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Design or research first?

7 replies [Last post]
senorbaub's picture
Joined: 08/20/2011

I just came up with design idea for a cooperative space station defense game and have a pretty good start fleshing out the mechanics. Now I'm wondering if it's better to do research and try and games with a similar so as to not copy mechanics or if it's better to design the game without said research so as to not be influenced by other designs.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
Just design. If you're not

Just design. If you're not actively trying to copy someone, odds are very good you won't do it accidentally. You should play/be aware of lots of different games in general, but more because it adds to your palette and not because it rules out things for you.

Joined: 11/12/2012
i like most designers start

i like most designers start with mechanics first and develop a sense of theme as i go along.

As you design you will probably copy mechanics from other games, this is nearly innevitable, dont worry about it

Joined: 02/01/2013
My experience

My experience has been that I will envision or be struck with a theme (usually during a movie or a walk in the park) and will then start applying mechanics I have seen from other games. The what happens is I start modifying the mechanic to fit the narrative of the theme I want to design: ie winning conditions, set up, and actions (or end, beginning and middle if you will).

As stated, it is inevitable you will use a mechanic that has already been used before. Just design and use mechanics you think will compliment your theme.

Have fun.

ckleach's picture
Joined: 02/26/2013
Design as in drafting or conceptual?

I'm and artist by trade, so I pencil everything out first. Design is my strength so it's what I start with. Regardless of research. The best thing about designing first is fiddling around with what you want to portray. Like TrueKid and Munio said, start by letting your creativity dictate the direction, then as you go, more of the technical/mechanics will come into play... and inevitably you will be using ideas and functions that are part of other games.

Not to worry, because odds are if your using things already in the industry, it should work out. The problem is quilting different mechanics together to try and create a semi-unique experience. Before you get too far into your own world, make sure that what you doing does have it's own little flare, if that's what you're going for. If not, that's more than fine. There are tons of various games that play 'just like' another games out there so no should harp on you about it.

Joined: 04/08/2012

I agree with everyone here. Jot ideas, concept drawings: good or bad, character statistics and backstories, enemy stats, the list goes on then work with mechanics. Playtest, playtest and playtest somemore. If you have an idea for your game and its sounds to familiar then research it.

Joined: 11/25/2010
space alert

just realize that there is a cooperative space station defense game that just recently came out called space alert. it uses a combo of robo rally mechanics with an innovative timer based on playing a track off a CD. Worth checking out, though I didn't love it.

ckleach's picture
Joined: 02/26/2013
Re: Space alert

Funny game. Playing a time-based game of impending doom should be a hoot. I need to play more group games. Hell, I should create a group game. Cooperation is the key ... but that's the part that makes it difficult to enjoy. *brain bots are now whirring around inside head*

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