Lonely Gamer

Gaming for those who hate other people.

Posts Tagged ‘work

Designing a Design Document…

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Whew. I just finished writing my first game design document, for Pacifist. It’s about twelve pages long and I wrote it all today, after I got back from a BBQ at a friends. Effort.

I’ve done all that writing for a reason though – I’ve somehow managed to drum up a bit of interest for the idea of Pacifist and have abused my position as a games journalist to get a coder or two on board from within the Bit-tech community.

In my job, I often get people saying things along the lines of “Yeah, but it must get pretty dull after a while, right? You play games all day, but it must take the fun out of the games you actually want to play, right?”

The answer is always no, it doesn’t. I get paid to play games, then write about them. That shit never gets dull when you only have three hobbies in life; drinking and the two previously mentioned activities. It occasionally creates a bit of hassle, yeah, but as long as I have a USB stick I can bring my savegames home from the office and keep gaming here. Ace!

Game design on the other hand is a different story and, though writing the design document hasn’t made this prospect any less exciting assuming it gets off the ground, writing that much about it has muted by vigor somewhat. I’m still eager to go and full of shit and salt (and piss and vinegar), but after writing paragraph after paragraph about how the Main Menu links to the Help page, I’m a little tired. Wasted actually.

On the other hand, it really does help bring your vision into focus. I had the idea for Pacifist when I was walking to work one day and I thought it would be cool to have a game built around pacifism because, hey, you could make a cool arty game out of it with a subtext about Tibet, right? It was loose and flabby.

By writing this Design Document though I’ve been able tone that flabby idea right up, changing a concept around several times to something I think could actually work.

And that brings all the excitement flooding back.

Out, LG.


Written by Joe Martin

May 11, 2008 at 8:02 pm

This Blog…

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I have two blogs now. One for my personal stuff and this one. This one is supposed to be more about games – specifically singleplayer games (hence the title) since these are what I’m most interested in. Here I’ll be chronicling the games I’m playing, what I think of them and so on. I’ll be going in more of an analytical and art direction than I do when I’m at work and I’ll be looking mainly at classic games – think more Deus Ex than BioShock.

I’ll also be posting links to some work I do in my day job as a games journalist for bit-tech.net and, in that vein, I link to this – an article by Mark Morris of Introversion about how to start your own games studio. It’s part of an on-going series of articles on the topic by the folks at Introversion, with this one looking at how to generate ideas for a game.

I’m not an industry analyst so I’m not going to compare different business models or analyse case studies, but I’m going to dig into my mind, and the minds of my pals in the industry, and try to build a guide to ‘doing it the Introversion way’. That’s not because I think we are a perfect company or that we’ve ‘cracked it’, but because I know everything about Introversion and I think we’ve done well for three guys who started out with a small stash of left-over beer money and one potential game idea.

You can read the article here and Digg it here.

That is all, LG.

Written by Joe Martin

April 9, 2008 at 8:07 am