Originally Posted by bob
Do you have a process for deciding what the core of your game is going to be?
Basically I sum up the game I want to make in a sentence (elevator pitch). I think about what experience I want the player to feel and avoid sectioning the game off into its disciplines (gameplay, visuals, audio, technology, story, etc).
Re: story debate--a lot of books have terrible stories. Some games have good stories. However story is only one part of a game.
A game, or any creative media for that matter, ultimately delivers an experience. I like to think about the experience as a big fat bag of weight. The components of the game (story, art, mechanics, etc) are working together to try to carry that weight. Depending on your game, some of those components will need to have huge muscles to do the heavy-lifting, while others are just carrying the train. The less weight one component carries, the more another will have to carry to make up for it.
In text adventures the visuals carry barely any weight--basically just maybe the font or a title screen. Therefore they need better stories or word puzzles to make up for it.
Hidden object game rely primarily on story and visuals to make up for their lack of mechanics.
Arcade games such as pacman rely on polished mechanics and sound feedback, so they don't need to focus on story or visuals as much.