Chapter 3. Introduction To Game Design

Before we jump in and start building our game, I want to cover the basics of game design.

What is Game Design?

When we talk about game design, we are not referring to the visual style of the game, but the actual gameplay mechanics themselves. Game design in its own right is an art form, and probably one of the most challenging parts of making any game. This is where you take an idea and not only transform it into a physical game that others can play, but also make sure the game is fun and well-balanced. The first step to designing a game usually starts with a game design document (GDD).

GDDs come in many shapes and sizes. Some people scribble them down in notebooks as drawings or use index cards. More traditionally, this is a multi-page text document containing the general concept of a game and its core mechanics that attempts to answer some basic questions about how the actual game works. At the very least, it should give the reader a clear idea of how the game will work and feel.

The GDD is critical for people getting started with making games because, without the experience of multiple games under your belt, it is easy to create something so complex and time-consuming that you will never be able to finish it. The GDD helps keep you on track and is an anchor to the core values of your original idea. This doesn’t mean that it is set in stone, but thinking through as much of the interaction as possible before writing any code will go a long way ...

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