Understanding the Pre-Production Phase

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The pre-production part of game development can be referred to as Game Design. 

Game Design is the art of designing the content, background and rules of a game in a way the people who will play the game (the players) also will enjoy it. With this definition, I think it is safe to conclude that if the game design is not well thought out then your game won’t be enjoyable. 

Below is a link to a short and great guide to designing a game. It definitely had me wishing I had this information back when I created centipede at Baylor. I did absolutely NO pre-production with that game simply because I was familiar with the game and what characters were needed ( a centipede and a shooter lol ). This does not mean pre-production isn’t necessary! It is a GREAT way to sort out all of the billion things you have to think about when you create a game. 

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/designing-video-games.html

What I think is the most important steps mentioned in the article are scripting, storyboards and the design document.  The scripting and the storyboard seem to go hand in hand. Then all of that information is put into one document that ensure everyone in the game development crew is on the same page. It keeps the production of a game organized which is really important for this type of visual media. Character movement, camera angles, user interaction, and the aesthetics of the game are only few of the things a designer needs to think about.

I think it would be beneficial to define each of these in great detail and give tips on creating them! In two-three weeks we should all be game design experts! I will post detailed examples as we define scripting, storyboarding and the design document. That way you can really see how the drawings and the scripting correlates. 

Next week: I will talk about the details of storyboarding (and/or scripting if my post doesn’t seem to overwhelm you lol)

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Understanding the Pre-Production Phase

    • Actually playing a variety of games! How can you make of you never played one? Back at Baylor I took class where we had to play a game and then analyze it. It was very helpful and motivating during the time I was majoring in comp sci gaming .

  1. I wonder if game designers go back to the drawing board when they go through their game and realize theres a dead-end or something like that. I’m sure it can be frustrating creating something that is user-controlled with so many options!

  2. Storyboard is not only necessary in film, but also in animation and game design. Reading this blog and the one about animation make me appreciate all the hard work behind the scenes. In my opinion, it seems that behind the scene work is the most integral part of the whole work. If you had this information back then, would you have pursued a degree in game design?

  3. I can already see some of the similarities between the planning stages of gaming, animation and film. They all have so much work that goes in them to get to an amazing end product. What would you have done differently in the designing of centipede if you had this information?

    • Yes all visual media need some sort of pre planning!

      With centipede I would have made it more complex. There would have been extra characters, maybe bugs flying around that you could kill for extra points. I could have played with the color of the centipede itself and the background of the game. I could have even had a little scripting in there to make a unique storyline.

  4. So it really is like creating a script for a movie, except this script must come equipped with more than just plot and setting. I can imagine how one’s imagination could take control when coming up with the finer details and then spilling those details all out onto the design document. The whole process must be very rewarding along every step of the way.

  5. Hardware, Mobile Platforms, and the origins of Digital Media

    @KaraBlake24 I’m just curious what games you play? 🙂 Favorite games, current games, old games? On what system?

    • I play sudoku, candy crush, phase 10, spades, free flow and drop 7 on my phone.

      I have a nintendo 64 system and will NEVER replace it lol. Im a huge fan of Mario Party, Super Smash Bros, Zelda, Space Invaders, Mario Tennis, Dr. Mario, the list goes on lol

      When I was younger I always played educational games on the computer. Ones that required math skills, others that helped with my typing speed, etc.
      Even in undergrad I played memory games online to study for my tests.

      My favorite game in the casino is The Hangover! Lol

  6. Great information! I can see that there is a lot of detail that goes into not only planning but also studying all the possibilities on how a game can be designed. What is the worst game you played?

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