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Game Designing Guide - organization thread

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Anonymous

I propose that we begin a game designing guide for designers at all levels. We could explain mechanics, pros, cons, game types, anything. It would take some effort, but I'm sure we at BGDF could pull it together.

To get this done, I suggest we use a WIKI based system.
Wiki based websites can be edited and updated by anybody. This means that you could donate your time whenever and wherever you wish (without any delay for it to be published). As the site matures, the information would become more detailed and the subjects broader.

I've started this thread to get a sense of how many people would be willing to donate their time and energy to the project. I would personally be in charge of getting the site hosted and all, if you guys back me up. If this project is okay'd by the active population here at BGDF, I'll start a seperate thread to brainstorm topics.

I hope this works out! And thank you ALL in advance.

- Silverdragon0

Anonymous
Re: GAME DESIGNING GUIDE - organization thread

Silverdragon0 wrote:
I propose that we begin a game designing guide for designers at all levels. We could explain mechanics, pros, cons, game types, anything. It would take some effort, but I'm sure we at BGDF could pull it together.

I'm up for putting in my two cents, but I have to admit, I don't know just what I could offer in the way of a designing guide; except maybe just the way I look at the process and my particular inspirations.

As far as the specifics of "chapter" topics and content, let us see how this discussion takes shape. There is also the potential of taking from the posts directly, organizing the content and including it inthe right "sections/chapters" of the guide. Of course, this would have to include some concession from the members here I figure.

Anyways, lets see how others feel about this.

Have fun all!

-Vexx

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Game Designing Guide - organization thread

If there's sufficient interest there's no reason we can't host it here. Darke already has the Wiki code installed and running (it's just not visible to the public). If the interest is here we should be able to simply make it public.

Note, though, that there already is a similar Wiki, focused on patterns in game design: http://www.ludism.org/gamedesign/

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Great idea!

Yes as FL stated I was working on this very concept before school struck. I was having technical difficulties integrating it into the site, however I did find a work around that seemed to be working alright . I was attempting to convert the wiki to a php-nuke module but it wasn't going to well, as I know very little about actual PHP coding.

At any rate, if we did do such a thing, I think it would be VERY IMPORTANT to keep the wiki highly structured, and for that I think we need a moderator who is willing to pour over the content. The first order of business would be to set up a solid structure for the content and then to setup a template for user to create new content.

As FL stated, there is already a wiki at the ludism site which is in part run by one of our users, Rauros (he founded the wiki). However, I don't think his ideas for the wiki and mine actually 'mesh'.

So Silver, I am behind you 100% on this. Whether you would like to see if you can do it here, or do it on your own site, that's fine by me. One of the reasons I wanted to do it here was so that a user could sign in to the site and then access the wiki directly (using their BGDF credentials). I will send you a link to the wiki in it's current state so you can play around with it to see if you like it.

-Darke

Anonymous
Game Designing Guide - organization thread

Excellent!

I think that the bgdf members only idea would work well with the wiki system. It grants a just enough control. I would certainly volunteer for the moderater position. I am a fairly casual designer, so I think that being a moderator would be the greatest help I could give.

I think it would be best to host it here on bgdf. That way the community would become tighter - with a group project based on home turf. Also, it would be easier for visitors to access just this one central site. In addition, you mentioned that the system is built in to bgdf (to some degree) already.

- Silverdragon0

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Game Designing Guide - organization thread

I think this is a very good idea! But I think it still needs some fleshing out; or, perhaps more correctly, you should let us in on your vision a little more. For example, who is the guide for? New designers? Or do you intend it as a reference for more "seasoned" designers? What part of the process do you want covered? Taking a new idea to a published design, or some subset of that process?

I think that having a high-level vision of what exactly you want to go for will be important for organizing this and making it useful to people. You don't want it to just be a hodge-podge of disconnected articles; rather, you want a coherent flow of articles that work together to paint a bigger picture. That's why I personally think that perhaps even more useful than a "free-for-all" format might be one where you say "here is my table of contents: who want to contribute chapter X? Who wants to contribute chapter Y?" And of course, you could also take input on what items should be included/excluded from the ToC in the first place.

I think no matter how you do it, you'll be able to produce a very nice and useful document. But I think that the key consideration should be structure. Searching for info on the web leads to a jumble of chaos. Your "guide" could be a nice, coherent, single-source place to get an overview of the game design process. I think that in that sense, the more rigid the structure, the more useful the document will be.

And I'll also just put in my opinion, that I don't really know much about a "wiki" format, but as far as I understand, it involves a web page that everyone can add to and edit. I don't know html, and am not really interested in learning at this time, so I probably wouldn't be participating if that was the format you chose. Not sure how many other people that would be true of; doubtless I'm in the minority.

