Maybe some of you want to know how I do the design for my games, so I thought to write down something on this. Note : I’m no game designer and I never worked on commercial titles (though my freeware games and apps are rather successfull), so take the following stuff as my personal view on this matter, don’t cite me on this in a fiery discussion or so.
Most important notice about gamedesign : >Your PC is the most dangerous enemy of creativity! < Why you ask? Plain simple : you can do so much stuff with your PC (surf the net, read mails, play games, watch TV, listen to music, and so on) that it’s very easy to get distracted. So it’s (at least for me) often the case that I try to do some gamedesign and then think “ah well, you haven’t read your mails for an hour or so, just quickly do it and then carry on”, and then you also think “now that I’ve read my mails I should take a quick look through some forums” and this goes on and on, and at some point you notice that you have your game design document open for hours, but haven’t written down a single line. And what’s even worse is the fact that due to all the distraction your mind usually won’t be able to spill out great ideas for your game. All my good ideas came out of my mind when I turned away from my PC (just switch the screen off) or was doing something totally unrelated. So maybe if you’re running out of ideas, turn away from the PC and try to relax or do something else, as the ideas then tend to come in by themselves. But don’t forget to write them down later!
The best tool (or call it “application”) for game design : >Plain Pen-And-Paper< This goes directly together with the above point. The best tool for doing game-design related stuff (may it be writing down ideas or drawing graphics) is a piece of paper (or a memopad, so that your stuff won’t fly all over the place) and a pen. At least that’s how I did all GUIs for my recent games, and most of the time those designs made it (with small adjustments, on paper I only do rough outlines with descriptions) into the final game, and that is also the case with my current game. Now you could also do all those fancy drawings in applications that were designed for this, like Photoshop or Corel Draw, but you’ll mostly suffer from what I wrote above. If you do those designs on paper it’s like a flowing river, you start drawing and the ideas start to flow through your head, go down your arm and drop onto the paper via your pen (literally, don’t take this too serious ;) ). Something that usually won’t happen when you sit in front of your PC after you have opened up your favorite drawing application.
So much for now, hopefully some of you also see the above things the way as I do!