September 2, 2007 4:02 PM | Simon Carless
As we've previously noted, Junction Point head honcho and Deus Ex creator Warren Spector now has a game design blog, and his newest post looks at a multitude of issues, the most interesting being a recollection (from a GDC design talk) of his own internal meters for the criteria he applies to each of his game concepts.
As he comments, in the design talk "...I revealed for the first and only time the Seven Questions I always ask myself to determine if an idea is worth pursuing. You know the really weird thing? I don’t even tell my teams about this — I go through this exercise alone, evey time, every game." The Seven Questions are:
"1. What are we trying to do? What’s the core idea?
2. What’s the potential? Why do this game over all the others we could do?
3. What are the development challenges? Really hard stuff is fine — impossible or unfundable? Not so good…
4. Has anyone done this before? If so, what can we learn from them? If not, what does that tell us?
5. How well-suited to games is the idea? There are some things we’re just not good at and shouldn’t even attempt. A love story, for example!
6. What’s the player fantasy and does that lead to good player goals? If the fantasy and the goals aren’t there, it’s a bad idea.
7. What does the player do? What are the “verbs” of the game?"
A good set of questions - Spector ends by noting: "If I can’t answer the questions above, or the answers come out negative, the idea never makes it to the next stage — conceptualization. If the answers are positive — if there are good reasons to make the game, the development challenges aren’t too bad, the idea is well-suited to the medium... we move on to concepting and the real fun begins."