Gameplay is one of the core elements of a game if you don’t have gameplay then you don’t really have a game. Gameplay is every experience you have while playing a game. From navigating the menus to playing and watching every cut scene.
Game design is nearly always started off as an idea for a game it takes few people to get the game rolling these are designers. Like lead designer, level designer, a writer and a game mechanic designer. These basically come up with the overall point of the game like
- What the games about
- What genre the games going to be
- Art Direction
The leader design will come up with a design brief after they have worked out the bases and this brief will contain the small concepts of the game, the basic story features in the game, the setting.
The game design process is happening nearly all the time throughout the making of the game even when testing games the design of certain things can be changed. Socom 4 is a good explain of this during its private testing they found that the grenade arc for throwing grenades was too time consuming and it has been a problem all through the series. The design of the grenade arc was that your soldier would hold the grenade and arm and a yellow/white arc that would indicate where your grenade would land so you could easily aim in to windows and on top of buildings. So during testing it was taking too long to do, so they changed the design to it by making it that when you point your cross hair that’s where your grenade is roughly going to go. Of course this changed with distance but generally it worked well and quicken up game play.
Depending on the type of genre of the game i do think the design principles change, comparing a game like final fantasy against guitar hero. For example you wouldn’t really need a level designer as such for guitar hero as much as you would for final fantasy as one of the core elements of final fantasy is the game play of the levels. Where as in guitar hero they are more set scenes as you don’t have any role in using the level to do anything but stand and play your guitar in.
For me when I play a game it mostly depends on if I’m having fun which would mainly be due to game play. Graphics can have a role in what I like when playing games but it’s not exactly needed. Crysis 2 is a example of that for me the graphics are amazing but when I’m playing the game i don’t find it that fun for me. I find it mirrors ideas from Call of Duty and when I play online it’s the game play of others really that ruin my game play as I find a lot of times you run round a corner to fine a person camping invisible there waiting for you. And that ruins the fun for me.
I know I keep bringing up battlefield bad company 2 but that game to me has nearly perfect game design for me at the moment and I love the fun I have on it. The graphic of the building being blown apart just amaze me every time. There is nothing more satisfying to me at the moment of blowing the hell out of a building with a enemy in, maybe it’s my guilty pleasure I don’t know.