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Joe Cooper

I just learned this over the course of my learning projects.

With my previous game, we started asking "what's it all about?" and decided to make a game "about Bigfoot", and came up with a story about him being a retired CIA agent, etc. etc. etc. It was all very creative and 15,000 lines of code later it was not a game.

Bigfoot walked around and stuff, but there was no game. There was a shining example of second system syndrome but... Yeah.

We wound up deciding the project couldn't be saved.

My next project (the current one) started along these action lines. I drafted a prototype on paper and played it with people, then I built a Java prototype and finally I am producing a full working model in for iOS.

I decided that I am going to put my art hat on and enrich it with some world building and characters, but understanding that it is a game first set the project on the right course.

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In a "metrics" kind of way, visual design helps to understand the game's reach, but the action oriented design helps to understand how retention will work.

Since usually marketing people and execs won't play the game and only care about its reach -and it's the only metric they care for their job, specially when monetization equals reach such as in AAA games- the scale can shift on their side. Nevertheless, if you agree that execution matters and have insightful marketing people and/or execs, they'll build creative ways to have great reach while assuring you'll have a good retention.

"They come for the visuals but stay for the gameplay"

Pete

I can't believe you've stolen my design for CetaceaVille.

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As for me, there isn't the best way of making games. We should proceed from the goals. Do you want to make the game with interesting new mechanic? Or maybe create game with unique world? Or maybe your main goal is to find the investors? Or made people wait for your game?

There are a lot of goals. And everyone should be considered individually.

But I also have rule for myself: when making game concept, I should consider both visual and action. Not always it is possible but I try.

Pablo Mera

I agree with KoS. There are many, many starting points/goals for creating a game; actions may not necessarily be the most important.

To me, what you call "Action Oriented Design" is great for prototyping new gameplay features and novel mechanics. But those are like technology: they don't work by themselves, and it's not necessarily true that you can put just any story/art/music on top of them.

I personally prefer what I call "systemic design": making continuous iterations on all elements of the game and the interactions between those elements as to make the whole experience cohesive. It's not "top-down" or "bottom-up", because it considers all elements as equally relevant.

It was a good read anyways. I like to learn how other people approach design. :-)

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