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To build up, or Pare down?

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Jpwoo
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Joined: 03/26/2009

Let say you are designing a game, and you don't mind complexity in it. In fact you are shooting for a certain amount of complexity and options in the game.

When making a first run prototype would you try to create the game whole cloth with all the options intact? And then simplify, balance and remove the aspects that don't work?

Or would you rather make the game based on a very stripped down version of your complex notes, and slowly build in features until you reach your desired level of complexity?

A little of both?

Nando
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To build up, or Pare down?

Solid foundation first.

I'm working on a spy game that started as a potential entry into a GDS. It's now obvious that it's going to be a very simplistic game of never-ending backstabbing. But having developed (understood, integrated, and thought about implementation of) the 2 or 3 most fundamental aspects of it, I now know why it'll be that way and can go forward looking for specific solutions to those issues.

I wrote in a journal entry somewhere that if elegance is not the core principle that every other element in the game must get square with, complexity and confusion are the likely results.

Ska_baron
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To build up, or Pare down?

I've been going for a combination in the game I'm working on. I obviously want it to be pretty complex, but playable in 2-3 hours. So I say if you think something's gonna fit in the game then try fleshing it out and if it ends up being too cumbersome after playtesting, then let it go. While I personally havent gotten to that stage yet, I imagine having good playtesters and an open mindset (not being married to certain aspects of your game) are key. And besides, anything cut can always be put into a future design.... =)

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
To build up, or Pare down?

A previous discussion on the topic can be found here

~Josh

Jpwoo
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Joined: 03/26/2009
To build up, or Pare down?

Thanks for the link, that other thread was certainly interesting.

Infernal
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Joined: 12/31/1969
To build up, or Pare down?

For balancing a game and making sure that all decisions are meaningful to a player, it is easier to start from a simple foundation and then build up from there. You can do it top down, but it is much harder to make sure everything fits.

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