I don't know about all of you, but when I get a game idea, i tend to have tons of ideas flowing all at once, some with direction, some without. I feel like i want to work on every aspect of the game all at once. But what order should you really go in? whats most important first and foremost? In this article I will do a general overview of what steps i like to take when doing game design. of coarse this is preference, so dont assume i use these rules like concrete, they are just some guidelines to consider. they help me, so maybe they will help you.

First of all I generally want to have something to reference, so a good first step is to start jotting down all the things you've come up with for a game in a notepad (real, or a .txt document will do ;D ). this will range from story line, to gameplay mechanics, to character ideas etc. I like to do this so that I dont forget anything, and ill always have something to refresh the ideas in my head.

Once you have your ideas jotted down you'll want to organize it, and ask yourself a few questions. what genre of game will this be? is it going to be a top down style rpg, or a platformer shooter? Most of the time this is the very first thing i come up with, but sometimes the game setting and characters are there but no gameplay comes to mind. after this youll want to come up with a graphics style. do you want it 8 bit, full color, black and white, silhouettes? there are far too many possibilities to list here, but you get the idea.

usually after all this the next step is creating a simple engine, or graphics, depending on which will be easiest. i tend to make simple character graphics first, i like to see my character in motion instead of a bunch of colored detectors etc. If your game is a platformer, this is the point at which you would want to make the movement system, and simple features that will be global through out the game. after a simple system is created you may want to finish out the graphics for your test level. when making platformers i usually use the end product of the test level and make the first level from it.

From this point on, it really depends on the project as to what is needed next, sometimes its off to level building and getting ready to put it all together in to a map, but sometimes its not that simple, and of coarse that depends on the game and how complex you want to make it.