Battling the Curse of “More”: Focusing Your Game on What’s Important

Patrick Lipo

Working on large games can be both a blessing and a curse. A big budget gives you the resources to add a ton of features and achieve just about any vision… So why do so many big games seem to have development troubles? A lack of limitations can ironically be a project’s greatest weakness, as a game that tries to do too much often fails at most of them.

Whether you’re designing a large or small title, one of the most common conflicts you’ll have with your cohorts is whether a feature should make it into the game. When every potential feature is a good one, it can be really tough to make the call. A good designer must be as adept at creating guidelines and limitations as well as generating new ideas, because in the end it’s about deciding how to deliver the greatest game experience.

This talk will present some simple tools for designing games that both help a team prioritize features, as well as challenge them to consider what the player’s experience will be. From managing the scope of a title to maintaining pacing throughout the game, we hope it will provide inspiration for the design of anything from a small side project to a magnum opus.