Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Game design starts in the head

Firstly I would like to comment that as an ex interactive media student I have spent the last 2 years of my life writing extensive 70 page essays about how things are “interactive”.

And quite frankly I'm tired of it......... but I saw a man in the gutter the other day that was wearing a long blue monks outfit he was asking for spare change.
It may seem a little off topic but it is to the point I swear. I thought he doesn't play games. It made me wonder exactly what it would be like if we didn't have the things we take for granted and if we had never seen a video game before or known of there existence. It would be so much easier to write this blog entry from the mind of someone who was completely new to all this. It would be so simple if it was fresh in my head....

I have never designed a game before..... hey I know I shall invent a new genre of game and record the process, that way I can answer the questions without going on wikipedia and being bored to death.... and it will amuse me too .

I need an Idea, that is the start of any process, a concept and I can develop it from there.

A video game for dogs? no..... YES... a game whose target audience is dogs and there owners. I'm not talking nintendogs here, I'm talking a game that's for pets and there owners.
That could be fun. Think of the market for this.... The first non- person first person shooter? 
who doesn't own a pet? Poor Fido has been neglected since little Timmy got that x box. Now its time to let Fido play Timmy's x box with him.

The rules.... how could we  make this work. Usually diferent elements of game design would be the responsibilty of teams or individuals but for now “the design team” consists of me myself and I.
I need to find a way that Fido can interact with the game alongside Timmy, that Timmy will find fun and that wont be classed as animal cruelty........ There are always constraints.

A movement sensitive dog collar? Timmy would have to get Fido to look at the screen in some way, and the collar would pick up on that. how fun would that be. I can hear the laughter. It would have to be an online game so you could compete against friends and there dogs to decide who ruled supreme.

As a player of games the most important thing for me is fun rating (something I can only describe as the “christmas day feeling” ) and replay value, I have to experience that “feeling” over and over.
From what ive read the leading games developers experiment with new genres while devloping existing genre, multiplayer games are popular and are becoming even more so these days and have lots of replay value.

This new genre would need different design principles than any other because it is aimed at a different target audience. I would need to consider the needs of this audience. I would need to think about what Fido likes. Chasing cats, bones, sniffing butts. Barking loudly. Also what Timmy liked to do with Fido before he neglected him for his x box.

Barking could fire bullets that shot cats.... 

I can envision it now....

I believe we are at the stage where we are getting ideas down visually. part of the process, I can imagine that timmy would connect with the game and become more emmersed as fido wagged his tail with delight.

Seriously though, I looked back at the question what is gameplay? and I have just discussed it, use of interactivity, rules, plot, emmersion of player. I guess simplifying things works.........

What is in store for Timmy and Fido find out in the next installment of "elements of game design"...........

Did you know that....

It is the left side of the brain that is responsible for liking dogs!

Cats are good for your health, stroking them lowers blood pressure. Zombie cats..... not so much.

Actions that are triggered by noise in games is not a new  idea. The first zelda game for the DS had you making a loud noise to scare a particular baddy. That created some  awkward moments when playing  in a public place. This could be avoided (sort of) by coughing loudly directly into your DS Mic.

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