Game Design Tools: For When Spreadsheets and Flowcharts Aren't Enough

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In this 2017 GDC session, game designer Katharine Neil gives an overview of some of the game design tools available that might help game designers improve their work.

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12 comments

  1. Ahmed Yasir 3 July, 2020 at 21:42 Reply

    Am I the only one who searched the whole internet, but couldn't find where to get "Skill Atoms"

  2. lolindirlink 3 July, 2020 at 21:42 Reply

    Another good concept is creating the tools yourself. If you can build a game, you can most likely use the same tool to build parts of the game.
    Think of a dialog system, You can make it editable ingame, and save the results to external scripts.
    Think of a character creator for example (To make custom NPC's) And the ability to name them, entering their dialog etc.
    Or a level editor, not just for the end player but you can use this editor to make levels yourself. It could be faster, easier. And you'll be able to make them ingame (Handy if you build a mobile game, that means you can work wherever you are!)
    Most engines support mobile, so even if your game isn't made for mobile, these tools build in these engines could still run on mobile 😉

  3. Random Spark 3 July, 2020 at 21:42 Reply

    Designing boardgames make talks like these interesting but tools don't often fit into a lot of what I do. Machinations and progressimo are probably the two options that speak to boardgames well. I have a flow chart for everything I make.

  4. ciTatic 3 July, 2020 at 21:42 Reply

    Bad intro, decent talk. I've actually been wondering about these sorts of tools recently, something between being forced to muck about in engine versus trying to imagine the final forms of paper prototypes. Not sure I'll use the tools much, but they clearly fill a hole in digital game design.

  5. Chaosian01 3 July, 2020 at 21:42 Reply

    I've always found these kinds of tools to present too much overhead to meaningfully help with production.
    That said, more options is always better.

  6. itsJoshV 3 July, 2020 at 21:42 Reply

    Great talk. Something I've thought about a lot due to getting the feeling that a game I'm playing is leaning on spreadsheet design a little too much. A lot of good information here.

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