Why are you making this game? What are your goals when making this game?
Why is knowing your goals important? It lets you define a set of boundaries from the sea of possibilities, to make the project a doable task, instead of an abstract idea.
Some examples answers:
- You are trying out a game mechanic.
- It is your job.
- You are experimenting.
- You are responding to another game you played.
- You are trying to achieve a certain feel.
- You are trying to get a game out in a certain amount of time (it happens...).
- You are trying to make a game work in a certain medium.
Knowing the medium (board, card, computer, online, etc) the game will be in, the # players, the estimated time to play, and so forth, should figure heavily into your answers.
More complex answers might be:
- I am making a card game because I played a different card game and it was mediocre, and I think I have a better way to do it.
- I played a game on the computer and it would work better as a board game.
- I am employed by a computer game company, and they need to make a game to stay in business. Since I am getting no royalties, I will do a good but not great job, in order to retain my paycheck..
Some of my usual goals, which are important to me as a designer, when making a game are:
- Trying to make it different enough from other games to be worth making.
- Trying to make it as compact as I can.
- Trying to make it fun.
After asking those initial questions, you can continue to ask more defining questions to help keep your game design clear, such as:
- How much time do I want it to take to play this game?
- How many players can play it?
- What will I do with it once I am done?
- Will I make derivative works, or sequels to it in the future?