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Chapter 5. Audio Integration: Postmortem > Design and Creativity Report

Design and Creativity Report

Game design—the rules that govern how a game will operate, if you will—has exploded more than any other aspect of game creation. What was once a single-page description of mechanics can now fill volumes. In the development of DX:IW, design was law—more important than graphics or sound. Where design became a separate concern was in the way each team member understood it. DE:IW's designers were able to present a focused design, but they had to refine it over months of collaboration. The initial design was far too ambitious to finish within the project's life cycle, so a great deal was cut and revised. Regardless, the lesson I learned was that for an audio team to succeed, it must align itself with the design of the game and its principles as outlined by the lead designer and the design document.

Meeting the Needs of the Game Type

Before the audio staff does anything, it must understand the game's type, or genre. For example, will a game be action oriented or puzzle based? Although DE:IW ended up redefining genres, its premise and setting were simple to understand. DE:IW was set in a science fiction–like future on Earth; the characters were people, and the actions (sneaking, shooting, talking, exploring, and so on) were familiar. What made DE:IW different was this: Because the game was sci-fi oriented, the player could augment the character he controlled to increase his abilities remarkably, such as the ability to jump twice as high as normal.


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