Daily Game Design Practice: Week of 10/09/2017

Another week full of game design is on the horizon. Lots of playful creation to look forward to!

Ready to jump in for the first time? Here’s your survival kit.

Daily practice prompts for this week:

  • Successful selling. Watch a game trailer or Kickstarter video for a game that’s doing particularly well. What do you think makes the video stand out? What’s notable about it? Why do you think it resonates with people? Alternatively, do you think the game is succeeding despite the video?
  • Randomized reading. Once again, we’re going to read a random page from one of the books on our game design reading list. There’s a lot of commitment involved in starting a book from the beginning. Circumvent your blockers by jumping in anywhere!
  • Constructive construction. Manipulation and modification of objects in physical space makes the brain work in different ways than manipulating or modifying digital objects. Stretch your mind today with a physical activity — specifically, papercraft or origami. If you’re an expert, learn a new way to enjoy the craft. If you’re a beginner, experiment with different paper folds and cuts.
  • Play away the day. Today’s prompt is all about fun. Find a way to play that doesn’t involve games. For example, engage with a toy or other item that brings enjoyment without creating or following rules of behavior. Make sure that your activity of choice doesn’t have a goal, and that you’re not actively solving any problems. Productivity, achievement and progress are forbidden!
  • Lost in translation. Translate a paragraph of the rules for your game (or a game you’ve recently played) into Norwegian. Then Polish. Then Japanese. Then Portuguese. (Or at least five different languages of your choice). Then back to your native language. What does this show you about the conception of your mechanics in the perspective of a different culture?
  • Put it in writing. Most games involve the written word in some form, whether it’s the title of a board game on the box, written rules, character dialog, or instructions during a digital in-game tutorial. The way those words appear can have a big effect on how they’re perceived. Play around with the style in which you write today. Small letters, big letters, tight spacing, fast and loose, smooth, jagged, light lines, heavy bolding — every aspect of lettering has an effect.
  • Live or die as one. We’ve spent time playing games competitively and seeing how the spirit of competition can affect how people approach games. Today, we’re going to play a cooperative game. A game where you play against the mechanics instead of against your friends isn’t necessarily less competitive — so pay attention to the similarities and differences with how the game plays.

I hope this playful week treats you well. I’ll be working alongside you during your practice — follow on Twitter or Instagram. And hit me up if you have questions or want to share your progress!