Conception is a single-player experience which acts as a tool for creators to use as a jump-starter for developing a game. While only one person controls Conception's user interface through a mouse device, allowing a team of more than one person is another great option prior to a brainstorming session.
To use Conception as a brainstorming tool, the user selects the GENERATE! option which provides a randomly generated list of requirements for the creator to abide by. The list contains one constraint from each group: a topic, a mechanic, a dynamic, an aesthetic, a theme, and a genre/system. Once the constraints have been generated, the creator begins developing their game while incorporating those constraints.
- A topic is a game element defined by a narrative setting. This is the context and atmosphere of your project.
- A mechanic is an interactive game element that occurs between the player and an object. This is the rule that the developer chooses to implement into a project for the player to comply with-- there is no game until a rule is set.
- A dynamic is an interactive game element where a player uses the mechanics provided to pursue an objective. This is the verb that the player embodies while following a rule-- the player learns and uses the rules in a way the designer has intended.
- An aesthetic is an interactive game element where the player feels an emotion as a result of the player's actions. This is the reason why a player plays a game, and the end result all artists aim for-- the quality of the first and last (and everything in between) impression in which the player will remember the game by.
Understanding these four fundamental groups, and how the end result of each game element can be polished to the utmost quality while staying within their given constraints, is the creator's goal.
The time limit is self-imposed by the creator. The tools (software, paper, pens, etc.) that the creator may use to develop their project are also self-imposed, but understanding the tools' limits may play a large part in the creators' success. If a generated mechanic is not what the creator's tool is made for, re-generating the list or using a different tool is completely viable.
If the user/creator has a difficult time understanding a generated item, they may reference the TOOL GUIDE option built within the Conception toolkit. The Tool Guide allows the user to search through an entire catalog of available items within the toolkit, as well as a list of common genres and systems available for the creator to toy with at their leisure. Good luck!
Dev blog: http://deroro.com/week-5-8-conception-v3-0-a-brain...