Best of luck with your great idea!

-Jeff

Anonymous
Game Designing Guide - organization thread

jwarrend wrote:
I think this is a very good idea! But I think it still needs some fleshing out; or, perhaps more correctly, you should let us in on your vision a little more. For example, who is the guide for? New designers? Or do you intend it as a reference for more "seasoned" designers? What part of the process do you want covered? Taking a new idea to a published design, or some subset of that process?

Well, the way I understand it, the guide is little bit for both seasoned and beginners. Primarily because of the members here at the BGDF. While some of us are fledglings, a few here have had some successes of there own if not taken it to the professional level (that is company of there own).
Something Silverdragon has mentioned was that the guide is created by us, the members of the BGDF. That way, its all about our experience and visions as individual designers as well as the community that's been created here. Am I right that this was something you had in mind Silverdragon?

jwarrend wrote:

I think that having a high-level vision of what exactly you want to go for will be important for organizing this and making it useful to people. You don't want it to just be a hodge-podge of disconnected articles; rather, you want a coherent flow of articles that work together to paint a bigger picture.

I agree. As moderator, Silverdragon may be taking on a bit of responsibility as far as his vision is concerned. Might be a matter of taking what people submit and organizing it a bit himself to get the appropriate structure of content. Not that I would try to put in my two cents in well formatted manner, but I sometimes have a tendency to ramble. :)

jwarrend wrote:

Searching for info on the web leads to a jumble of chaos. Your "guide" could be a nice, coherent, single-source place to get an overview of the game design process. I think that in that sense, the more rigid the structure, the more useful the document will be.

Again I agree. Maybe we need something we can actually ARGUE about. :)

jwarrend wrote:

And I'll also just put in my opinion, that I don't really know much about a "wiki" format, but as far as I understand, it involves a web page that everyone can add to and edit. I don't know html, and am not really interested in learning at this time, so I probably wouldn't be participating if that was the format you chose.

Actually, I figured there might be times in which articles for the guide (maybe if we think of it like a magazine) would come straight from some of our discussions in the forums. A good thread can have a lot of insight and discussion of a topic. This would require some trimming and editing, but this way everyone who at the BGDF that would like too or has something valuable for the guide can have it included. I too am not versed in the way of the HTML. Its a nearly complete mystery to me, so don't feel bad. :)

Well, this is starting to shape up into a decent discussion. :)

Have fun all!

-Vexx

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
'Stuff'

A wiki is an editable website yes. But the cool thing about wikis is that you can make any word a wiki link and that creates a new page so you can add content about that word.

For example, suppose I outline the three basic steps in creating a game:

1) Design
2) ((Production)) (or prototyping)
3) Publication

Now you notice I put the word ((Production)) in double parentheses, this signifies it is a wiki link. Now anyone who views the above content, can click on the word Production and it will take them to the Production page.

The other good thing about the Wiki we will be using is that it incorporates a WYSIWYG editor. As long as you use Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater, you will get a Microsoft Word like editor with which to edit the content of the page. Whalah! No html necessary (FYI - Most wikis have their own formatting language, so you don't really need to know html).

One thing I'd like to suggest is that the wiki IS NOT an extension of the forums.. I.E. I think opinions should be left out, just bare facts... Think of a wiki as an online encyclopedia in which the readers of the encyclopedia research and add to it. So if you have a technique for creating game boards, post it. However, posting why you think Puerto Rico is better than El Grande is not really on target. So again, think of it as an Encyclopedia; all facts, data, methods, or techniques, but no opinions..

My vision for the wiki was a place to post theoretical and practical information about game creation. Things like the different methods for randomization, formulas for balancing card distribution, techniques for creating cards, sample query letters for publishers, good places to buy bits, recommended software for desktop publishing, etc. Ideally I would like to incorporate alot of the data in the links and download sections into the wiki..

I think a wiki of this magnitude will take a great deal of work, but once it has been brought up to date, it would provide more useful information than any book available in print.

Well enough rambling...

-Darke

Anonymous
Re: 'Stuff'

Darkehorse wrote:

One thing I'd like to suggest is that the wiki IS NOT an extension of the forums.. I.E. I think opinions should be left out, just bare facts... Think of a wiki as an online encyclopedia in which the readers of the encyclopedia research and add to it. So if you have a technique for creating game boards, post it. However, posting why you think Puerto Rico is better than El Grande is not really on target. So again, think of it as an Encyclopedia; all facts, data, methods, or techniques, but no opinions..

