TALE TUESDAY #20 – What are some good tips on game design?

Hey everyone!
Today we will focus in details on designing process of the game. To get started with anything else, we need the design first! It’s an important part of any game development and it’s important to do it right. So, what can we do to create good designs? Here are several tips for fellow game designers!

First of all: write down ideas that you find interesting
It’s good to always carry something to write with you. Once a great idea gets into your head, you have to write it down! It’s always good to write them down vaguely, so when you come back to it in a few days or even weeks, you’ll be able to develop further details based on what you wrote. What I often do is dedicate one notebook page to write down the vague idea for the game, so I may start from those notes when writing down further details. Speaking of which…

Once you’ve decided on an idea – describe it
That includes writing down the genres, market target, main mechanics and basic game structure using those mechanics. It’s also good to write down your game pillars. Game pillars is a set of values that are the most important for the players throughout the game. So, for example in an RPG game, the game pillars could be exploration, fighting and completing quests. A strategy could focus on exploration, expansion and competition. However, game pillars depend on each individual game and the final vision belongs to the designer.
It’s also important to write down the genres and market target, so a direction in development can be easily taken.

Balance is very important! I cannot stress enough how important balancing your game is.
If you’re working in a team, while your friend developer takes care of all the coding, you should be reviewing new changes, play the game and look for any balance issues in the game. By balance we mean any values that have a key meaning for the game – that includes rewards from quests, times to complete certain tasks, difficulty of tasks, and many more! Balancing is required in many places and sometimes you might not even suspect something of requiring a balance, so be careful! A need for balancing will be there as long as you’re updating the game. Remember – if something feels too short or long, not enough or too great, or it just doesn’t feel as it should – there is a great chance you’ll need to balance the game.

Do not rush! Players will definitely feel it if you rush your game. Instead, take your time and design your game in a clever way and as you intended it. A lot of elements will require your attention, especially levels, quests and story designs. Those are very sensitive elements and you’ll need to really focus on them. Remember – take your time and do not feel awful for postponing a long awaited update – it’s better to finish your product correctly, as you intended to do it!

And remember – have fun with what you’re doing! If you’re an indie developer, it’s much better when you’re having fun, otherwise you might quickly become burnt out and we don’t want that! Work in your own pace and on things you want to. That’s what matters in our beautiful art of creating games!

That’s it for this ‘Tale Tuesday’ – see you soon with more!

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