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Subject: What is your design process? rss

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Bastiaan Reinink
Netherlands
Utrecht
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The other day I was explaining to some friends what the actual process was of creating a board game. This was inspiration for a post on how to design board games:
http://makethemplay.com/index.php/2018/01/31/how-to-create-a...

But I wonder, what are other people's processes for designing a game? What are your steps, what do you focus on when?
 
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Fertessa
United States
Georgia
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I am only working on one game, though I have had ideas for about 3 games since starting. My process comes down to this.

-Idea is sparked and I think, how can I make a game in this scenario?

My scenario usually informs the early part of the game such as do i want it to be a solo or multi-player? Do I want it to be fun or introspective? What reaction do I want? What about replayability? How do I make that happen?

I test those boundaries, and if it sails then I move tot he next step and consider it more seriously.

- Next step is writing it down. Writing it down forces me to ground the idea and text the game logic again. Does it make sense when I write it down or is there some gaping flaw I didn't notice when it was just floating in my head?

- If everything checks out, then I should be excited about developing the idea at this point. Alot of random thoughts should be popping up as to where the game could go. So at that point I filter and try to connect the dots between those ideas until I feel like my game has movement and weight.

-Then I playtest it. I get feedback and redo the game either with minor changes or redo it entirely with major changes.

-I continue that cycle for each prototype. Until ideally it is polished. This is about as far as I am now, so I won't speak on later stages
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James Arias
United States
Sanford
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Good article!

Most of my hobby projects are when I want a game type X (like a dungeon crawler), but I can't find one that scratches the itch, but I do find several features in multiple titles in that genre that resonate with me. So I start thinking about what a mash-up might look like.

I've done something similar to your "blank playtest" concept. E.g. the Tiles and cards I'm using are mostly blank, but an idea may come to me for what should be on that card or that Tile at a given moment, and I pencil it in right away. Or I'll think "well this tile has a hazard and this player just ran into it, what would feel right and not break fun?" After a few iterations (where the game gets stopped and restarted) you get something much better than trying to design everything upfront.

Edit: it's also funny how there are parallels between things like agile software development and iterative board design.
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Tim Freerksen
United States
River Forest
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I have a lot of brainstorm ideas for games but have not thought of making any materials for it if you want to know where I'm coming from.

I kinda view a game as a story. Since I have the lens of a storyteller. Does the game have a good pace (a slow pace OR a fast pace can kill a game faster than anything just like pacing in a book or movie. Does it have a definitive, beginning and end (middle can be elastic when it comes to length) but beginnings and endings must be clear. If the game comes off as just a beginning, it seems like it's spinning its wheels while if the ending comes out of no where people will feel let down or you get something like Cyclades minus the expansions. It's a fun game but it seems to stop as soon as it gets really good.
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