In Gamasutra's latest feature
, a postmortem of 2012 IGF finalist Frozen Synapse
, Mode 7 Games' Paul Taylor explains how an iterative, multiplayer-led design process paid creative dividends.
"My motivation was highest to make a game that had interesting decisions the whole time," developer Ian Hardingham told Taylor, while working on the game.
"A couple of big work-for-hire contracts enabled us to adopt a 'when it's done' attitude to gameplay iteration. We took very low salaries and kept overheads to a minimum, allowing our focus purely to be on making the best game we could," Taylor writes.
Ideas were tested and discarded if they did not fit the core gameplay -- but "having time to explore them was vital," writes Taylor.
"Ian made a conscious decision to start with the basics of the multiplayer game and work outwards, designing units and adding mechanics only when a solid base had been established: this process worked so well that we'll be adopting it again for our next game."
The full feature, which contains many more details about what went right and wrong during the development of Frozen Synapse
is live now on Gamasutra