My Design Process

Here is the final visual of my design process that was discussed in my previous post. Hope this helps you to understand all the required stages it takes to see any project through to completion.

Paul Starkey's Design Process
Paul Starkey’s Design Process
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Processing the Design Process

So I thought it would be prudent to upload my personal design process, much like many others, I follow a simple 8 step process. But first let me tell you that I have been looking around at some other design processes today and surprise surprise, they all have a very similar trend, I’ve found that the Design Council sums this all up in a handy little guide and description on their site. It breaks down the design process into 3 areas (Discover, Define and Develop) that are easy to remember. The 3 D’s are then broken down into sub categories to help you get to grips with this process of working. Below is their process and a link to the original. I strongly recommend having a full read through the original because they also break down each of the sub categories to help you better understand all these stages.

I will upload have uploaded my design process soon, but rather than just uploading a written list I’m going to create I have created a design and presented it visually, when now It’s done you’ll find it Here.

Introducing Design Methods | Design Council

Discover

Creating a project space

Observation

User diaries

Being your users

Brainstorming

Fast visualization

Choosing a sample

Quantitative surveys

Secondary research

Hopes and fears

Define

Assessment criteria

Comparing notes

Drivers and hurdles

Focus groups

Customer journey mapping

Develop

Character profiles

Scenarios

Role playing

Blueprinting

Physical prototyping

Starting the design process (research)

So today I began to consider the aesthetic and overall look that I am wanting to achieve with Vegetrouble. To get this pinned down I started with some basic research on visual presentation and the first two elements I came across was the rule of thirds and the Fibonacci sequence.

Rule of thirds:

The rule of thirds looks at the composition of a visual, whether that be a photograph, painting, video or other. This is more of a guideline than an actual rule but it is universally known and followed. The premise being that if you where to take your visual and split the image into three horizontal and three vertical sections all of equal size, you would want the focal point of your image to be sat on one of these slices (preferably one horizontal and one vertical, so… at the cross sections). These are natural points in an image that the human eye is drawn to. Here are some examples of this.

Marek Denko, Souvenir and Rule of Thirds, June 2012
Marek Denko’s Souvenir overlayed with the Rules of Thirds Guides
Ryan Church, Godzilla and Rule of Thirds, June 2012
Ryan Church’s Godzilla concept art piece from June 2012 overlayed with the Rule of Thirds Guides.

Fibonacci Sequence:

This is one of my faves, this little calculation works by adding the two previous numbers together to get to the next number in the sequence. so… 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 and so on. This equations when transferred onto paper in a visual form makes a sort of spiral, this spiral and mathematical calculation can be seen everywhere in nature and is known as the golden rule. Below are a few stock images I have used and overlayed the Fibonacci pattern over the top, just to illustrate its existence in nature.

Fibonacci Spiral Over Water Spraying from a Ball Under Centrifugal Force.
The Fibonacci Spiral Layed over an image of water spraying from a ball under Centrifugal force.
Fibonacci Spiral Over A Galaxy
The Fibonacci Spiral Layed over an image of a galaxy.
Fibonacci Spiral Over A Cactus
The Fibonacci Spiral Layed over an image of a Cactus.

And so.. the time has come to do some expeimentations of my own, looking at both the Rule of Thirds and the Fibonacci Sequence I will begin laying out some guides to aid in the development of the games Ident and some Character designs.

Vegetable + Trouble = Vegetrouble

So, whats this all about then?

Vegetroubles inception came from a GameJam event back when I was a student in 2010 – 2011. Myself and some of my peers decided to enter a GameJam competition that was run by Hull Uni. We where to draw 3 things from a hat (Three thing game competition), then come up with a game concept from them and build it. We drew the words… Holiday, Vegetable and ……………. Zombie! And so, Vegetrouble was born, a 2D side scrolling beat ’em up game. The initial idea/story we came up with was that zombified vegetables where taking over the world and you had to thwart their attempts. We implemented a character select, allowing you to choose from a range of non-zombie infected veg, you would then travel the globe to well-known holiday destinations and kill the zombie veg roaming these locations. Simple eh?

Now I’ve had a rethink and wanted to address this as a new project. My current concept is somewhat similar but has a lot of differences. This is now a 3D top down isometric game where you are to stop the zombie veg infection by hitting them on their heads (planting them back in the ground to be fertilised into healthy veg) before they infect the rest of the vegetable population. This is so that you can save the lovable animal characters (bunny, pig, goat, etc) from starving.

In The Beginning There Were Veg… and Fruit and Berrys and Seeds and…

So, When I initially started playing with the Idea of developing the Vegetrouble game (a game born from a 24h game jam event with a few Uni friends) I started with one of the most fundamental mistakes, I turned on a computer and opened some software, from there I started to develop characters. Now despite my years of practice and ability to do this, we all know that it is a mistake and something that should have been started on paper, well to be honest it did kind of start on paper. You see, I started designing some basic characters for the game on paper and then delved into the software and progressed from 4 characters into 7 all digital 2D final designs and was never really fully happy. You see, when it comes to the design process I have a rather large lack of confidence, primarily with my ability to visualise on paper (sketching). I have now realised that this is a primary opportunity for me to better my visualisation skills.

Moving on, I begun to develop the game in the same manner with little regard to the initial stages that would ultimately help direct the project and give it drive. I have been through stages where the initial idea has changed, where the aesthetic has altered and even been forced to change mechanics and even the target platform due to not fully realising what needed to be done and just wanting to go and make something ‘cool’.

Well, no more of this nonsense, from now on we have a new slate, it is clean. There is nothing but an initial idea and some residual memories of a past incarnation. This blog will now serve as the archive for the entirety of the project, pass or fail. You will see everything, from initial ideas, mechanics design, level design, character designs, props and objects, menus, GUI’s HUD’s, planning, research, user testing, documentation and presentations, I could go on, but you get the point.

(This project and the development blog are created to aid my students with effectively managing and evidencing a project. Just do the work!).

So, the time has come to get on with it.