THIS IS HOW WE DESIGN AND DEVELOP GAMES
We believe in iterative game production. This means that we test and refine our products as many times as possible from the very beginning to post-production.
MAPPING THE NEEDS
We co-create our games together with our customers and end users. This is why our game design process always begins with a meeting or a workshop. Using service design methods, we aim at producing a comprehensive map of our customer’s needs and goals as well as solutions of how these needs will be met and goals realized. Based on the co-created map, we give our vision – including the budget and timetable – for the design and development of the game.
End product: vision
CREATING THE CONCEPT
Our game design process consists of several overlapping components, all of which are scalable to meet each project’s individual needs.
First, we need to define a concept for the game. This includes delineating the purpose of the game from the user’s perspective. We analyse the target user groups and the most common use cases and use scenarios. Knowing who the players are and how they play is a prerequisite for designing purposeful and engaging games.
Second, we need to have an idea about the logic, user interface and content of the game.
Designing a smoothly running game requires defining and prioritizing its core functions. Depending on the concept, this might also include designing the goal structure and levels of the game. After delineating the functionality, we define the tools with which the player interacts with the game. We visualize the placement and interaction of the UI elements in individual screens and navigation between the screens.
An engaging game is written carefully. Content design and production is an essential part of our design process. We start creating the educative, entertaining and purposeful texts already during conceptual design. Writing a game includes creating both info texts and the storyline and dialogue of the game.
End product: game concept
The game concept is described in the design document. This document provides the initial outlines of the game. The conceptual models of the logic, UI wireframes and manuscripts will be collected in the document. The document will be distributed to both the customer and the developers. The initial look-and-feel of the game UI is also included in the document.
The design document is not a set blueprint but a starting point. The document is updated continuously in parallel with development. The design document is reviewed after every iteration cycle.
DEVELOPING THE GAME
The production phase consists of producing the visuals and developing the game.
We aim at creating high-quality visuals in every one of our game projects. Producing game visuals or real-time computer graphics include generating and optimizing 3D models of buildings and multiple other game objects, designing and creating 2D graphics such as textures and UI elements and animating all moving characters and objects. High quality visuals are paramount for an immersive environment in which the game will play out.
Efficient and regular communication throughout the development phase is our utmost priority. One iteration cycle lasts about 2 weeks. After every cycle, a build version is produced for user testing. In addition, we constantly test the game prototype with our developers and designers.
End product: game prototype
ITERATING AND USER TESTING
We include extra iteration cycles whenever they are needed. We may refine the concept with the customer. We may test a prototype with users. We may produce a heuristic analysis of a build’s usability. We may test the final build with users before and after actual publication. The more we test, the better the results.
End product: updated design document and/or updated game
PUBLISHING THE PRODUCT
When the final build of the game is ready, we will take care of its publication. We will maintain and update the game according to a plan made with the customer. Further user testing and analytics is also possible.
End product: published game