Game design Toolbox – What is not in the game

Define What Is Not In The Game

So many people are trying to define games by adding more and more things to existing games, that it seems that it is better to have more. I strongly disagree with this, and try to catch that trivial behavior every time possible. As described in the introduction, our goal is to understand clearly the shape of the “design” object. I have described at the beginning that most of the tools are about defining the shadow of the “design” under specific projections, but another very useful tool is to define what is not in the object.

This is helping to define the frontier of the design. On one side we list all the things that are supposed to be in the game, but on the other side, by defining what is not in the game, we give a better and better approximation of the design. I found that it is very difficult for designers to come up with this, as if there was a hope that everything could be in the design, so I would encourage everyone to drive this issue as clearly as possible. This is very useful at the beginning, and not very useful at the end of the design process, when the shape of the design is easy to figure out. By combining the fact that at the beginning the designer does not really know what is and what is not in the game, I think this tool can be most effective to help communicate the design when it is around half way through.