Day 1: Designing the Game
So day one, and enthusiasm was high.
Today’s job was to work out what we are going to create: to figure out the basic game idea.
We talked about why doing a 3d game wasn’t possible (it would be very difficult for D to do the art), and we agreed he could try something 3d “when I’m 7 or 8”! Then we tackled some basic questions.
1. What style of game shall we make? The options were a platformer (Mario Bros style), or a top-down game (Zelda style). We did some research and looked at lots of video examples of both, and D chose to make a platformer.
2. What is the game about? We brainstormed some ideas: “cave rescue” (D has a book with a cave rescue hero in it), “fighting zombies” (inspired by one of the videos I think), or “circus” (where D went a couple of weeks ago). Mum exercised her veto on the Zombies (“It has to be a game we all want to play!”), and D chose cave rescue from the remaining two.
3. What do you have to do? D’s first reaction was “climb ladders”, but when I asked why, what was the goal?, he immediately said find people in the cave and take them to the doctor.
4. What stops us doing it? We tried to think of lots of things that might be in a cave that could make rescue hard. D came up with: waterfalls, bad fish, jumping frogs, lava, big drops, tall cliffs, and bats.
5. What helps us? Here D got his ladders, but he also suggested we could collect flies to feed to the frogs and fish to make them freindly. He was concerned about getting lost, so maps will also make an appearance.
D’s constellation of platform games orbits the star of Super Mario Bros, so he said that the player should collect stuff. Fair enough, so:
6. What shall we collect? After getting some ideas from Mum, D said fossils and gold. The former, I think, inspired by Animal Crossing (Mum’s favourite game), the latter by Minecraft.
We put the answers on post-it notes and put them on the wall. Here’s a photo of D with his game design.
Next stop: concept art.