Game Design Focus

Danc at Lost Garden wrote a bit about “throwaway content” and how procedural content may be a good solution for it.  An interesting implication in how he spoke about the design process was that core game mechanics and systems are not necessarily given the highest priority.  However, I guess the tough part is realizing when a component is (or has become) “throwaway”.  In some ways it can be personal.

It has alwasy struck me that the first and most important design task is to identify and design the core mechanics and all related sub systems apart from any particular world context.  The goal is to essentially look at all graphics, story, and specific skills and animations as “skinning” the core game you have designed.

When I think of “game design” it’s this core game mechanic design that’s the goal, not the graphics, environment, the character, the fancy specials, or even the backstory.