Thursday, March 3, 2016

The art of imitative design

An article written for Develop that came about as a consequence of the third session of the course, on game design, entitled The Art of Imitative Design.
It is often easy to understand why a game fails, but it is usually more difficult to ascertain why one game becomes a hit when another does not, epecially when the hit does not feature better features, prettier art, faster performance, or a more distinctive brand than other games in the same genre.

In most cases, success comes down to superior game design, by which I mean the use of game concepts and mechanics that provide the player with a more enjoyable gameplay experience. Game design should never be confused with game development or with production, as it is the aspect of game development that consists of conceiving and articulating ideas that are subsequently turned into functional reality through the process of production.

There are four types of game design:
  •     Original
  •     Evolutionary
  •     Synthetic
  •     Imitative
While most discussion of game design revolves around its highest form – original design – the fact is that very few game designers will ever rise to the level of a Sid Meier, a Will Wright, or a Peter Molyneux. Most successful games – and most good games – involve either evolutionary or synthetic design. And the reality is that most games that are developed and released are best characterised as the lowest form of game design, imitative design.
Read the rest at Develop.

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