Isomorphism As a Game Design Tool

In the early stages of developing a game, once I have the idea and the feelings of the game down solid, my approach is to throw everything I can think of at the game and see what sticks.

Bubblegum

My early-in-development creative process.

I don’t usually bother fleshing individual ideas out in design documents because it usually takes just as long for me to implement those things and see them in the game instead. And who would want to read about an idea when you can see how it works in the game directly?

During this phase I need to generate lots of different ideas because only some of them are going to stick. The more varied the better, so I like to approach my idea generation from different angles. The two most common approaches are starting from the theme, and starting from the mechanics

For example, in Lasting Legacy, we quickly came up with occupations like Family Doctor or Ball Organizer from the theme, and figured out what useful things they could do in the game (heal people, and attract new friends respectively).

We also came up with several occupations starting from a mechanics point of view. For example, we knew we wanted someone to increase the income of other people, so we came up with the Savvy Businessman occupation.

This time around I also used a third approach to generate ideas: Isomorphism.

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Using SQLite to Organize Design Data

I haven’t written purely about tech in a long time, but this is a particularly interesting intersection of tech and game design, so I thought I would share it with everybody. Be warned though: This is one of those posts that’s just about the thought process I went through for something and the solution I reached. I’m most definitely not advocating this solution for everybody. Think about it and pick the solution that works for you the best.

By now you’ve probably heard of Lasting Legacy: you’re managing a family around the 19th century through several generations, socializing, choosing good marrying prospects, and helping family members pick an occupation. Ah, occupations…

Tutor

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Lasting Legacy Dev Update #2: Head of the Family and Legacy

This week’s video covers the concept of head of the family and what exactly is legacy and how to obtain it. We’re also continuing the same family as last time. Will Fanni become the heir, or will childless Peter bring the lineage to an end?

I managed to keep things shorter than last time, so this one is only 12 minutes. For those of you who prefer text updates, don’t worry, we’ll have one of those next week.

Lasting Legacy Dev Update #1

Here’s the first video dev update for Lasting Legacy. We go over the basic gameplay.

It’s a whopping 19 minutes long, so I may have overdone it a bit! I’ll try to keep it shorter for future updates.

Since this is the first time we’re doing this, any feedback is appreciated. Would you like to see more of these in the future? What should the focus be? Any technical issues I should improve?