Monday, 27 June 2011

General thoughts on game design

Sometimes it really boggles my mind some of the things that are overlooked in games. It is fair enough if you think about how much goes into them, it would be easy for someone to leave something out or not think of something. But you'd think along the way someone might go, hey, I can't tell who is who here.

Reading a review on Brink has got me to thinking about not only game design principles but animation ones as well. A lot of them tie in, and can be lost when people are focusing on making something mechanically playable, something that works, they may forget a few other really simple things.

Strong silhouettes. They go a long way. This is a key animation principle. Maybe I'm just taking this knowledge for granted having already studied animation, but it seems a pretty obvious design element when making something someone is going to look at. In a game you want them to be able to instantly know what something is and be able to tell it apart from anything else in the world.

Most games do this great in other ways, you can almost always tell what will give you health, what is probably going to kill you. I can only think of one game off the top of my head (doesn't mean all other games dont't do it to some degree and that there aren't ones that do it as well or better) but Team Fortress 2 has great use of silhouettes. I can tell immediately who is who just from, the silhouette. Which is such an important thing. Games not necessarily require that, but I think looking at some animation principles and combining those really couldn't hurt.

Maybe it's silly, but I really feel I have some advantage having studied animation before I came into games. More knowledge can only be a good thing. Everyone loves that guy that brings 5 dishes to the table.

Now I'm hungry.

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