Many people want to be a game designer, but few have any idea what kind of job it is. A game designer is a person who must have a good idea of what the game will be like before they even start making it. Many people can come up with ideas, but imagine how this will be implemented in the game, taking into account the technical capabilities, highlighting those features that will interest the player – these are tasks for a game designer. The video game designing process and all of its components must meet the requirements that are presented to it by the market, that is, in fact, by those who will play it. A game designer in outsource game development at Whimsy must know exactly what makes his game good and attractive, which sides of the game are strong and which are weak, and emphasize the former and smooth out the latter.
The game mechanics should be clear to the player:
- what is how it works;
- how does his hero get the next level-up;
- how he needs to fight;
- what needs to be done next to advance along the storyline.
What the developer considers obvious is not always clear to ordinary players, so it is necessary to do training missions, use standard game mechanics in standard genres. If suddenly you want to allow the player to do something that was previously impossible, be sure to tell him about it. The use of incomprehensible, non-obvious to the user patterns and events should be explained.
The Game Must Be Flexible
Let players customize the gameplay for themselves. This concerns:
- level of difficulty;
- specific gameplay elements.
You should not forget about it in a game design process.
With the controls, everything is clear: it is necessary to do so that the player can adjust the function keys, the sensitivity of the mouse, if necessary, the keyboard level). And you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, if it’s a shooter, then control is WSAD and the mouse, if it’s a strategy, then – Ctrl + 1,2 … – selection of groups, qwe-commands and so on.
Difficulty level. Due to the fact that players have different skills, it is desirable to make the difficulty of the game customizable. This expands the audience.
Non-Linearity And Problems With It
Non-linearity is a very attractive feature of the game. Users really like that what happens next in the game depends on their actions. This increases the replayability of your product.
But meanwhile, nonlinearity brings with it many difficulties: more voluminous game content, nonlinear scenario, the need for special gameplay mechanisms. And all this must be taken into account before you declare that freedom of choice is welcome in your game.
Our Rule of Law project was a non-linear tactical RPG. Here are the main problems that we faced in the process of implementing this very nonlinearity:
To implement a nonlinear plot, it was necessary to create your own highly specialized scripting language, which took a decent amount of resources
Non-linearity has significantly increased the volume of game content (scenario, dialogues, levels, etc.)
Mission scenarios had to be universal for different passage. Depending on who is on the player’s team, the dialogues and tasks should have been different. For example, there is a key dialogue in which from one (the main character) to 8 (maximum number in the team) people can participate, and depending on who is in the team, different characters participate in the dialogue, but the main meaning remains the same.
The creation (scripting) and testing of non-linear plots is very difficult and time-consuming, (for example, at one of the levels, an unremarkable character (preacher) approaches the main character, reads a sermon and leaves; but whether the player kills him or not depends on what it will happen through three levels). And there are many such small details that affect the plot in the game. When writing a script, you need to remember about all the small components and control their correct operation, both individually and in a complex. Calculate and implement all kinds of plot twists. Another example: we have two opposing forces, the player needs to choose one of them and destroy the other, and so there will be heaps of players who will destroy everyone and this case must also be taken into account.
Testing nonlinear games is a hell of a job. To test all possible situations, we had to compose huge story trees, taking into account all the twists and turns of the script, and use them during testing.