samedi 22 novembre 2014

MiG : Montpellier in Game | Masterclasses review

Last Friday, I've been to the Montpellier in Game event (MiG). The whole afternoon was dedicated to masterclasses for Game Designer students (and other Video game professions).
The journey was pretty complete, as each masterclass concerned a unique subject. Here are the four subjects approaches :

- Child of Light | Global Game Design in a small Ubisoft team (by Aurélie Debant)
- Watch Dogs | UI Design, modularity and "presentation team" (by Kaermack Polewska)
- Bioshock, Tomb Raider... | Narrative Design - an Emotional journey (by Susan O'Connor)
- Mobile Games | Is the freemium business model a solution ? (by Christian Dussart)

The aim here is not to make a detailed report of the four masterclasses, but actually to take the most important advices I heard, and add them to the creative process I try to set these days.
I'll approach the Mobile Games masterclass (by Christian Dussard) in an other article, as it's less related to the conception process than the three others.

Child of Light | Global Game Design in a small Ubisoft team (by Aurélie Debant)

1 - The research part is as important as the preproduction itself
You'll always have to precisely get the core of your game. But creation rhymes with documentation. Look around. Play. Read.
Inspiration comes with curiosity.

2 - Gamers are friends, not enemies.
Ubisoft use planty of datas during de production. And they also include the playtesters opinion in the creative process.
Who more than gamers could tell you if you're going in the wrong direction ?
Associate playtests with iteration, and you have kind of a magic formular to make games.
Of course, there are Design choices, and you have to hold them strongly. But if they're not fun, what's their purpose ?

3 - Small teams have better communication...
You can more easily work with other devs, level designers, a small team, and as a Game Designer, you have to make the link between these guys. Seems obvious, but always good to hear.

4 - ...but smaller team means multitasking
As a Game Designer in a small team, you'll have to be multitask. Modify variables in the code, place the enemies in the level, test the game to get a global point of view, enter values in excel sheets...Fun and less fun tasks, but as important as each other.

- Watch Dogs | UI Design, modularity and "presentation team" (by Kaermack Polewska)

1 - UI Design needs to be involved in the conception process
We often make the mistake to treat the UI separately from the rest of the screen. But GUI plays a role in the immersion of the player.
Indeed, UI is what sends feedbacks to the player, and if it's way different from the game, the immersion will be broken. 

2 - Use UI as a lens
I never thought it that way, but when Kaermack said it, it was pretty clear to me.
As we said, GUI sends feedback. So it's one of the better tool to see if there's something wrong with a feature.
The screen is too overwhelmed with informations ? There's a problem in the design.
Two infos break each other ? There's a problem in the design.
And so on...

3 - In UI Design, work on the container first...
...and only after on the content. If your container works, then the content will follow easily.

- Bioshock, Tomb Raider... | Narrative Design - an Emotional journey (by Susan O'Connor)

1 - Emotional journey trumps plot
During the production of a game, many changes happen. The plot can change a few times, and the narrative design with it.
That's why emotion is important (I'm already hearing some "David Cage" haters, haha!), if your game has a scenario and isn't focusing on gameplay.
The Emotional journey will stay and get directly into the player's mind, no matter what happen to the plot (GD/LD reviews or cut).

2 - Know what everybody wants
Avatar and player's desire lines have to relate, even if they're not the same. Adventures, revenge, power, exploration...Analyze the player to give your avatar goals that will match with the gameplay and the player.
The player is the one fullfiling the story, the one who actually influence the story. It's important to share a connection with him through the avatar.

3 - Make the enemy your friend
The antagonist matters, and he's the one you can fully control in your story. As the avatar "is" the player, you have to face him with the antagonist. In fact, the antagonist could help you to lead the player where you want him to go !


Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire