So you want to make a video game? Well..... what's the plan? I mean you have to have a plan! Right?
Well, don't worry too much. I mean I am here to show how video games can be used as an educational tool.
Sometime ago, while sitting in a Barnes and Noble, I came across a game develipment book labeled "Learn How To Develop Games- For Kids!" Well, the book definitely wasn't on a grade school level and tried to teach in a way that would have students bored the death. But I found one useful thing. At the end of the book there was a poorly put together chart on the game design process. I copied that chart down and over the years have edited it to help others understand the game development process.
Whether you're teaching a college course, or grade school level, you can adapt this chart as needed to your students!
Game Development Document
Part 1: The Concept
The High Concept- 1-2 sentences explaining the game. If you cant explain your game in 2 sentences or less then your concept will be lost in translation.
Genre- Is it action or racing? Explain!
Gameplay- is it first or third person? 2D or 3D?
Features- What makes this game different from every other one on the market?
Setting- What is the games world and do you have concept art? How does the setting effect the plot.
Story- Summarize the plot of your game & introduce the hero and villain.
Target- Who is your Target audience and why will this game appeal to them?
Platform- Is it multi-platform?
Estimated schedule, budget and profit/loss
Competitive Analysis- Who is your competition?
Team- What are the credentials of your team?
Part 2: Game Design
This section is about establishing the full story, gameplay, user interface, characters, monsters, A.I. and everything else.
Art Production Plan—Discuss or think about the look and feel of your game. What programs are you going to use to bring the art to life?
Art Bible—Since a plan has been formed, the artistic style must be set in stone. Now it is time to create some more concept art
Production Path—Concept art is just that, concept! It’s time to turn the concept art into actual 3D models.
Technical Design—This is when you talk about how you will program your A.I., environment, controls, etc.
Project Plan—Write out a road map which tells how you are going to build the game (explain what software’s will be used)
Manpower Plan—List your entire team and what each person is doing.
Resource Plan—Explain all external costs of creating the game.
Project Tracking Doc—Keep track of the games production. Duh!!
Development Schedule—How long until the game is finished?
Milestone Definitions—Known as “Deliverables” which are full scale models and sketches of characters and other art.
Part 3: Development
Ahhh! Now we are at the development stage! See how much thought you have to put into a game before you even start making it?
The first order of business is a game prototype. This will be a few stages of the game. We then move into the Alpha & Beta Stages. The Alpha stage is when the game is mostly playable due to it being unfinished and un-fixed glitches. Beta is when the game is finished. You have finished every stage and all the coding/AI is perfect. All that takes place now is fixing all the bugs and glitches that are left over.
We then move into Code Freeze. This is the last days of beta and the master discs or whatever other means of distribution has begun. The game is released!
Part 4: Patches & Upgrades All bug fixes due to hardware or extra content fit into this section.