2.2 – Deciding the Genre

I would recommend that before you even turn on your computer and fire up WED that you sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. You will need them to begin piecing together what will become a sort of design document. Keep in mind any requirements and restrictions you have and then begin a sort of brain storming. I knew, for example, that the game I was designing was only going to have two levels. This meant I had to come up with something simple and yet interesting enough to keep someone’s attention. I also knew that the core of the game was a first person shooter. This meant some very traditional elements should be maintained in the game.

With pencil and paper in hand I began to write down ideas. The first thing I did was decide on the genre of the two levels. I had been developing a lot of “ancient” levels lately and so I chose something futuristic as the basis for the game. After that I moved on to deciding what the objective of the game itself was.

I decided that the object was twofold; to stay alive despite enemies and to retrieve an object or objects to complete the game.

I now had made some very basic decisions and so it was time to flesh them out a little more. What sort of “futuristic” level was this? Was it a devastated post-apocalyptic world that the player would adventure in or some sort of fancy hi-tech area where everything was clean and sterile? And what would the object be that the player was to collect and what part would it play in the overall game? I only had two levels to play with so I thought these decisions would be very important.

I decided the first level should be a sort of control room with a few teleportation devices there. One would be working and one would not. The working teleportation device would teleport the player to another level where he would retrieve an item that would make the other teleporter work. Getting the other teleporter to work and stepping through it would win the game. From this very simple idea The Test began to take shape.

Aliens had abducted you and they had decided to test you. The test was simple. Make the other teleporter work and stepping through it would send you home. Failure would spell your death. It was a simple idea but, remember, I only had two levels to play with ? .

Now that I had a core idea I began to think about what objects to use. I decided that each teleporter was operated by two crystals. The non-working teleporter was missing both and they would be hidden away in the other level and protected by something that was dead set on killing you.

Return to Part 2.1 - Deciding the Genre
Go to Part 2.3 - Doing the Research