Lens #14: The Lens of the Problem Statement

The lens #14, the lens of the problem statement from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses written by Jesse Schell.

Design is about solving problems, but if you don't know what problem you solve then it is pretty hard to design something, it's like designing in a vacuum. This lens can be applied over and over again. Game development is based on iterations. I will just evolve this article over time.

The better the problem statement the better the solution for it. So what are the questions I have to answer

  • What problem do I really want to solve?
  • Did I make assumptions about these games that have nothing to do with its true purpose?
  • Is a game really the best solution?
  • How do I know if the problem is solved.

What problem do I really want to solve? How can I make an enjoyable gun game using minimalistic graphics?

Did I make assumptions about this game that has nothing to do with its true purpose? The assumption I made is it has to be a platform game as I initially wanted to explore this genre from a programming point of view. But it has nothing to do with its true purpose, I guess I could make even a full 3D game. But this is kind of a limitation I have as a one-person studio, I simply need a very simple way to do that game as I have to fill it with game content. So better it is a packed small platformer than an almost empty 3D game.

Is a game really the best solution? This is entirely about a video game. I think the question should be more is a platform game really the best solution? I just use a platform game as it is the cheapest way to make a game as a single person studio. But I want to focus on the action part and use the platform environment as battlefields and story elements.

How do I know if the problem is solved I think I only will know that by playtesting. I have to focus on playtesting very very soon with playable levels and evaluate the feedback.


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Christian Liesch

Software Developer

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