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  • Writer's pictureBrad

Journey to the Center of our Design

Hello! Brad here… Creative director for Veridian Forge. This time I am going to talk a little bit about how we got to our current game concept… without talking about our actual design quite yet. However, I can say that we are going to introduce our game in January. We are excited to share so we can start talking about things more directly. However, we have a few things we need to line up first. So, please look forward to that! We are!



Before we get there though, I wanted to spend a minute discussing how we got to the idea we are working on right now.


It started before we even formed Veridian Forge. I had already left my job at Microsoft and committed to indie development, but Baker had not. I was talking to him about joining me and even though we had worked together in the past and are good friends we wanted to test out what a working relationship would be like before things got all serious. To test that out, we took on the exercise of working through a game concept. We wanted to see if we had similar visions for both the game and the company, if we had complementary communication styles, and if we could actually work together in away that we felt could be productive and positive.

We both proposed game ideas and there was a lot of similarities in our two concepts, which was not a total surprise since we both like very similar types of games. This was a good start, so we took the next step of melding the separate ideas into one cohesive core concept. This was a very exciting time as we were feeling out what we could make as a company and we eventually settled on a core idea we felt was fun and interesting. This exercise convinced us we would have a game we would both be excited to work on and that we could work together in a strong professional manner.

We then took a look at the idea through a few lenses. One was a realistic look at scope based on a team size we felt comfortable with. Another was to challenge the idea and see if we were adding anything interesting to the genre.

Scoping the concept based on team size brought the largest cuts and redesigns. As we started this process, we built out a list of very general core concepts or pillars. We would use these to help us check our scoping decisions against what we felt was important to hold on. They were intentionally not specific to any gameplay concepts or ideas.


These were our early game pillars:

  1. … IS a fun lighthearted game that embraces the silly chaos that can happen when plans go wrong.

  2. … IS a game that supports player choice.

  3. … IS a game that values quality over quantity.

  4. … IS an experience purposely designed to build over time.

  5. … IS a co-op first game, designed to encourage playing together.

  6. … IS some thing we could play with our kids.

This process pointed out key areas we could reduce the scope, but also showed us that we had strayed a bit from the original ideas that got us so excited in the first place. We decided to take a step back and redesign once again but this time with a stronger conviction about the core ideas. While the new idea is quite a bit different than where we where before, we had more confidence we could pull it off and was stronger and more aligned with the first conversations we had about what type of experience we wanted to make.

That lead us to the innovation aspect of the concept. We wanted to make sure we were adding something new or interesting to the genre and how we could fill some of the holes in the design we felt existed based on our game pillars listed above. We knew we wanted a co-op multiplayer game and that we wanted to be flexible in how a player may choose to play it. So that lead to what we felt was a cool idea on how to blend two different ways to play into one fun experience.

Through thoughtful scope reduction that was based on a few core concepts, we feel we landed on something familiar to a variety of players but put together in a way that is new and unique.

We are really looking forward to revealing more details in the new year.


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