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Creating a Game Design Document by Brenda Brathwaite

Published on May 9, 2013, by in Game Design.

Her article is 5 years old now but is still holds great advice and teachings on how to write a good game design document.

“Before you start writing, consider is your audience. Many new designers write documents as if they’re being written for gamers instead of a programmer who’s tired, annoyed and up at 3 a.m. coding your combat system. The latter is your audience. Statements like, “Cannons allow you to blast your enemies to pieces!” shouldn’t be in design documents. Save that for the back of the box. Try something like this instead: “Each cannon has four shots before it must be reloaded. Cannons are reloaded automatically, provided there is ammo available and a pirate is available to reload it. If no ammo is available…”

(more…)

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Google GLASS will be the next big thing

Published on May 8, 2013, by in Personal.

I don’t know if I’m an “early adopter” or “evangelist” for most gizmos and gadgets. But I have been a preacher for GLASS from the very first commercial. What astonishes me is how many Techies I know don’t give a hoot. Programmers and web designers who wet their shorts over their own programs and websites barely give it any credit at all. They expect it to flop.

 

This article is from  a person who has used his GLASS for only 2 weeks and vindicates my belief that GLASS will be the “next big thing“.

https://plus.google.com/+Scobleizer/posts/ZLV9GdmkRzS

 

A buddy asked me if I believed in it enough to invest in it. I don’t see how that’s directly possible. Either you would be investing in Google stock (I hate stock, no control) developing apps for the Google GLASS (too early in my opinion) or a retail outlet (yuck). It’s also tech. Investing in tech has too much fun attached to it, it’s too volatile and should be avoided unless you are investing in your own company (or mine wink wink). Investing shouldn’t be fun, it shouldn’t include being exciting about new products that’s not investing that’s gambling. Which is fine to do if 10% of capital is 100k or more per year. If not stick to the boring stuff we use everyday with low competition, patents or monopolies…like Gillette razors. See shaving razors, good, clean and terribly boring. That’s what Buffet bought during the tech boom, not tech stocks.

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Video Tutorial: How To Make The Best Game Design Document (GDD)

Published on May 3, 2013, by in Game Design, Tutorial.

 

Having a well written, detailed and structured Game Design Document (GDD) is important for any game project. This will help you collaborate better with your team and ultimately make better games. So now I am going to show you the way I make a GDD from the very beginning so it stays structured, quick and easy to navigate.

Whether you have never made a GDD before or make them often you will learn lots of neat tricks in my videos, that will make your GDD easier and more useful for you and your team!

“A GDD is not a piece of artwork. It’s purpose is to clearly communicate your vision to others. If you are the only one who clearly understands the GDD, it is not a GDD, it’s just a journal.” – Bud Leiser

 

 

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This comic hits the nail on the head don’t you think?

Published on May 1, 2013, by in Game Design, Personal.

Just replace the words “artist” with “Game Designer”

Nice one Lauren!

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Video Tutorial: How to come up with game ideas www.budleiser.com

Published on April 30, 2013, by in Game Design, Tutorial.

Free Game Designer Tutorials at www.budleiser.com

Coming up with new features, mechanics and ideas for games can be fun and rewarding. Watch this tutorial to learn the 5 key ways to come up with new ideas for your games.

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New Tutorial – Game Designer Tools: SWOT Test

Published on April 30, 2013, by in Game Design, Tutorial.

Learn what a SWOT test is and how to use it when designing games and features.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEZhfn5hidk

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How to make a GDD Part 1

Published on April 30, 2013, by in Game Design.

Having a well written, detailed and structured Game Design Document (GDD) is important for any game project. This will help you collaborate better with your team and ultimately make better games. So now I am going to show you the way I make a GDD from the very beginning so it stays structured and easy to navigate.

Whether you have never made a GDD before or make them often you will learn lots of neat tricks in my videos, that will make your GDD easier and more useful for you and your team!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1cmJEURlTg

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Brenda Brathwaite – Games for a Change

Published on April 30, 2013, by in Game Design.

I love TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks. This video shows that a “simple game” can be a more powerful learning experience for difficult subjects (Such as middle passage, holocaust) than a month of school, reading, assignments, and videos.

If you want people to truly “understand” something it needs a simulation. The military trains pilots on simulators, not books and videos alone. Games are still considered a form of childish entertainment and not the next big thing in education. Someday people will look back and go “Ohyea games, it’s obvious those are much better teaching tools how could anyone not have seen that?”

http://youtu.be/y9Z-3mz3j6U

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The funniest thing I have seen in a long time

Published on April 26, 2013, by in Personal.

I got this off a Timothy Ferris post….

Infomercial GIfs, because real life is hard.

http://imgur.com/a/YET5a#lsUszX8

 

Fun fact: Pay attention to the soda pouring infomercial, notice the soda doesn’t even spill.What are those people so scared of? I guess the director kept that take because everyone’s facial expressions are spot on. (You know, if soda actually had been spilled.)

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How do you create/find game ideas?

Published on April 26, 2013, by in Game Design.

A really simple, fun and interesting question I enjoyed answering on Reddit

How do you create/find game ideas? (self.gamedev)
submitted 9 hours ago by madskillsmonk

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/1d4kje/how_do_you_createfind_game_ideas/

 

My reply: As a game designer the worst place to start for me would be a blank piece of paper or the dreaded interview question “If you had all the resources you would need, money, art, techology and time what game would you make”.

The reality is I want to know my restrictions. How big is my team, how much money do we have, how much time do we have, etc. If it’s a fresh team or if there are any team members in training I want a very short development schedule. This means reducing systems and features to a minimum.

To answer your question another way I find that most of my muses start from one place:

  • Mechanical – I want to explore a feature or gameplay concept and see what I can do with it.
  • Theme – art, sound or story I have something and I want to make a game out of it
  • Demographic – I have a core audience in mind and I want to make a game for them
  • Blender – I want to make a (X) genre game, but to make it different I want to combine it with features from (Y) genre.
  • Teammate – I don’t work alone and I want others to be motivated. So this is my new favorite place to start. I ask them what kind of game they want to make.

After I have that first muse I tease with it and then start to create a world around. Then as I’m writing the GDD I close my eyes (literally) and imagine playing the game. I imagine each scene and all the moving pieces. What information does the player see, what doesn’t he see, what direction does it come from, how much space does it take up on the screen, is there a better place to put it, what can the player do, what happens when he clicks each button.

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