I agree. I didn't mean we use opinions like what game is better, but something more along the lines of an analisys of a games mechanics or just the valid and valuable portions of discussions where insights lead to a greater understanding of design and creation. I understand where you're coming from though and think you're more on track with it then I might have been. :) Hmm...could I have argued more before conceding your point? Maybe next time. :)

Darkehorse wrote:

My vision for the wiki was a place to post theoretical and practical information about game creation. Things like the different methods for randomization, formulas for balancing card distribution, techniques for creating cards, sample query letters for publishers, good places to buy bits, recommended software for desktop publishing, etc. Ideally I would like to incorporate alot of the data in the links and download sections into the wiki..

Oh yea! We're definitely on the same page. (is it the same book though?) :)

Seems you've had something like this in mind for a while. Fess up! You've listed just about everything that's needed and best for the guide. Now its a matter of dertermining structure. Got that planned and outlined as well? :)

Darkehorse wrote:

I think a wiki of this magnitude will take a great deal of work, but once it has been brought up to date, it would provide more useful information than any book available in print.

Hear! Hear! I don't I've seen any books in print that could amount to what we're discussing. Sounds good.

Having fun!

-Vexx

Anonymous
Game Designing Guide - organization thread

The short answer to who would be interested is 'me and two computer game guys' (and the computer game guys ran out of material) As has been mentioned, I started a game design wiki, which is currently hosted at ludism.org. Darkehorse was kicking the tires for a while, but was turned off by 1) computer game content 2) (current) lack of organization 3) theortical focus (game mechanics as opposed to how to print boards) 4) not WYSIWYG

Much like my participation here, the wiki suffers from poor time utilization on my part - three of those points could be fixed or minimized with some attention. (And I guess if I really had a lot of time I could develop an _optional_ WYSIWYG editor too)

phpbbadmin
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.....

Quote:

I agree. I didn't mean we use opinions like what game is better, but something more along the lines of an analisys of a games mechanics or just the valid and valuable portions of discussions where insights lead to a greater understanding of design and creation. I understand where you're coming from though and think you're more on track with it then I might have been. Hmm...could I have argued more before conceding your point? Maybe next time.

Vexx, yes I agree. There is already a lot of stuff in the discussion forums that can and should go in the wiki. The forums have a much more relaxed and casual atmosphere. I was infering that stuff that goes into the wiki needs to be a bit more formal than what is normally posted in forums.

Quote:

Seems you've had something like this in mind for a while. Fess up! You've listed just about everything that's needed and best for the guide. Now its a matter of dertermining structure. Got that planned and outlined as well?

Actually, I had worked on this somewhat earlier, but I did not release it to the public. The wiki is still not in a state that I want to release publicly. However, since the data is not at any risk of being lost, I may do so anyway. If the interface changes slightly, it won't affect the underlying wiki.

-Darke

Anonymous
Game Designing Guide - organization thread

I think this is a great idea. It would be nice to see a wiki where every mechanic from every board game ever made would show up in some detail.

Anonymous
Sweet . . .

@Darke and Vexx: Yes, that is exactly how I imagined it. It would be a formal document that covers the design, prototyping, production, and publishing stages of game creation. However, as I am selfish, I am going to put game design ahead of the rest - just kidding . . .kinda . . . no really! ; )

Here is a very rough breakdown of subjects. I'll subcatagorize as I go. I am posting this only to give a vague impression of what I envision this being. With no further ado:

[more babble, sorry guys]
at the end of every section, I imagine there would be a few links to threads. Although this should definitely be a formal wiki, opinions should be linked to - just not neccesarily mentioned. And finally:

[EDIT: NOOO! My formatting was ruined! Lemme try to fix this : (]
Design
--- Brainstorming
--- Researching
----- Mechanics (definition)
------- List of examples, uses, pros/cons
----- Bits (definition)
------- Randomization
--------- List of examples, uses, pros/cons
------- Representation (money, units, property, etc.)
--------- List examples, uses, pros/cons
--- Prototyping
----- Game design documents (link to production side of docs)
------- Main points
------- Structure
------- Order
----- Rapid prototyping systems
------- Business cards/playing Cards
------- Pre-existing bits
------- Bit sets
----- Playtesting methods
------- Buddy
------- "Enlightened"
------- Blind
Production
--- ETC.

We would start the wiki at the largest possible definitions and work our way inwards. This MUST be followed so that the wiki remains organized. I think that it should be a rule that every post must have a parent link or it would have to be cleared as a top-level subject or as one so random that it doesn't really matter where the heck it is ; )

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