Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mike Pickton 6 - Game Design-y things

This week me and Mike discussed my ideation process for focusing my game projects. So far I have spent my time researching, gathering reference material and recording any thought processes into a brainstorming flowchart.

My flowchart created for ideation purposes.

After talking with Mike he suggested some ideas and areas I could look into as an extension of what I already had. I had potential story themes, settings and mechanics under a different branch each but after feedback Mike encouraged me to crossover the branches and just separate them by related ideas, as opposed to sectioning off areas like mechanics in order to allow ideas to cross pollinate and create connections.

Another idea is to subcategorize mechanics into different areas if needed, and think about them in different terms as opposed to general 'gameplay' Most of the ideas I am exploring is within the area of a third person rpg-style game so that is something to work within, using that I can separate the different parts of that into subcategories:

  • hazards
  • environment/exploration
  • adversarial? - Any mechanics that involve the player confronting an enemy, doesn't have to involve violence.
  • progression - this could include a levelling system, upgrades like weapons or more general ideas of game progression that can lend themselves to story problems

The main point though that came up while talking was that I would need to document my process a lot more when it comes to actually planning out the game concepts, how they are made and any thoughts that go into the design process. This should include any key decision making; like for example whether I start developing a game from a mechanic or if I start developing from a narrative standpoint. I should be comparing the methods and explain my reasoning behind my creative decisions.

Game Design?

One thing I seem to have missed so far in my learning contract (essentially my self written brief for the year) is including work that I may have to do into the game design aspect of my research. This area will be quite a big part of my work and essentially covers all the ideation process and critical thinking I would have to do in order to create the game prototypes I want to. Mike recommended that after seeing some of my research work into game design that I include it into my learning contract, otherwise my current work can't really be marked.

-James

Monday, 9 January 2017

Mike Pickton Meeting 5

This was quite a small meeting this week being the first one back from christmas where not a lot went on. The only other work I have had to do involved writing an essay for MA purposes, so me and Mike didn't have a lot to talk about this week!

We did cover some things however, the main point being that when it comes to practical work I should be creating videos or GIFs to showcase my progress for those that can't play the game. So that is something I will work on doing from now on, keeping all the clips on my Youtube channel and showing any interesting developments. This might encourage me eventually to be a lot more vocal about my work and processes, maybe adding voice tracks with descriptions at some point if required. (Might be more suitable during the development of our final game where I can create videos in more of a behind the scenes format.)

Creating little progress videos is definitely something I would like to get into the habit of doing, and it makes my work easier to look at and mark so that's an even better reason to do it.

Objectives for next week

Well next week I intend to start getting into creating things, but how I will actually go about the process of that isn't clear to me yet. I do plan to start gathering up resources and begin researching from online and using books to gather some inspiration and hopefully by the next meeting I should be able to discuss with Mike some of my creative thoughts I'm having; including any suggestions he might have for improving my ideation process.

-James