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Time ratio investment

Page: DesignArticle.Article-TimeRatio - Last Modified : Tue, 01 Mar 11 - 1768 Visits

Author : Eric Pietrocupo

When I design variants for other games, I often people complains that I should make my own new game instead of modifying a game that already exists. What people does not understand is that there is a good reason to design variants instead of new game: it takes much more time.

Designing a game requires a certain amount of time. When you design a variant, you have a basic structure that you can build on. So it becomes much more easily to create things when the foundations are there. But if you do not have any foundations, the amount of time to spend on a game design will increase exponentially. Here is a graph to illustrate the time ratio spend in the design process.

  • Small Modification: This consist in changing some rules of the game and making little component addition or modification.
  • Large Modification: This means almost creating a new game by using almost all the components of the original game. At this point, there is so much modification that the basic gameplay works differently.
  • New Game inspired from the original game: Maybe designers create games according to other games already published. Even if they are making a new game, the original model gives some basic structure that simplifies the game development.
  • Completely New Game: This is the kind of game that has almost no ressemblance to any game published yet. The concepts are completely new and innovative.

As you can see, the more stuff you need to design, the more time it takes. Each level of complexity multiplies the amount of time required. This is why designers must decide if it is really worth the investment to create a new game from scratch or if instead they should simply make a variant.

Sometimes it could be worth it to make a new game, especially if you change te basic structure of the game. But it happens many often that simple modification to the rules will simply do the job.

So when making a new game or variant, think about the time you are willing to invest in that idea.


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