Get the latest Education e-news
 

Go Back   Game Career Guide Forums > Other > Collaborate
Forum Home Register Members List Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-15-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
bittman
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss62
Lightbulb 100 Designers for the Greatest Game Ever (un)Made!

100 Designers for the Greatest Game Ever (un)Made!


Ok, so I might be taking a bit of liberty with the number, as I’ll explain later, but one hundred always sounds far more impressive than anything with two digits, and who knows hey? So maybe “Greatest Game Ever unMade” is a better Project title?

Also a bit egotistical aiming for greatest ever, so sue me.


Background

Given the harsh economic times and numbers of skilled Game Developers out of work, it’s really never been such a poor time to be a potential designer. With probably a large portion of workers looking for a position in game design, myself included, what we end up with is a highly competitive and rarely advertised position where large numbers of potentially skilled applicants are left behind.

So it had me thinking over the last couple of weeks “I wonder if I could gather all these designers and make a game using sheer brute force?” However, the idea didn’t take much headway in my mind given that designers love exceptionally creative and original ideas that they often cannot develop on their own unless we’re some kind of omnipotent god child of game development. But what if we could still gather together and do something magically magnificent?

What if all us budding Game Designers could design the Greatest Game Ever Made, without having to worry about making it?

Overview

My plan is simple, yet potentially complicated. What I’d love to do here is collect a whole bunch of designers to design a game of unparalleled scale and quality, but really go no further than writing a Game Design Document.

Game Designers Unite!

Before, when I said “a whole bunch of designers”, I really mean at least ten (10) of us to actively develop a design document. From experience, anything less could mean that when people leave (and people always leave), I could be left with a massive Game Design Document to write myself. I already have this expectation that something like 20-50% of anyone who puts their name down will leave without explanation, though for potentially valid reasons.

On the other end of the scale, I really have no limit to numbers that could work with this project. There could potentially be 100 designers interested in this, or more given the number I know are probably lurking out there and so I’ll have this project run to accommodate size even if we don’t end up getting it. Any designer of any skill level can apply here, though do take note of the core design rule we’ll be going by:

“You aren’t the only one with ideas.”

This is a collaborative effort of game designers, run by designers for designers. Even if you’re experience rivals Will Wright, this project aims to allow minds to congregate, discuss ideas and design accordingly rather than simply throwing into the document what they think is a great idea. Don’t enter this project if you believe yourself unable to compromise and take some criticism, but also don’t join to “teach those newbie designers a thing-or-two”. I somewhat had the idea that real companies rarely have just one designer calling all the shots, but I doubt any company has anything like the scale I imagine this could have. Still, the point that no designer’s opinion here is absolute stands firm.

Development

So first things first, I plan for this to take some time. Since we aren’t going to just be writing up a design document with the first few good ideas that come to mind and we’re aiming for a game design that cannot be paralleled, ‘some time’ might be an understatement.

I would like to keep this project proposal up for about a month from today (16th November – 16th December) to gather members and answer any queries people may have. Even then, we begin to strike somewhat close to Christmas, so there will probably be a slow start associated with the project. However, there is some sort of a design-development plan (though it doesn’t really adhere to dates).

The plan is as follows:
  1. Gather team, setup tools for communication and development of design.

    a. Tools may include a wiki, mailing list, forums, chatrooms, etc
  2. Before Design, agree on format of Game Design Document

    b. By agreeing on the format without concerning ourselves with game design, we can test communication and collaboration with one another and set the groundwork for the project.
  3. General Design Phase

    c. Rough discussions and decisions are made with the goal to decide what our game will actually be about without delving into specifics.
  4. Structured/Team-based Design Phase

    d. Breaking off into teams to concentrate on specific parts of the design document (e.g. a team for plot, a team for mechanics, etc).
  5. Quality Assurance and Sign-off[indent]
    e. The Final stage where the document comes together and the team signs-off on all design.[indent]

Preferably we can all discuss most design decisions, but at the end of the day work will need to get done and some enormous design document will need to be written, hence the team breakup once a lot of the primary decisions are made. What I expect is some sort of mailing list or forum threads to keep everyone in the loop, however generally try to limit discussion to the team members. Of course design documents will require teams to communicate and work together as required. No point in designing some enormous map with great jump platforms and then find out game mechanics aren’t allowing the player to jump. The integration and collaboration may be a challenge, but hopefully we can throw a whole bunch of designers at the problem. Designers love solving problems!

Management

So obviously some sort of structure needs to be undertaken with all this, else it’s a bunch of chaotic designer’s running around and getting angry with each other. With a potentially large mass, I believe the best solution is a democratic one and votes will matter. Some sort of mechanism where “producers” can be voted in to ‘power’ to ease tensions and help manage the development of the design document. Since I’d like to keep things generally democratic I’d say that producers can also be voted out of power, however open discussion should always be encouraged.

Other than that it might become a bit chaotic. And don’t worry too much about me doing this to have you all in my palm for world domination (I only need a couple of you for that!), I don’t plan to be more than an instigator and fellow designer in the project.

I also think it would be good to mention the sometimes touchy topic of Intellectual Property. I would like to say work that is contributed owns to the group with all credit due, however I’m open to alternative approaches to IP.

(somewhat) Frequently Asked Questions

None so far. Try me.

