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Identifying Mechanics in a Team Setting

07-02-2013, 08:00 PM
#1
Identifying Mechanics in a Team Setting

Hi all,

Made another post on Gamasutra and got featured. It talks about how we picked and scrapped game mechanics in Nameless the Hackers RPG as a 3-man team.

The article is here:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/James...ces_Part_2.php

What kind of design processes do you guys use for your own teams of two or more people?

We're all local to each other, so it was a bit easier to do. Anyone have a remote partnership?
07-03-2013, 07:44 AM
#2
Loopycube's design process was a little loosy goosy. During the previous project we add ideas to our 'garde manger' (cupboard).

I've taken the liberty to do a list like yours:

1) List all the game ideas we loved and debate them.
2) Each team member defines the top 3: If there is one idea that is in everyone's top list we start a preliminary design.
3) Preliminary design document: 2-4 pages listing features, general gameplay, timeline and target audience.
4) Assign Priorities to feature in preliminary design: "Must have", "Nice to Have", "Not needed"
5) Revise preliminary design
6) Evaluation of schedule, costs, team commitment, and feasibility.
7) It's feasible and everyone agrees? If not, go back and redo Step #1.
8) Draft a design document. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP).
9) Review document, everything okay? Very similar to step 4.
10) Edit Design document removing everything "Not Needed" and rebuilding
11) Start work under one unified vision.

Edit to add:

I like your questioning process to the game design document. I do something similar except the first one I always ask is "What happens if..." and try to come up with a list of unexpected things that might occur with a feature.

I also find it interesting you separate the details from the rest of the design. We make a bullet list of features but clicking on the feature links you to a point later in the document where it is described in full. Do you have separate documents for each feature?

Looking for a writer? PM me

Game Designer of:
Family Feud 2 My First Huge Apple Feature!
Pickpawcket
And a bunch of other games you've never heard of!

Last edited by Blackharon; 07-03-2013 at 07:57 AM.
07-03-2013, 02:10 PM
#3
I like your top 3 system. We'll have to incorporate that. =)

Yes, we have separate documents but it depends on the complexity that the feature. We try our best to make diagrams if we can.

Here's the original game flow diagram, same as the one in the article.



Here's the final game flow diagram (wasn't included in the article). This one was updated in month 5 of dev so we could reunite ourselves.



Other features that needed their own document was the character emotion milestones. We wanted to make sure the characters weren't boring and always had some new personality elements every few cutscenes.

Something we didn't go into detail about was Bitcoins.... er... I mean ByteCredits.

Are you guys all local to each other?

We're a local team and have always done these processes face-to-face. We're thinking about taking on remote partners, but a bit hesitant.
07-03-2013, 02:57 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesAtBoxCat View Post
I like your top 3 system. We'll have to incorporate that. =)

Yes, we have separate documents but it depends on the complexity that the feature. We try our best to make diagrams if we can.

Here's the original game flow diagram, same as the one in the article.



Here's the final game flow diagram (wasn't included in the article). This one was updated in month 5 of dev so we could reunite ourselves.



Other features that needed their own document was the character emotion milestones. We wanted to make sure the characters weren't boring and always had some new personality elements every few cutscenes.

Something we didn't go into detail about was Bitcoins.... er... I mean ByteCredits.

Are you guys all local to each other?

We're a local team and have always done these processes face-to-face. We're thinking about taking on remote partners, but a bit hesitant.
We are all local yes. Often the programmers would take days to work from home but in the end a 95% of what we did was face to face.

Looking for a writer? PM me

Game Designer of:
Family Feud 2 My First Huge Apple Feature!
Pickpawcket
And a bunch of other games you've never heard of!