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September 23, 2021, 10:31:17 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignCommunicating Your Game Vision
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Alain
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« on: April 27, 2021, 11:31:27 PM »

Hey everyone,

I'm Alain and I usually only post in DevLogs. Beside developing my game I make Youtube videos and it was brought to my attention that I should maybe post my "GameDev Blips" here. In these videos I briefly talk about concepts or thoughts related to game design and development. This one is about communicating your gameplay vision for your game e.g. to players or publishers.




click GIF to watch on YouTube ↑ (4:12 min)


I will update this thread (and subject) once a new GameDev Blip is out. I hope you enjoy watching, please let me know what you think!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2021, 10:41:35 AM »

Hi Alain,

I'm gonna be a butt here, but I do think its an interesting video and well made and so on so its worth some real commentary. (I also posted a bit about this in the discord.) Great thumbnail gif btw!

You are being a bit fuzzy about *selling* your vision and *describing* your vision. (NOT TO GET TOO SEMANTIC LOLZ) I get what you are doing with the graph system of putting various descriptors on axes:



But it feels like an arbitrary construct to simply sort of make a graph for the sake of making a graph. A more compelling way to *sell* your vision would be to tell me why I care about the game and its world: is there a conflict in your universe that I can easily get invested in because I relate to it and want to work something out in my life? Is there cool lore that makes me feel powerful or just like I'm dealing with interesting things? Is there some mysterious ending that will enlighten and or surprise me? Is it a way to escape the real world and organize a virtual one as a metaphor for organizing your own real world thoughts?

Those are mostly narrative things but they make people feel something and that's likely what's gonna motivate a purchase.

In terms of *describing* your game's vision the graph is a pretty cumbersome way of describing your game because it becomes difficult to really quantify on an axis which is more, for example, "goal oriented," diablo of divinity? Its a somewhat subjective thing you are measuring in an objective concrete way. Also, if you want to make a more "strategic" combat system than Diablo you haven't answered any questions as to the method by which you are gonna get that result.

Then with all communication the question is "who am I talking to?" a question I ask myself constantly. I think the graph system you are proposing is a bit too clunky to be of much help to consumers, and a bit too vague to be of help to the rest of your dev team in terms of implementing your vision. That is, as I pointed out, how do we make the game more casual? What even is casual? How should it feel? How difficult should it be to proceed? How do you win? How do you lose? Can you even win or lose? There are a ton of questions that are swept under the rug.

Anyway, this is just my rambling knee jerk reaction, keep it up and I hope this is helpful.





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Alain
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2021, 11:56:25 PM »

Hey Michael! Thanks for thinking with me about this whole thing Smiley

But it feels like an arbitrary construct to simply sort of make a graph for the sake of making a graph.

You are spot on here and I think I did not explain well enough what I was going for. I wanted to make a graph to communicate aspects of how the game plays. This is supposed to be put mainly into a pitch deck, after the reader already read the short description of the game, knows the tags and genres and maybe saw a gameplay trailer. I think you are right, this graph could only help players if it was used within e.g. a games' magazine that always uses the same graph with the same axes to help the players understand what the gameplay is about, after they already have the basic information about the game, lets say from a written article.

In terms of *describing* your game's vision the graph is a pretty cumbersome way of describing your game because it becomes difficult to really quantify on an axis which is more, for example, "goal oriented," diablo of divinity? Its a somewhat subjective thing you are measuring in an objective concrete way. Also, if you want to make a more "strategic" combat system than Diablo you haven't answered any questions as to the method by which you are gonna get that result.

I agree with you. This graph alone is not worth much without information around it, which usually are in form of visuals from the game itself and some descriptive text. This graph is also not replacind a design document, it is way to general, of course.

In case you are interested, here is a different version, that I also discarded:



And in the end, I also ended up not using the graph as seen in the video, but go for a very simple version with bars:



This version still communicates the same information and all the criticism you have, @michaelplzno, is valid.

But I still think the graph in the video has its merits and the general idea to create a graph that contextualizes a game's gameplay with regards to other games of a similar genre intrigues me. Although I might tend to overcomlicate things Wink
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 05:31:07 AM »

It does give some info, it might be a good tool to help at a really broad phase narrow things down, or as you say in a game review magazine, so I don't want to be too dismissive. Looking forward to whatever you post next!
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Alain
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 10:47:50 PM »

It does give some info, it might be a good tool to help at a really broad phase narrow things down, or as you say in a game review magazine, so I don't want to be too dismissive. Looking forward to whatever you post next!

Thanks for the encouragement Smiley
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