The Spirit Realm from The Amber Spyglass (work C/O Jown Howe)

I have a meeting with friends to work on a game idea tonight, and we’ve been asked to design baddies/weapons/environments.  This simple request has been helping me figure out my skillset incredibly well.

1)  I can’t draw.  Period.  I cant event make a clear sphere.  So actually designing the baddies has been a disaster.
BUT

2)  That lead me to thinking a lot about how baddies would integrate and reflect their environment.  If they evolved on this planet with this ground and this gravity, how would they move.  And in a game, how could a small change in the environment change your weapons?  The villains you are fighting?  And even your basic mission there?  And this I found a lot of fun.  (Clearly we’re thinking about a space-themed game).

AND

3)  From thinking about the environment and the type of baddies that might be there, I could better think of the sorts of weapons that might work on place and not another, how their functionality would change, and what you could do with even just 2/3 core weapons (Knife, object shooter (bullets, explosives, etc.), and energy shooter (laser, freeze ray, flame thrower, or even gravity changer).

And even earlier in this process, I found that it’s hard for me to think of the theme of games and the core mechanic,  but that I have a lot of fun finding variations on a theme.

LESSON FOR OTHERS:  Give at least a little time to any potentially relevant project.  Notice when you find something hard to do or frustrating, and ask why.  Decide whether it means you need practice, or whether it’s just not in your skillset.

I’ve found the baddies really hard to do – too specific a request.  So I think about the environments, and how I could

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