Define Your Game Concept
A GDD is a game producer’s bible; it provides the team with guidance on how, when, and what needs to be done. Without it, you’ll most likely miss a key step in your process or leave your team (and yourself) asking a lot of questions along the way.
We used this free resource as a template for our initial game concept. The great thing about a GDD is it forces you to critically think about your game in minute detail from multiple perspectives:
· from a user-level by describing your game and the player’s mindset;
· from a developer’s perspective by defining the mechanics of your game;
· from a graphic artist level by preparing a list of game assets that you’ll need,;
· and from an overall game producer’s perspective by considering the “whole package” – from the UI to your game’s soundtrack.
One thing that relieved some of the burden of getting started was knowing that the GDD starts off as a draft. It’s more like a GDDD. Don’t get overwhelmed and think you have to have all the answers from the get-go. Our first GDD was only half-filled. We were able to complete the initial sections of the document in detail, including screen shots of similar games that helped to solidify the game we were trying to build. Over time and multiple iterations, that extra D drops off and becomes the script to go by.
The second half, the developer-heavy portion of the GDD, required us to do some homework before we could get started.
Learn the Language
Though we have experience with agile development practices, it did us no good without having a better understanding of the elements that make up a mobile game. Below are the resources that we’ve found helpful.
· Creating a working prototype of your game
· Designing game assets (elements of your game such as the characters, environments, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) like buttons or icons, music, and sprites (animated images)
· Determining which monetization strategy to use
· Game development with Unity or other tools such as Unreal Engine, Marmalade, or Corona SDK.
· App Store Optimization (ASO) Tactics
In our next post, we’ll talk more about how we found artists and developers to help bring our game concept to reality. Until then, what other resources would you recommend for first-time game developers?