Posted by: Xalthorn | January 10, 2008

Web Design for Games

Having scoured the web for quite some time looking for ideas on how to lay out a web based game, I find that there isn’t much out there unless you look at existing games.

There are plenty of tutorials and attractive templates for informational websites, but whilst these are nice, they’re not always appropriate for a website that by its very nature needs to be hugely interactive and dynamic.

I’m no designer and although I know I like a website when I see it, creating something that both looks nice and is functional is hard.

I’m also finding that I’m falling into the trap of designing a website and then shoe-horning the content into the resulting design. This is both a big mistake and a huge time waster as you have to constantly refine or re-design your website to accomodate your project.  But it’s an easy trap to fall into if you start browsing template sites.

After realising I have wasted so much time on this, and to hopefully help people from falling into the same trap, I’m going to start documenting and designing the website in this blog, creating a tutorial or series of guidance notes along the way. With any luck I’ll achieve two goals.

  1. Get my project complete and live
  2. Help others to do the same

At least that is the cunning plan…

With any luck, I’ll end up with a fully documented case study which will show the whole process warts and all.  I’m expecting, like with any project, that there will be changes and decisions made later on that will impact upon earlier decisions.  Rather than hide my ineptitude and lack of forward thinking by completing the project and then publishing edited notes, I’ll simply keep documenting how I overcome these obstacles.

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Responses

  1. Nice plan, I am really looking forward to your results.

    The real trick is a design that lets you twist and turn it like you need it to fit your content, not the other way around.

  2. I agree, but it’s very easy to fall into the trap of trying to find a design you like and spending ages trying to make it as versatile as possible when at the end of the day, you only need it to deal with your specific content.

    This problem is made worse when you avoid working out what your content is going to be and keep striving for the magic design that will cope with your content when you finally decide what it is going to be.

  3. Yeah, I thought more about keeping your design a bit open to be able to customize it later more easily.

    For example if you make a fixed size content pane it will get hard to adjust later if you need to fit a big webform into it…

  4. My designs usually have plenty of scope for modifications inbuilt, but it can be easy to get carried away worrying about the flexibility when the initial content isn’t addressed.


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