Creating paper prototypes can be a very important part of game design, depending on your game it can be a quick and easy way to test out game mechanics. My team is currently working on three prototypes for different games, two of them are digital and one is a paper prototype. I have been spearheading the paper prototype and at first I was having a bit of trouble figuring out what to do. I decided to ask my team what features they wanted the prototype to show off. I was told to emphasize: resource gathering and management, the feeling of a big journey, and stealth. Once I figured out what features to focus on the process became much easier, I started working on the crafting system and creating a scenario that would allow the player to experience all the different features that the team told me to highlight. Using a grid and tokens I was able to create a movement system and item searching system as well as a stealth system. I had a meeting with one of my design professors and he gave me some really good advice about paper prototypes which was: make sure you show how the player could lose. Paper prototypes are not the best way to go for every game you may want to pitch but they can help you think about your game mechanics and flesh them out in ways that are unexpected.
In this early stage of our Capstone project we have been developing several game ideas, the team has been pitching loads of ideas and it was time to thin out our pool of games. I often find that cutting ideas is one of the hardest parts of game development. One of the big issues when cutting ideas is that the team member who came up with the idea may feel hurt because they really felt passionate about a particular idea. The team that I am working with now has incredible synergy (it’s one of our strongest features) so I did not feel worried about stating my opinions on which ideas should be cut. One of the other issues I have encountered when cutting ideas happens later in the development process, at some point in game development the team begins to to get frustrated with the game they are making. When the development team gets frustrated it’s easy to think back to the ideas that got cut and wish that the team had gone in a different direction. The thing to remember is that hindsight is 20/20 and it can be easy to look back on a different idea and wish that the team had chosen that idea. The biggest thing to remember when ideas get cut is that just because an idea was cut does not mean that the idea is not good, if an idea I really like gets cut I keep it written down and save it so that I can either work on it myself or pitch it again when it is more developed.
Greetings and Salutations! My name is Aidan Grennen and I am a Senior Game Designer at Champlain College. I wanted to create this blog as a way to document my design process over the course of the year. This blog is also a good way to give people a glimpse into the wonderful world of video game design. Starting next week I will be posting about game design related posts and I hope to have you join me again!