Closing

So all in all I’ve written two and a half pages outlining a structure that I have no idea how much interest it may or may not generate. As designers we are typically a little selfish and like to keep our potentially-award-winning ideas to ourselves (I know I have once or twice), but what I want to do is gather a bunch of designers to throw stuff into a game design melting pot and see just what may come out the other end. Size of the team will determine size of the document and thus size of the game we’ll design. Though generally, if this has any size at all what we’ll probably end up designing is an infinite-budget technology-independent game.

After all, the aim here is to make the Greatest Game Ever unMade. Can’t do that with a budget or skill limitations.

Anyway, let me know if you have any comments or questions (I look forward to both). I don’t plan to even kickstart this for a month, so there’s time to maybe polish the above plan or gather more people from other sources. If you think it’s a crap idea, let me know. If you think it’s good, let me know. If you’re interested, see below. If you think I should throw this idea on other forums, let me know. Came here first because I know there are designers here given the great entries to design challenges I see (and have entered for once or twice).

If you have any private queries, send me a private message here or an email (abittman@gmail.com). My office is always open.

Collaborators

Sounds like a fiendish word, but what follows is a list of people interested in the project for tallying and record purposes. If anyone interested could leave their details in a format as follows, that would be great:

Name: Andrew Bittman
Contact: (not required for now, can't hurt though I don't spam) abittman@gmail.com
Other details: (not required) Project Manager / Lead Designer of a small indie team generally scattered around Australia. No professional experience. Work best with team-based projects and always open to better ideas.
  1. Andrew Bittman (bittman)
  2. Aaron Yip (Yipperpants)
  3. Devin Becker (mzo)
  4. Jakub Rokosz (Talanar)
  5. Scott McCabe (Cabe6403)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Personal Mission Statement
There is nothing irrelevant to Game Design.

Last edited by bittman : 01-17-2010 at 03:47 PM.
bittman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 08:45 AM   #2
Yipperpants
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss22
Location: Atlanta, GA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bittman View Post
Other than that it might become a bit chaotic.
Sounds fun XD.

Name: Aaron Yip
Contact: ayip3(at)gatech.edu
Other details: Student of Computational Media at Georgia Institute of Technology. No professional experience. Plenty of casual experience modding games, playing games, designing games, playing games, daydreaming about designing games, playing games, arguing about games. Favors constructive debates and team-orientated designing.

and an interesting, encouraging article from Gamasutra:
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2...g_Approach.php

Last edited by Yipperpants : 11-16-2009 at 06:48 PM.
Yipperpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
bittman
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss62
Default

Always thought the "fail early, fail often" was a solid concept, but I understand how it's not a good principle when a deadline is looming over your shoulder.

Well so far it's two people, 90-something views and no questions. Right now we're at the level of designing an iPhone app, hehe. Pondering throwing this on IGDA forums also, not sure where else should be on my list. (ponders further)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Personal Mission Statement
There is nothing irrelevant to Game Design.
bittman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2009, 09:35 PM   #4
mzo
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss1
Default

I'm interested.

Name: Devin Becker
Contact: mzomzo@gmail.com
Other details: Perpetual game design student and designer on a couple small indie games. Enjoy working with other designers, always good to get new ideas
mzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #5
bittman
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss62
Default

Whoops hadn't checked this thread for a bit (been really busy).

Seems we're not getting a whole lot of members. And coming up to xmas most people are busy anyway. I still think it will be a good idea to get going, and I might promote it more to start sometime in january after NYE and XMAS die down.

Also: Google wave. Most likely that's what we'll use to do it.

Again: Won't start till the new year (and even then mid- / late- january). Keep letting me know if you're interested regardless, interest makes me happy.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Personal Mission Statement
There is nothing irrelevant to Game Design.
bittman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 04:28 AM   #6
Talanar
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss3
Default

why the hell not, sign me in

Name: Jakub Rokosz
contact: rokoszjakub@gmail.com
other details: Afterfall - lead designer, Duke Nukem Critical Mass - gameplay designer, i love doing creative work and would love to see something big happening in the community
Talanar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
Cabe6403
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss1
Default

If this project does manage to kick off I'd love to be involved

Name: Scott McCabe
Contact: Cabe6403 [@] gmail.com
Other details: Masters student in Computer & Electronic Systems (Computer Engineering) - no professional experience. Game player & amateur designer
Cabe6403 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
bittman
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss62
Default

Ok, little bit of interest around. I know I've been a bit slack kicking this into gear, pushed it back to January didn't I? Unfortunately I had a 2 week vacation and have fallen behind on other work. I am still interested in managing this and kickstarting it, later in the week I'll make more efforts to properly promote it and gather everyone together to see what true numbers we will actually get.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Personal Mission Statement
There is nothing irrelevant to Game Design.
bittman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2010, 07:50 AM   #9
Novora
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 15/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss1
Default

Is it fine if I join in now? Because this sounds real interesting! I hope to contribute as much, although I am quite bogged down with work at the moment...

Name: Wesley Kam
Contact: harvestmoon344390@hotmail.com
Other Details: Still taking a Diploma (Game Design and Development). No professional experience, but I work with groups quite often. Plays games or write ideas in my spare time (none of which ever extend out of the border of my notebook though...)

I hope to learn much from all of you!
Novora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2010, 04:11 PM   #10
Architect
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss9
Location: New Zealand
Default

Exactly what I was looking for!

Name: Jarrod Mosen
Contact: architect.aix@gmail.com
Other details: Currently studying the fundamentals of game design, but I'm awesome, which compensates for any lack of skill. Well actually, I love working with people, and I have a grasp of the fundamentals of all aspects of development. Very, very basic fundamentals.
Architect is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:42 PM.






UBM Tech