Game Creation Guidelines/Spiral Model of Game Development

The Spiral Model as applied to game development.

Introduction edit

The Spiral Model of Game Development is the extraction of the Spiral Model proper for use in Game Development. This part of the Game Design Project looks at exploration of the Spiral Method as a means to game development, and asks the question: when should I employ the Spiral Method in developing my games?

The Spiral Model edit

The Spiral Model is an iterative development method. Iteration means the steps are performed over and over again. This means the project is conceived, designed, prototyped, tested, and the test results are put into the next iteration of the same steps. The Spiral Model is thus an evolutionary process.

The design process starts in the centre of the spiral with an idea. It proceeds outward clockwise through each of the five phases of design. Every return of the spiral to the "define" position starts a new iteration. Each iteration produces a deliverable or prototype, and each prototype is closer and closer to the final production model in complexity and degree of completion. The process begins when you have an idea for a game. First, you:

  1. define - define the new idea, make an outline, and hash out the basics of your design.
  2. design - get down to work writing the rules for the core mechanic, make the basics workable.
  3. prototype - build a working model, start to get the look and feel of the physical features of the game.
  4. playtest - you can do a solo playtest, an internal playtest, or a blind playtest.
  5. feedback - gather, collate, and synthesize your feedback.
  6. redefine - go back to the drawing board with what you learned and change your outline...

A major theme of the Spiral Model in software development and defence appropriations is Risk Management. The risks of game development, however, are few. The main risk to be avoided is wasting your time on a flawed design. The Spiral Model forces you to produce an early proof of concept, and if you've got a strong theme and weak mechanic, it will show readily. In this way, the Risk Management is subsumed by definition: if, after testing, the prototype was found to be unworkable, you don't have to go any further, but you can back pocket what was useful and hopefully use it again someday.

Commentary edit

Be bold and tell us what you think about the Spiral Model!

Exploration of the Spiral Model edit

A place for articles, songs, poems, diagrams, and games about and created by the Spiral Model.