Choosing the game idea

Today I chose the game whose development will form the core of this project and the book. At the beginning of the week I was writing extensively about evaluation models, wanting to have a large list of games and using a process to choose between them. However, after quite a few discussions with various people this week, all of whom know far more than I do, it seems that something more organic is used in this process. You need to have a feeling for what you’re doing. This is the part where we leave cold logic on one side of the void for the moment and use our energy for the idea to leap to the other side to see what it  looks like. 

I did use a rudimentary check-list to whittle the large list down but being honest I knew which one I would probably choose just by looking at it. In the end I was left with two game designs and whilst I wont reveal what they are just yet, on paper they look very fun to play. The final two became one for pragmatic reasons and again being honest the one I discarded appeals more to me but requires a much larger development footprint – it is a physics based arcade game for multiple players. It’ll keep. The one I’ve chosen has a very realistic chance of being implemented and released just by myself so there was no contest really. The past 15 years have taught me time and time again that the road to development hell is paved with the bones of over ambitious projects.

So the game outline I’ve chosen will now go into a prototyping phase using HTML5 to see if what I have on paper does turn out to be fun. Just to recap from my earlier post in the week the game has to adhere to the following:

1. The game must be social and will be available for the common platforms of the day e.g. Facebook, iPhone & Android

2. The game must relatively small in development terms to alleviate risk, has to be releasable within 6 months

3. The game mechanic must incorporate viral messaging to promote marketing

4. The game must be simple to pick up and hard to put down (of course, this is probably a near impossible task)

5. The game must earn money (we will leave it as loosely defined as that for the time being)

6. The game must be released as early as possible, using an agile release early release often methodology.

Right, I’d better get cracking as I’ve also got to do some extra homework before I can start talking to Eugene Jarvis – you can see what that entails in one of the pictures 😉

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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