Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
“Comparatively, at Tiger Style,” continues Smith, “I don't see everyone face-to-face, so I rarely assume
they're picturing the same game I am. This puts pressure on me to provide effective direction. I find myself
creating more evocative documents to communicate the vision and design.”
CROSSREF See Chapter 16, “Game Design Document: Tiger Style's Spider and Waking Mars,” for Wak-
ing Mars concept art.
NOTE “I work hard to find photos, concept art, and other reference materials that capture the correct vibe
and tone. I write short stories that help establish the universe. I draw more complete sample screenshots,”
says Smith.
“If I have to design something, I often focus more on how it should feel and how it should impact the player
experience, but I omit details, painting the actual mechanics in broad strokes only,” says Smith. “And really,
this is exactly the right way to give creative direction. I am not tempted to micromanage, because doing so re-
quires high-bandwidth channels. Instead, I'm forced to emphasize how the game should feel and what it should
accomplish without specifying the details, instead trusting those to my team's interpretation.”
“Sometimes things get tricky when we're attempting to solve a design problem, say something that's not
working in the gameplay. Ideally, you'd like to converge on a whiteboard to sketch out your thoughts. Editing
diagrams collaboratively in real-time is a great way to brainstorm possible solutions. When that hasn't been
available to us, we've at times just individually taken ownership over the problem for a few days until we can
present a potential solution that's interactive and running in code. It's essentially like prototyping your answers
instead of trying to talk through them. Again, it takes extra effort but is more likely to produce clarity.”
Preparing to Hatch: Lessons Learned from
Designing a Virtual Life iOS Game
In the beginning, Phill Ryu of Impending wanted to make an iPhone game that could teach people about them-
selves; in the process, he learned a lot about the iterative nature of game design.
His first game, Heist, used the iOS touch control to simulate safe cracking and attracted about a million paid
downloads (see Figure 13-7 ) . Hatch, his follow-up, was conceived while developing Heist. It uses all the unique
functionality of the iOS to create an artificial pet game (see Figure 13-8 ).
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