Exploring Game Design Pitfalls through patterns : Experiences when making our first game

University essay from Högskolan på Gotland/Institutionen för speldesign, teknik och lärande

Abstract: The purpose of this report is to analyze what went wrong with the adventure game project called Fairytale, I started together with 4 of my fellow university students at Gotland University, spring 2007. My ambition with this report is to enlighten problems in game design that arose during the game development process in order to prevent others from making the same mistakes. The problems are analyzed according to game design patterns defined by Björk, S. and Holopainen, J. (2005). Patterns in Game Design. Boston, Massachusetts. Jenifer Niles. The game was exhibited to the public at Gotland Game Awards 2007, Leipzig Game Developers Conference 2007, Tekniska Museet 2007, Almedalsveckan 2008 and Gotland Game Awards 2008. The results of the report show that redesigning already finished game features means a lot of troubles in relation to its dependency on other game elements. The key abilities of the main character were vaguely defined since the beginning of the project which caused problems with earlier designed levels whenever a new item was introduced. The terrain of the prior levels didn’t match the abilities of the new items, which forced changes to be made. The biggest mistake with this project was that finished game elements never were considered final. My role in the project was the solo game programmer and co-designer. I shared the designing tasks together with Annika Fogelgren who also was the producer of our team. Albertina Sparrhult, Emma Johansson and Marie Viberg were our core graphic artists. Together, we created the Fairytale game.

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