Conception

A creative challenge generator and game design toolkit.


The Objective

Create a creative constraint generator that also acts as an aid for Game Designers and UX Designers.

The Users

A game designer/developer who needs a little push while brainstorming. They're likely new to game development and don't know where to start.

 

Read Full Case Study -- Contains complete details on my design process.

Read Reference Doc -- Contains definitions of all terminology used.

 
 
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Design Research

I started by researching games as a medium and the concept of play. I referenced the MDA research paper as the foundation for game design and user experience design concepts, while also unraveling how our current understanding of genres and themes can be clarified. The database of terms that have been defined based on the two weeks of research and documentation can be found here.

 
 

Development

I chose a 1-bit black-and-white color palette to focus on content and output assets quickly. I individually drew all 420+ design term sprites (rather than spelling the term out as a string) so the image can easily act as an interactive object within the application. 

I primarily used the software's drag-and-drop functionality to implement the terms and descriptions due to my limited ability as a programmer at the time. I grouped the terms as needed, and implemented the Generate option by randomly generating a relevant term from the array corresponding to the grouping.

By the end of the fourth week working on the project, I packaged it up and shipped the prototype on itch.io.

 
 
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Takeaways

Conception performed well as my first public prototype, though a good bit can be fixed. The ability to save generated constraints for later was a common request, and the Genre section's UI could use an improvement. I don't think two weeks of research is nearly enough for a project like this; and even if it were perfect, the games industry & community can be resistant to updating naming conventions. Joybloc aims to fix these issues, while also targeting all creatives as a supplemental pocketknife-esque app.

 

© Copyright Robert Desrosiers 2018.