Game Concepting

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Game Concepting

Every game idea starts with a concept. Working out exactly what a game might be is the very first step.

A video game has a lot of pieces. There’s a lot of work that eventually goes into making one.

You can use the Game Concept Matrix to form your idea.

Game Concept Matrix

The Left side of PLAY has CONTROLS, MECHANICS, GENRE.

The Right side of PROGRESS has CHARACTER, LEVELS, STORY.

From top to bottom, it goes from being specific DETAILS to a wider DIRECTION. 

You can have a game concept start from any one of the six areas. Maybe you want to make an FPS, that means you started your idea at GENRE. Maybe you came up with a cool robot, that means you started at CHARACTER. Or maybe you just think it would be cool to make a game that uses tilting your phone, that means CONTROLS.

You can start a game concept from any of theses sections. To create an entire game concept, you have to decide the other 5 sections and plan out how they would work. Once you know what your concept is, you are more prepared to actually start making the game.

The 6 Sections of the Matrix

Each section covers a different but major part of the Game Concept.

To complete a Matrix, you must fully develop the details of each section. Here are some of the questions you should answer.

Control

  • What do you use as a controller?
  • What do the controller buttons do?
  • Are their controls on the screen that use touch or click?
  • What does the GUI or HUD look like?

Mechanics

  • What can you do? What are your abilities?
  • How do your abilities affect the game, level or other characters?
  • How do you win? How do you lose health or lease the game?
  • What is something unique or new about your game?

Genre

  • What kind of game is it?
  • What other games are like it?
  • Is it a mix of genres?
  • Genre examples are: First Person Shooter, Real Time Strategy, Survival, etc.

Character

  • Who is it that the player controls?
  • What do they look like? Is it customizable?
  • How does the character act? Do they have a personality?
  • Do they have weapons or abilities that help during the game?

Levels

  • Where is it played?
  • Are levels linear or open world?
  • What are the goals and obstacles in the game? Enemies? NPCs?
  • How many levels or areas? Do they have themes? Biomes?

Story

  • What is the past of the character?
  • What is their current goal? What prevents/stops that goal?
  • What are major events in the story?
  • How does it end or resolve?

The Activity

To complete this activity, you have to create out a Game Concept Matrix for a game that make up. This shows you understand this Matrix. 

We will be using MindMUP to make our Matrix. It won’t look exactly like the Matrix but it allows you to document big ideas on a computer.

Here’s an example of a mindmap I made of Mario. It’s not orignal of course-

https://atlas.mindmup.com/vgdc/super_mario_bros_/index.html

Click here to start-

https://app.mindmup.com/files-gold.html

Click sign in and then hit this button

Use the following as the account name and password-

vgdc

Mindmapvgdc2020!

Create yours to look something like this-

Inside the map, you must select one of the two areas and create at least 3 visual picturesfor that idea. You can post images inside the map. They can be a prototype in Scratch, a character drawing, sound effects, a map level, the GUI.

Again, here’s what you need to do:

  1. map of your own idea
  2. Create 3 visuals for your idea, can’t just be copy and paste of other images

Once you are done, download your map and upload to this activity for approval.