Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Planning and concepting

Planning and Concepting

Planning and concepting are one of the lead hands that pull the strings in the development of a game. No matter where a project ends up, it always starts with an idea, and that idea is expanded upon with planning. Organizing and distributing the work that has to be done is also a major factor for a successful game. Concepting is the visualization of the whole project. But what exactly occurs with planning and concepting?

Planning the whole process of work takes quite a lot of time, and it’s not only in the beginning, but continues through the whole process because not everything will end up the way you planned. But the initial organization is of most importance.

On the other hand, we have concepting, which is as important as planning. Basically, it’s the visualization of the whole game, the feel that it will have overall, and the characters that will give even more life to the surroundings. The planning of the game gives rise to the concept; what type of game is it going to be? If it’s a war game, the concept of it is going to be more realistic, and a lot more references will be used than, for instance, a game that takes place 200 years in the future, in which the artist’s imagination can go wild. However, the concept must still be restricted to the overall idea of the game. There is more freedom, but the initial planning must still be followed to keep the basic design constant.

Another example is if the game takes place in a specific time era, let’s say the 1930s or the 1950s in America. They have to make it feel like it’s actually 1930. When I think about those times I imagine warm, but at the same time very cold colors, because they were difficult times. Imagine an old-school jazz bar with live music and cigar smoke everywhere, beautiful ladies in fancy dresses, and real men in costumes. Mobsters come across my mind as well. They were famous times for bank robberies and alcohol and drug traffic, which the mob was heavily into. Basically what I want to say when you make a game you have to know what it will bring to the eye and soul of the player. That’s why concepting is so important.

It also is a factor that can continue over the whole project but yet again there must be a solid initial idea for the whole thing. Overall, planning and concepting are the first step into the making of a video game. One on hand you have to have a visual and plot design of the whole idea, and on the other a plan how all of that work will be processed, done for the period of time there is.

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