1. [Guest] Surveying the field

      written by Ray Benefield
      Alright peepz, I've been quite busy this past week and as such haven't really posted too much. My apologies. I've been preparing quite a few things though so don't you worry. A big topic on everyone's mind lately is the Halo: Reach beta that opens up next week. This will be the main focus for a lot of my articles in the coming weeks and I will use it to help demonstrate game design in action. However, I am still preparing assets from videos of Reach that have just been released. There's a lot of stuff out there and I want to make sure that I get the best stuff that I can for my posts. Why? Cuz it's super awesome:

      So to *cough* stall for time *cough*, I would like to present an outlook of my good friend, fellow game/level designer, and active reader. Cerberus Beast offers his opinion on how one should set out on their journey of designing games. He has a very strong point, and I plan on bringing this post back up in the future when I discuss the topic myself. Hopefully it gets you thinking. Enjoy...

      Surveying the Field

      By: Cerberus Beast

      Early Outlook

      Now, you've got the general 'feel' of a game environment, but do you have any idea what kind of environment you want to make? You don't even have concept art, much less visual motifs and themes! Let's take a slight detour from shiny visuals and pretty pictures for a moment to delve into some practical concepts to consider when building your game. Understand that there are a variety of genres that you can pick from which to make a game. You could pick from racing, role-playing games, third-person or first-person shooters, massively-multiplayer online games, minigames, real-time strategy games, or whatever the heck you want to make.

      Surveying the Field

      Okay, great, you chose to make an FPS, and you want to make it into a successful FPS. So, what is your first step? Go and play games. Don't just play any FPS though, play the big dogs. Play the games that gave gaming magazine and website editors wet dreams. Play the games that robbed players around the world of the local equivalent of fifty to sixty dollars. Play the behemoths that dominate the industry. Once you've played these for a while, look at two things: Their advertisement and their actually features. One of the big things you'll notice about the FPS's, other than generally solid gameplay (hopefully) and good multiplayer maps, is that each one has unique features that were played up before release to generate hype, and that these features make the games fun.

      'What do you mean?'

      Wait, good games have things that set them apart? The answer is yes. Take Modern Warfare 2. Obviously, it had the first MW and the entire CoD series to give it credibility, but take a closer look. InfinityWard couldn't just make Modern Warfare with different guns , better graphics, and new maps. Sure it would sell. But, they had to innovate to bring in even more players and make current players attach themselves to the game that much more. They brought in selectable killstreaks, deathstreaks, new perks, new weapon attachments, and ultimately new gameplay. This is what sets MW2 apart. Halo 3 had a good reputation for gameplay, but it also had new weapons, new gametypes, and the Forge. It's the things that make a game unique that truly push them above and beyond.


      Regardless of what kind of game you want to make, you have to look at the history of that game. The games that came before any given best-seller today drastically shaped those that followed, and this history must be recognized. The best way to be successful is to be innovative, and the best way to be innovative is to understand what has been done before. Play the games of the past to understand the games of the present. Understand the games of the present to make the games of the future. Cerb out.


      Cerberus Beast said...

      Thanks for the spot, Ray. I just realized that I made some minor typing fails, with an actual becoming an actually and an it becoming a them. No problem though. I'm glad to see that you are back and ready to continue publishing. I have plenty more topics to discuss if you ever need material.

      Prod said...

      Great post as always!

      I missed this, I'm looking forward to more regular posts.

      Bartoge said...

      Too bad for you posting daily record. Anyway, pretty interesting post. Will other people ideas be featured or is this a one time thing, cause I liked it.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      This can be as regular as you guys want it to be... game design and development is a wide spread topic. Everyone has their thoughts and opinions. As long as your topic isn't too far fetched, then I'm all for it. Cerberus feel free to write as much as you want. Who knows, maybe you will become an author of the site one day. My only deal is you don't have as much experience with game design as I would like for an author on the blog. But hey if you become more knowledgeable it would be cool. And Bart I know you have a lot of thoughts on the mind as well. If you feel like you have a good topic to discuss with everyone here hit me up bro.

      Thanks for reading guys... the three of you seem to be my most active readers :). lol...