Saturday, 5 November 2011

Game Design - A structured start

The lack of blogging this week has been due to child illness but mainly due to the fact I am a very slow reader!

The focus of my attention during this week has been to give myself a good grounding in the principles of game design rather than diving head first in to a few ideas that I have. Tempting as it is to just do this I feel I will be no better equipped than i have been in the past to succeed and stick with it without structure.

This very structure is what drew me to the book I am working my way through and that is the The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses by Jesse Schell.

I'll be honest, when I started this project I thought I had a lot of good ideas and that I just needed time to fulfill them. However, from having started to make my way through this book I realise just how involved game design is and those that succeed aren't purely luck.

What I have like about this book is the way that it is structured. As the title suggests its a book of lenses. What this mean is that using any of the lenses proposed in the book to view your idea and question its depths and values. Not all lenses are applicable, necessarily, to your game design but it can at least provide a check list to ensure you have considered most things.

Topics covered to date are subjects such as balance, rewards, demographics, cultures to name a few. To be more specific these are the lenses which I have read through so far within the book:
  • Lens #1: The Lens of Essential Experience
  • Lens #2: The Lens of Surprise
  • Lens #3: The Lens of Fun
  • Lens #4: The Lens of Curiosity
  • Lens #5: The Lens of Endogenous Value
  • Lens #6: The Lens of Problem Solving
  • Lens #7: The Lens of the Elemental Tetrad
  • Lens #8: The Lens of Holographic Design
  • Lens #9: The Lens of Unification
  • Lens #10: The Lens of Resonance
  • Lens #11:The Lens of Infinite Inspiration
  • Lens #12:The Lens of the Problem Statement
  • Lens #13:The Lens of the Eight Filters
  • Lens #14: The Lens of Risk Mitigation
  • Lens #15: The Lens of the Toy
  • Lens #16: The Lens of the Player
  • Lens #17: The Lens of Pleasure
  • Lens #18: The Lens of Flow
  • Lens #19: The Lens of Needs
  • Lens #20: The Lens of Judgment
  • Lens #21: The Lens of Functional Space
  • Lens #22: The Lens of Dynamic State
  • Lens #23: The Lens of Emergence
  • Lens #24: The Lens of Action
  • Lens #25: The Lens of Goals
  • Lens #26: The Lens of Rules
  • Lens #27: The Lens of Skill
  • Lens #28: The Lens of Expected Value
  • Lens #29: The Lens of Chance
  • Lens #30: Lens of Fairness
  • Lens #31: Lens of Challenge
  • Lens #32: Lens of Meaningful Choices
  • Lens #33: Lens of Triangularity
There are some 100 lenses so I have a while to go. I probably see this being the focus of my attention for the next couple of weeks as i'm not sure if you are like me but I dont retain information. For that reason once I have finished reading the book I plan to build a structured checklist document to use against all my future games on this project to ensure I have considered everything.


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