Creating a core vision for your game is a helpful aid: by having a certain design objectives for the game, you can lead your project to the right direction on the focus you’ve taken.
Choose the core values for your game
One way to establish design goals is to pick 3 core values which you use when evaluating possible new features for your game. Core values can be anything fundamental in your game.
For example, a puzzle game could have the following core values:
- Brain over Reactions
Now, when somebody gets an idea about putting exploding teddy bears and blood… you could say pretty quickly that it goes against the core values – and since your game’s focus is to have an extremely cute puzzle game, you could decline having that feature. If somebody suggests and action sequence where you shoot to get points, you could say this kind of feature would require quick reactions and you want a slower tempo for the game (“Brain over Reactions”). When somebody suggests that after player has completed a level, the game should send email to those players who lost their rank saying “Player X just beat your score by 706 points – perhaps you should play a round right away and reclaim your rank?”. You could tell that this feature would be good, since it enforces the community aspect.
Those 3 values are just examples, and core values could be anything from “having 5,000,000 different weapons” to “player customization” to “survival” to “physics” and so on. It’s really up to you to have a focus and values for your game. Bear in mind that you can have game with core value “Must Require Different Skills From Player”, and then having action sequence, brain puzzles, hidden object puzzles and so on would be a good idea. It all depends what you focus on.
The importance of values
Having core values (whether there’s one or ten of them) is no use if you just write them down somewhere and forget them. The idea of these values is that it makes it easier to make gameplay decisions. It helps you focus on the fact that you are doing and “first person shooter” which won’t turn into “real time strategy” just because somebody got a fancy idea that you could command your troops in FPS mode.
The core values are also part of the marketing plan, since they help making judgements on “who is your audience”. The core values might not give exact answer, but they can help defining the audience – which then can lead to better conversion and more sales.
The bottom line is: core values can help you have a clearer focus and help answer to the question “what your game is all about”.
Does your game have core values?