So we have talked a little bit about card design, story writing and what not in previous articles. This time we thought we could share how we use tools to streamline and improve our game design process. Let us assume you wanted to design a progression system for abilities, right?
The recommended way is to think about all abilities you would want through out the game. You then have to figure out what unit a particular ability applies to, which core mechanic it affects, units of certain type and so on. Another thing to keep in mind is what even it will trigger, resource cost, research time, achievement or whatever trigger is required to unlock an ability. You then try organizing it into a tree of some kind by drawing a logical sequence or writing it.
Now, if you wanted to learn more about the unit that is related to an ability you would have to scroll through the paper, edit text and change the photoshop file if it is fancy visual ability tree. If you understood my point, you probably understand it becomes a tedious task to edit, change, balance and update everything in a game design document.
As for numbers such as damage or time, it comes later on when testing and balancing occurs. But what do you do as things change and you need to update things? Again, very tedious to keep track of these things!
Imagine a complicated version of this ability tree.
Ability 1 – Ability 2 – Ability 4 – Ability 6
\ / \ /
Ability 3 – Ability 5 – Ability 7
Now, imagine this is related to a unit called Soldier which has these stats
Attack: 10, Damage 10, Range 10, Armor 10, Shield 10 and Movement 10.
Now imagine that attack, damage and range is defined by a weapon, armor and shield is defined by an armor which has a name by Assault Rifle and Light Armor, which has their own basic stats that builds upon the unit Soldier.
Phew! Confused right? And all the BOLD makes it more messy in an attempt to highlight key things!
Well, this is why we use articy:draft when designing our game as it replaces traditional game design writing in a document to visual custom design templates; which can be exported to a very solid game design document later!
Here is a 14 min video showing a quick example of how we could design an ability tree, unit and weapon quicker and more organized then we did before!