tie into that one.


These mind maps are maybe 20% done, but I think everyone should benefit from seeing how I have done them, if only for an example!
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Lead Programmer and Technical Engineer for Harmonex Neuro Science Research Inc.

FI-ScottZ

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Re: Example of game systems design
« Reply #1 on: Sep 20, 12, 02:59:23 PM »

Well put.  A picture is worth at least a thousand words, and it is always helpful to be able to visualize things, such as the components of something or how systems interact.  It just makes everything much more concrete and less abstract.

I'm curious: what tool did you use to make the maps?  In the past, I have been in groups that used https://bubbl.us/ with good results.
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Scott Zarnke
Lead Programmer, Visions of Zosimos
CTO, Forever Interactive, Inc.

Trixer

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Re: Example of game systems design
« Reply #2 on: Sep 20, 12, 03:34:09 PM »

Well put.  A picture is worth at least a thousand words, and it is always helpful to be able to visualize things, such as the components of something or how systems interact.  It just makes everything much more concrete and less abstract.

I'm curious: what tool did you use to make the maps?  In the past, I have been in groups that used https://bubbl.us/ with good results.

I use "Idea Sketch" on my ipad for mind maps, there are some other awesome webbased solutions too.. its just my ipad is mobile.. and its easy to design stuff in the car or at work.. or at lunch..

For UI and wire frame lay outs I use "adobe proto" or "MockFlow" depending on what im wire framing out.

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Lead Programmer and Technical Engineer for Harmonex Neuro Science Research Inc.

morriscox

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Re: Example of game systems design
« Reply #3 on: Feb 12, 13, 12:43:54 AM »

The Dropbox link no longer works. Are the flowcharts still available?
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