Friday, October 9, 2009

Level Design and Game concepts

Continuing projects on the course have seen me attempt to design my first level. A nice simple brief which helped me reflect on my own design processes as well the areas that a need to evolve in in order to adapt to my new subject area. The isometric physical design of the level was quite simple in execution yet applying the game mechanics to the design was essentially a steep learning curve for me. The ideas were always in my head and it does come through in annotation and conceptual drawings yet I couldn't quite grasp using the isometric drawing to illustrate the given game mechanics making them clear whilst presenting it. Failing this I ended up seemingly just telling a story rather than talking about the actual game mechanics needed to complete the level, essentially I needed to show what was required of the player. After thinking about this and understanding the faults in the design I can work towards rectifying this in my next brief which is to write a games proposal. For this I will have to think about game mechanics as well as a story and a theme in order to present and sell the idea.

On top of this project I still am pondering about ideas for my design practice project and what I personally am interested in within the design of games. A few thoughts have been bubblying out of late and are mainly aimed towards how narrative in games can effect game mechanics as well as work with them to integrate story into games more successfully than in the contemporary market. Coming from an animation background I have always enjoyed the artistic design from character to enviromental, but have always been fascinated by how the story and narrative uses these objects. The same goes for game design. The difference being that the story is interacted with in a first hand way. The problem with games at the moment in general (not all) use narrative as an after thought rather than a defining game mechanic, and one could even argue the ones that have involved it as a main game mechanic still haven't tapped into the potential. Well at least thats a starting point I guess, probably should look at articles relating to story telling in games and game mechanics as well as a few examples of bad storytelling and good storytelling within gaming history to give me a wider perspective on the idea. Till next time.

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