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.
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)