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Thursday, November 11, 2010


Design Diary: Piecing Together a Game - Part 1

Hi folks and welcome to what I hope to be the first of many game design diaries. For the uninitiated, this is where I share my thoughts about the process as I bring a game from concept to completion.

Humble Beginnings
The first stage of any game begins with "what am I going to do?" In this case, I was inspired by the artwork in a quilt my wife had made and (as things usually work in my mind) I thought about how one might incorporate that art into a game - specifically one that a so-so programmer such as myself might make. I eventually decided on something similar to the "match-three" gameplay made popular in "Bejeweled."

The next step would normally be to create some rough components to make a test game out of, but since I already had basic code from the time I was teaching myself Actionscript 3, I was ready to proceed to the next step and make some more finished looking pieces for my game. As I didn't want to steal the hard work of any quilters out there, I had to come up with my own art based on what I determined to be traditional quilt blocks. I built these in Photoshop and applied fabric patterns to them so they'd look more authentic. I also added a bit of a bevel to the elements to imitate the "puffiness" of the quilted fabric. As the blocks were going to be small, I didn't spend too much time on making them look realistic.

Then it was only a matter of putting the art into my old code and making adjustments so the final display looked like an actual patchwork quilt. Success! The game worked! However, (as I predicted) it doesn't take long for the game to progress from "this is fun" to "dear lord, please let this agony end!" That's the next step.

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