Information architecture (also known as IA) is the foundation for great game design.
It is the blueprint of the game upon which all other aspects are built - function or purpose, navigation instructions and interface, player interaction, and visual design. Initiating the IA process is the first thing you should do when designing a game.
Using IA is a very effective way to approach a project, and knowing the basics of the IA process can save time.
Step 1: Define the Game's Goals
The first step in the IA process is to define the game's goals. It sounds obvious, but think of how many horrible games are out there. Do you think the people who created them really thought about their goals?
Defining the game's goals establishes a clear, well-documented idea of what you are about to do, and if you are working in a group, it ensures that everyone is participating. Group consensus can make or break the project.
To get the ball rolling, first, determine the basic nature of the game. It's not hard to figure out what the key goals will be. Is it an adventure game...a racing game...a search game...a word game...a shoot-em-up game...?
Try to think of any other questions that will reveal the true purpose of the game. If other people have ideas for questions, consider those, too. After compiling the list of questions, ask them of everyone, including yourself. Be sure to write down everything that everyone says, no matter how trivial or mundane.
Step 2: Filter the Answers
At this point, you should have a bunch of answers to your questions. Now you need to generate order from this chaos. You need to turn the answers into goals and figure out which goals are the most important.
The list of goals is the basis for your 'design document'. To keep developing your design click here.
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