Monday, 20 September 2010

RotM - Nearing the end of a great journey

It's been a while since my last blog post so to sum up, I've been putting the finishing touches to map by adding meshes to the area.  The hardest thing that I am finding is locating appropriate assets provided with the game that suit the style of my map.

I also realise that although I spent a lot of time researching the look of my pyramid, I didn't fully look into what should be within the corridors.  So the last of my time is being spent populating the corridors of the pyramid and the tomb before I do the exterior and interior lighting before the final playtest. Well...that's the plan anyway.

One-Page Designs

As I'm trying to diligently create a lot of content for my portfolio it is important for me to not only create a lot of high quality designed games and levels but also to show that I can document my ideas and levels to a high standard.  Unfortunately, creating comprehensive design documents takes a lot of time and (as I'm working to a deadline) this will eat away at my time to actually develop these games considerably.

I do want to demonstrate that I can create great documents that support the fantastic games that I make but alas what could I do?  The answer came to me in the form of a tweet by Matt Glanville (thanks so much!).  He'd read a blog post by Josh Sutphin, a Lead Game Designer at Lightbox Interactive, which talked about a great way to fully document games - One-Page Designs.  This idea was brought to Josh's attention by Stone LiBrande, Creative Director at EA/Maxis who did a talk on this subject this year at GDC.

Using this method the designer would fully document sections of the game i.e. the UI, game mechanics or map layout and encounters using diagrams, icons, story boards etc practically anything apart from  paragraphs of text.  Apparently this method is more appealing to readers and they are more likely to read the one page rather than a one hundred page document.  I'm not sure how true this is (although I'm sure that it's not far wrong) as I haven't used this method yet, but over the next few months I will be using this method to document the various small games and maps that I'll be creating as they will save me time and provide me with documentation for my portfolio.

If you've used this method of documentation before please let me know your thoughts.