Getting the Gameplay
Baki Can Öztepe
Hollywood movies vs Video Games
he largest unknown is “Where is the money coming from?”
“How will we ever make this film?”
Hollywood has an
for creating films.
Hollywood is making a predictable product.
The development of a game design is a chaotic and
roblems not even the most experienced producer,
designer, or programmer can foresee
Hollywood movies vs Video Games
shifting technology targets,
where programmers must learn about new consoles,
and 3D accelerator cards for each project
edge graphics engine
a truly original game
is far more
compared to other
contemporary games than a movie is to other film
Civilization, The Sims
. The gameplay contained in
these games was radically different from anything that came
any games are far
less experimental and innovative
games that have followed more of a
have had a
better success rate in terms of coming out on time
and on budget.
consisting of new stories and
graphics, offer gameplay very much
the same as the
previous year’s offerings
When a game tries to implement a new form of gameplay,
hope of predictability is gone.
Prototyping & Experimentation
esigners do not have crystal balls
have an improved chance of anticipating what will
make for compelling gameplay. They
do not truly “know”
more than anyone else.
The closest thing game development has to a reliable
system for developing an original game is to get
part of the gameplay working first
, before moving ahead to
build the rest of the game.
A prototype is crucial
This demo should be something any member of the development team can pick up,
play, and say, “Yes, this is fun, I want to play this.”
Should prototypes be shown to public and their opinion should be considered.
in a more promising direction or, in the worst cases,
ry not to plan anything out beyond what is necessary at that
stage in development.
opposite of the approach many
development studios prefer
more organic process leaves room and time to
et some portion of the game to be fun before I start adding
detail and length to the game
Adding too much content
Waterfall is dead, long live agile
(creator of Minecraft )
According to Kent Beck, the Agile Manifesto is based on twelve principles:
Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software
Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
Working software is the principal measure of progress
Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
face conversation is the best form of communication (co
Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
the art of maximizing the amount of work not done
Regular adaptation to changing circumstances
ithout a prototype
there will be
how the gameplay will function,
ssumptions that may turn out to be incorrect once the gameplay is
concentrate first on getting all of the gameplay working
ocus on making the gameplay fun before making a large number
avoid a lot of extra work and waste effort.
tick to the initial design completely
the entire game suffer
the end product would
be not so fun.
Nothing proves to the financiers that your game is moving in the
right direction better than
a compelling prototype
Building the Game
The best way to build your game is incrementally.
omplete one system before moving on to the next
asic and essential systems first, and then build the systems that depend
on that system.
Programmers often enjoy working on their own isolated part of the code
without fully considering how it will have to interface with the rest of the
( These programmers only want their paychecks, not a headache )
onstantly focus on
the big picture of making the game playable and
ake sure that this underlying technology functions at a
certain level before any work can be done on the gameplay
If the technology is simply not ready, start off prototyping
game using technology from a previous project.
It is rare that technology will actually make or break a game
though it may
make or break the game itself
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter: Trials of the Luremaster
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
Konung: Legends of the North
Icewind Dale II
Konung 2: Blood of Titans
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition
sed to develop
for web plugins, desktop platforms,
devices, and is utilized by over one million developers.
Unity is primarily used to create
games, but can also deploy games to
consoles or the PC.
ry to break down the game design into the most
fundamental tasks that need to be accomplished
Throughout the project’s development it is important to
keep a version
of your game playable.
A Fully Functional Area (
one particular level of the game.
et one level as close to a final state
s possible before
moving on to the creation of other levels.
Early parts of the game need to be at the highest level of
can be adjusted and tweaked later in the development process
Going Through Changes
eing able to throw away your own work and, potentially,
that of the rest of your team.
Destroy, Erase, Improve
rt, code, levels, and even general design itself
hange as gameplay evolves
Many developers are unwilling to do this, and it shows in
admitting that you have a problem
First impressions are very important, especially in game
able to have an idea for some
gameplay and then can instantly attempt to implement it
A designer who does not program is forced to first
communicate her idea for the gameplay to the
Often the communication will break down
here must be a constant circle of feedback between the
designer and the programmer.
The programmer assigned to set up
curses the designer
practically impossible task
spends a lot of time on a challenging
simpler one would have satisfied the designer
Another problem arises when the designer and programmer
have different ideas of what the gameplay for the project
can simply not implement what the designer
t is worth learning to program if you want to
be a designer
earning how to program will help teach you how to think
logically and abstractly
modern projects and fifty
person development teams, it is often difficult to be
both a designer and a programmer
have a lead programmer with a good sense of gameplay
When Is It Fun?
o book can ever explain
what is fun about a game
designer who is not actively working on the game during that period can
truly be considered to have designed it.
ead programmer is probably the one who is actually designing the game.
Game developers do their best
work when working on games they
care about and enjoy. The
to be a perfect example.
it is very hard to design a good game that you yourself do not enjoy playing.