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level design and game flow

Discussion in 'World Building' started by CodeWurm, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. CodeWurm

    CodeWurm

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    In what order do you start to build your game.
    - Documentation
    - Storytelling
    - Game flow
    - Level design

    or do you need to switch the game flow & level design?
     
  2. Inxentas

    Inxentas

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    I'd say Flow first, I come up with something of a genre or kind of game I'd like to make and what kind of game elements I would like to include. Level design comes second, or rather I'd start with one or two concept characters and a single level to see if I can get stuff working in a prototype that's somewhat fun to play. I'd then flesh out the story and the environment if the first few steps feel right. If not, I've at least not wasted my time and learned a few new tricks.

    I've yet to publish a real game with Unity but as soon as something clicks and I am confident I can nurture it from idea to working and marketable, I'd take care of any technical debt and start on a written concept that defines the scope. This is usually where I check out solo, gamedev is a hobby of mine, not my profession. However, I'm currently working on a UI based control system that's starting to motivate me to actually make a full game with it. We'll see how it goes, I'm a bit late to the party having started using Unity a month ago.

    Documentation is work. I don't bother with it in any capacity that would survive office level scrutiny. I comment my code, at least.
     
  3. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I'll start iterating on an outline of all of those at the same time, only when the outline done, I start detailing. They need to work together most of the time, doing them sequentially might have problem that feedback into your earlier step and you have to redo too many thing.
     
  4. CodeWurm

    CodeWurm

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    Yea exactly don't waste time much time on the bigger picture, but just focus on something small first and then after that work it out.
     
  5. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I'd put those in a very different order. Game flow is top priority and I wouldn't do anything else until I had a proof of concept demo that made sure the main game loop was actually fun. Level design is just an extension of that, making sure you have lots of opportunities to use the loop. Storytelling is last.

    I've never met a coder who actually documented their project unless paid to. Just organize it properly and comment your code and that should be all the documentation that you need.
     
  6. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    It really depend if the game is focus on that or not, I got burned putting gameplay first more than once, because then it limit what you can do in storytelling and you have horrible cutscene everywhere. Evolving outline mean you have grasp of how to mix the two in a way that it doesn't make both jarring to each other. Ie the story must be written in ways that favor gameplay, and gameplay must have mechanics that favor the story. Else it won't be organic at all. And ultimately there isn't much difference between the two, both are character trying to overcome obstacle to achieve a goal, which mean level design is story is gameplay too. You just have to be sure they align instead of pulling each other apart.

    But your core advice is sound, story should also have "fun" (understand interesting impacting, etc ...) loop, a serial is probably closest to how a game works, you have monsters/cases of the weeks that still allow for the story to progress by underlying the theme with actions and stakes. Also just because it's a story doesn't mean it has to be linear.
     
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