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I am looking for a list of questions that helps me to get my idea to a clear game vision. I heard and read about "world book" or "game bible" - a document where everything is documented. But what is everything?

Even at Udemy are no courses that take care of the pre production process of game development. Since I am a lead dev and project lead in online products, I might have a clue how to develop products - but that is kinda different to games.

So is there a check list game designers use to see if their idea is good/bad? I know I could start with pen and paper before I do anything digital - but that still does not help me to know what is important to prove my idea.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If my question is not clear enough, please help me with comments to clarify it. \$\endgroup\$ – Jurik Nov 18 '16 at 15:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems a clear enough question, but it's too open to opinion and is very broad. As such, it's a great topic for discussion in Game Development Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 18 '16 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, would it be better when I give an example of questions and ask for more of this kind? \$\endgroup\$ – Jurik Nov 18 '16 at 16:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Way too broad and also way too opinion-based. It depends on the game you are making, your audience, and what you want to do in the end. Do you plan for commercial viability or is it a hobby project? What platforms are you targeting? What audience? What type of game? A puzzle game has different design requirements than an RPG, which has different requirements from an FPS. Market research - if you plan to commercially release the game - is the market flooded with that type of game? Are you just making a clone of a game that already has 100 clones? Too many questions to answer here. \$\endgroup\$ – Jesse Williams Nov 18 '16 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ OK - find a dozen interviews with game developers and designers where they are asked the question "what are the most important first steps in designing a game", and I would be utterly SHOCKED if you didn't get a dozen distinct answers. They may have overlap, but different people work in different ways. Individuals work differently than groups. Even people in different cultures work and organize themselves differently. It is COMPLETELY opinion-based. The same goes for the question, "how do I start writing a novel?". Some authors write notes and sketch ideas, some authors literally outline \$\endgroup\$ – Jesse Williams Nov 18 '16 at 17:50
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I would say this is a fairly opinion-based question, and a mod may elect to close it as off-topic for this site, but since I'm not a mod, I'll give it a shot anyway:

  • Setting (places, overarching themes, level of realism, etc.)
  • Core Mechanics (what do you want players of your game to -do-? very high level, e.g, for a game like Borderlands, it might be, "Complete quests while finding tons of awesome loot")
  • Character sketches (high level ideas for what characters you may want to incorporate)
  • Quest/Plot ideas (high level ideas for things the characters will see/do)
  • Storyboarding/high level progression ideas (how does the game progress? are there forks in the playthrough? etc.)
  • Art direction ideas ("realistic appearance", "cartoony", etc.)
  • Sound ideas ("Should feel like {music genre/band examples", etc.)
  • Single player or Multiplayer?
  • Online or Offline?
  • Number of players, if multiplayer
  • Overarching project plan (is it a self-contained game? Do you need modding support? etc?)

...basically, it should be a reference for you/your team, to track, consider, brainstorm, and ultimately, make key choices about the game. It's not really about subscribing to a specific philosophy/mechanism for this information, but rather, putting it all down in a way that makes sense to -you-/-your team-.

I would say, the main questions to ask yourself about whatever approach you choose, would be:

  • Does this keep me focused on what I -really- want the game to be?
  • Can I understand the format it's in, and can my team?
  • Can I easily track/note changes to the scope, concepts, etc.?
  • Is it in a format I'm inclined toward keeping up to date?

Personally, I use notes on my Blackberry for this, but what you track, and how you track it, depends on what's important for -you-, as the project lead/designer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer shows why the question is off topic. It's a list; it's not a well-defined correct answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 18 '16 at 16:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Almo - I agree with you, and noted that in the opening line of my post. But given that this question is asking for guidance/suggestions, and not, "do my work for me", I'd much rather try to help, than pretend I'm a moderator. Feel free to downvote if you're so inclined. I have no intention of editing my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – darkside Nov 18 '16 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jurik - it's exactly what you imagine it is :) It's a text based list, with arbitrary headings. \$\endgroup\$ – darkside Nov 18 '16 at 16:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @darkside you degrade the quality of the site when you do this. It would descend into the chaos you see on forums if we didn't enforce the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 18 '16 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ The mod agrees and has closed the question. Please follow the guidance on the help center to see what kinds of questions are allowed here. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 18 '16 at 18:23

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