CIRCA:David Perry on Game Design: A Brainstorming Toolbox


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David Perry on Game Design: A Brainstorming Toolbox (Book)

A questions method, quoted from page 20 which can be reached through this online preview. Perry offers the following rubric/points-based method to evaluate game ideas according to questions a commercial client might want to see answered in a project pitch:

"If you really want to evaluate your hook concepts, try filling in the following information.
These are the questions you should ask yourself to see how strong your game proposal is.
If you are pitching a game, you should by all means try to be ready for these questions."
  1. Does the target audience already respect the developer of this game?
  2. Does any aspect of this game design bring back fond memories or nostalgia for the target audience?
  3. Are the graphics generally likely to be better than rival/competitive products?
  4. Are your artists going to be able to make this subject matter look breathtaking?
  5. Based on the story scenes, do you expect people to want to watch every minute of the cinematics? (Get a point if there are no cinematics in your game.)
  6. Will the game feel new/original/fresh?
  7. Will it be easier to play (easier to get into by design) than competitive games?
  8. Is the functionality/depth/range of features planned for the game more impressive when compared to other games in the same genre?
  9. Do you think a player would be perceived as “cool” by his friends if he introduced them to this game?
  10. Would most people (not just hardcore gamers) be able to play your game and get into the most fun parts relatively quickly?
  11. Does the game have a cool-sounding, easy to remember/easy to say/easy to spell name that suggests or reveals what the game is about?
  12. Is there an exciting feature that can be saved for the Limited Edition version?
  13. Does the game potentially have any collectable value? (Is it part of a series, for example?)
  14. Can the owner play the game with his friends sitting on the sofa next to him?
  15. Can the owner play the game with his friends through the Internet?
  16. If playing through the Internet, can the player chat with his friends easily while playing?
  17. Can the player share or trade his success (his spoils of war) with his friends?
  18. Can the game be customized or personalized?
  19. Is the game going to be presented by a respected game designer/programmer or producer?
  20. Will the game star a really well-known celebrity character, actor, or actress?
  21. Will the soundtrack be crafted by a very (globally) popular or famous composer or band?
  22. Is the story written by a famous or respected writer?
  23. Is the focus on a subject matter that the target audience is really excited about these days? (One that hasn’t already been done many times before?)
  24. Will people be amazed by the visual effects?
  25. Does the global gaming audience really love this game genre?
  26. Is there any controversy regarding this game that the target audience will hear about?
  27. Is there a way to make the price lower than that of your direct competitors?
  28. Do you have any clever plans for marketing the game?
  29. Will the game engine have a way to avoid long boring periods, long load times, or other elements that try a gamer’s patience?
  30. Are you sure people won’t think this game is weird or strange?
  31. Will gamers playing this game laugh out loud at any time while playing?
  32. Would it be possible to reveal the unique hook in this game in a television commercial of 30 seconds?
  33. Can you play this game without ever reading a manual (by design)?
  34. Will you have movie-quality sound effects/ambiance/speech in the game?
  35. Will the game offer immediate replayability?
  36. If a player gets stuck, will the game detect this and help him out of this problem?
  37. Will the game have interesting “very memorable moments” (high points), as opposed to repetitive gameplay?
  38. Will the story have an exciting start?
  39. Will the story have a surprising ending that will compel people to talk about it?
  40. Will the game have a fun and interesting learn-as-you-play in-game tutorial?
"Why do this? Say you have four ideas, and you just can’t decide which to really flesh out and start working on.
Run them through this test and then go with the winner.
Or, run the test, get the score, then try to add 10 more points to that score.
Go back and read the questions for inspiration on how you could add those 10 more points."
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