Designing or developing a mobile game is clearly not a walk in the park or a bed of roses.
First, it’s challenging to think of a fresh concept or idea for a game. You can’t just create a cooking puzzle game as there have been tons created already. You must possess a creative and somehow crazy mind to be able to come up with this one of a kind concept.
While making an out-of-this-world concept is one thing, making this concept into reality is another thing. Game designing requires a lot of hard work, patience, creativity, strategic planning and tons of perseverance. You would need to invest a lot of time in it. Creating a game that will become a massive hit does not just happen overnight. Some spend months on it, while others could even take years. Click here to know how much does it cost to develop a mobile game)
Is there a way that you could expedite the process?
Whilst there is no shortcut, you can certainly speed up your game design process. These tips will show you how.
Make Your Prototype Short and Brief
You can’t possibly create a design document for the purpose of accurately portraying what your game would feel like. No amount of words could ever give justice to that. There’s no sense in wasting too much time and energy in writing a corresponding detailed design description.
On the other hand, you can code and test the essential mechanics of most game concepts in little time. By developing a prototype, you both provide means to assess and describe the quality of your game concept. This should be your starting point for the preproduction process.
When you create a playable sample, you give every member of your team a first-hand experience of what the game could be. It gives an opportunity to get feedback from everyone and see which area needs to be worked on or what features need more improvement. Having a prototype is fun and motivating.
Spending a lot of time and money on this initial implementation is not necessary. Fancy visuals are out of the picture. They are not only an effective way of wasting your time, but they could also prevent better assessment and judgment of the game. Pretty drawings tend to mask the pitfalls of your design choices.
Write With Your Peers in Mind
Game designers often write design documents for others – it may be for a client, developers, managers, etc. Writing for these audiences could be a headache though and will take a lot of your time. Know that these people have different needs and expectations. Your developer will probably need thorough details to estimate the technical constraints that will arise from your choices. On the other hand, a client may not care about the details of your chosen technology for implementation.
As a designer, it is your job to understand the needs of your teammates. You should write in a way that each of your team members would gain necessary resources for them to perform their roles. It’s also your job to facilitate what they are doing.
Improve your writing skills and you will be doing a huge favor to your peers. Don’t be shy to ask your readers what they feel about your writing. Get feedback and improve your craft using these feedbacks.
Run Tests to Prevent Unnecessary Chatter
Sometimes, actions are more powerful than words. Though you can’t really dismiss the strength that words bring, there are scenarios where actions speak louder than words.
Before you can even fully develop your game, it will go through a lot of discussions and prodding. If you’re client is not working in the game industry, it would be challenging for you to explain every moves or features. Instead of explaining what this arrow does, why not demonstrate it to him instead? It’s easier to convince with controller in your hand that this design choice will work, rather than explaining it.
Organize Your Workload
Looking for new ideas can be mind-boggling; you could end up exhausted only after a few hours of wracking up your brain. Bouncing back and forth between concept research, drawing, programming and writing will eat up all your energy in no time. You don’t want to spend the whole day only to find out that you’ve been going around the same track.
If you want to be productive, you must create a strategic plan on how to go about your day. List all the things that you need to do and prioritize them according to their importance. Then assign the most difficult tasks in the beginning part of the day. This is because your energy is still at the highest level so tackling these hard chores would be bearable. You should always have a solid plan for all the structures of your work.
Learn How to Code
Any game designer should know gameplay programming. In fact, it’s the most fundamental skillset that all designers must possess. Gameplay programming is important in so many reasons.
For one, developers often communicate with one another. It’s harder to hop on board on this communication if you don’t know the basics of coding. Also, coding permits you to test your ideas by yourself. In addition, most studios are looking for game designer who codes. Learning this skill is your golden ticket to success.
Shorten That Iterative Loop
Don’t wait for your entire cake to be fully baked before you can hand a piece of it to the testers.
Same thing goes for game designing. You really don’t need to wait for the entire gameplay to finish before you hand it over to the testers. By then, you could have committed many mistakes such as focusing on a technical aspect that doesn’t matter to your players, wasting time polishing poor controls, or working on the system so big that you can only backtrack at an unpleasant cost. In any jobs that are related to designing, it is important to iterate, and to do so fast.
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