What are some early exercises and tactics for starting a new design?
Formalize your inspiration and vision. Make some notes on what is exciting you about this game. Visually sketch out a scene in your head or write it out as lines of dialogue. Other techniques include: mockup a possible cover for an eventual book; sketch a character sheet; make art-direction notes
Try analog mind-mapping: sketching, making lists, arranging reference material on a table, post-it notes and notecards, or any other method that attaches your hands to your brain without using a keyboard.
Write an example of play from the perspective of “here’s what play should sound like.” Fill it back in with notes on mechanics and structure to get play to sound like that.
Analyze the “inputs” and “outputs” for a specific moment of play. What do the players need to already have? What does play revolve around? What needs to come out of the scene in order for play to progress? Note which inputs and outputs connect into reward cycles.
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