CGD Podcast Episode #19: The Process, and Designing Games Like Applications


In this episode I talk about my process of five major stages in game design. I also talk about how game design is not a guaranteed thing. We tend to think of game design in terms of “designing lots of games”, sort of “churning them out”, when in fact, we should be thinking of it a lot more like how we think about apps. Are you going to “design” another word processor or banking app? Probably not, unless you’re going to solve some major problem that exists with those. Yet with videogames, we feel comfortable doing just that because our word processor app has a green logo instead of a red one.

What’s your design process like?

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The Virtuosity Scale


One thing to think about when designing a game is trying to figure out what “degree of virtuosity” you want to allow. I mean this in a bit of a prescriptive way, which I’ll explain.

Some games offer you a huge number of possible choices per “turn” or per “moment”. Having a high degree of range of motion means more potential for creative actions. You can literally do something that ten onlookers watching hadn’t even considered. I’d say abstract games with a big grid like Go are good examples, but also complex real time games like StarCraft or Team Fortress 2 certainly qualify here, too. We’ll say that these games have “high virtuosity”. Continue reading