Designing a game - The Basics TIP

When the thought of making a game comes to mind, there are three aspects that need to be addressed. These are what make the game a hit or a miss. These were coined way back in the 80's probably even before many of the readers were even born. The type of games available at the time were different in terms of graphics, colours, etc The computers were with Hz clock speeds, not MHZ or GHz. A mobile phone is about 100x more powerful than the CPU's then, or can be classified as the SuperComputer of that era.

So the basic aspects of a game are
1. The Idea
2. The Presentation
3. The Technique

NOTE : Remember this as TIP, Technique, Idea and Presentation.

Game Aspects

Aspect #1 - I

The most important of these is the Idea, it is but obvious that even if you have the most beautiful graphics and sound and the best techniques and FX, a poor idea will show through. A poor presentation can ruin a good idea, think of Angry Birds with circles and squares instead of the birds and pigs, and lastly, if your technique is poor, the game will be a disaster anyways. Think taps that do not work, lags, etc

Aspect #2 - P

The second important bit is the Presentation, it determines the basic information of how much will you display on the screen, how will you make the game more interesting, are you using the functionalities to the optimum, is it using sound, graphics, color, can the user see all that they need, is it confusing them or assisting them?

Aspect #3 - T

The third, *not* the last or least important is technique. This is where the game shall shine or sparkle, the FX, the new creative thing that you add into the game is here. This is what makes the game work and to make a really good engaging game, this is the bit that needs work. Think procedural graphics on Tiny Wings.

Types of Games

Depending on how one classifies, there are several genres of games, some of the main ones that were coined are as
1. Action Games - These are the Platformers, played in the Arcades, Shoot em ups, etc
2. Adventure Games - These are the slightly slower paced ones, that are not like FPS or Shoot-a-thons these require a bit of thought towards solving the same.
3. Interactive Games - these are the ones that need interaction, played against another player or the computer AI, like TicTacToe, Battleships, etc

Many new genres have been added to these basic type, under the Action games, there are sub categories like Platformers, FPS, shoot-em-up, CnC
For adventure games, there are Fable, Mechanerium, Strategy, RPG, RPS
For Interactive games there are the puzzles, Sudoku, jumble, battleships, etc.


For this first part, we'll end here with a note that when you think of a game, remember the TIP, Technique, Idea and Presentation. Think of a category in which the game would fit, as in the next post, we shall explore each of the type of games and what would be the deciding factors for each type of games.

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