Tools For Visualizing

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A tool that can help throughout the design process is a flowchart application. We recommend using popular programs, like Visio, Inspiration, or PDQ to lay out the game as a system. Doing this lets you see the structure take shape before your eyes. If you don't have access to a flowcharting tool, you can use index cards on a corkboard, or even quickly sketched boxes on paper.

There's no right or wrong way to visualize your game. In fact, you may want to make several flow charts, some from the perspective of the players, others where the core game mechanics reside at the center and the rules branch outwards, and others illuminating the turn sequence and gameplay arc, whatever helps you to communicate your game to others and to yourself. When you create these flowcharts, have your team in mind. These will help your coworkers comprehend the structure of the game. But actually, you will be the one who benefits the most. Forcing yourself to work through the mechanics and express them in a visual format allows you to better internalize the system you've created, which means you can be more creative later on.

As you analyze and refine the structure, make sure to weed out any nonessential rules that slipped into the design. These are luxuries you must do without. When you're done with this process, your core game mechanics should be clearly defined as a body of rules, methods, and procedures that both link to and shape one another.

At this point you can step back and analyze what you've created. Look at the body of rules. Every one should be essential to the game. At the center, you should have the core game mechanics and around it a clean structure of rules that are required to play a primitive version of what will be the final product.

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Figure 7.15: More physical prototype examples

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Game Design Workshop. Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games
Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, & Playtesting Games (Gama Network Series)
ISBN: 1578202221
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 162

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