A Concept Art (Games Design) Brief – Idea Generation using a List and a Dice.

Taking a simple six-sided dice to roll to decide outcomes for Games Design/Concept Art Brief parameters in order to create a self-initiated brief.

Dice Choices


A – What element of the Games Design/Concept Art are you going to look at?

You may have already chosen this, if so, you can start with Part B.

  1. Back Story
  2. Characters Design
  3. Prop/Object Design
  4. Vehicles/Transport
  5. Environments
  6. Level Design


B – Type of Aesthetic 1 – PLAYER VIEWPOINT

  1. 3D/2D – Combat Arena/Fighting Character Game
  2. 3D Immersive – 1st Person Shooter/3rd Person (over shoulder/head)
  3. 3D characters (with flat scenery).
  4. 3D Sidescroller/Verticalscroller.
  5. 2D Sidescroller or 2D or Verticalscroller (Topdown Racing Games, Bombing Raid games, or Alex the Kidd)
  6. Isometric ¾ Topdown or Topdown/ ¾ Roaming Map RPG

Then roll again to decide the artistic style…

Bb – Type of Aesthetic 2 – Style

If you have rolled a 3D option…

  1. Cell Shaded/Comic Art Style
  2. Realistic/High Detail
  3. Child Friendly/Kids Cartoon Style
  4. Black & White/Noir
  5. Abstract (your dice rolling can end here)
  6. Heavily Stylised, based on an existing artists style > You’ll need to make your own list of artists, cut and fold and draw from a hat – why not get your peers and tutors to write some.

…and if you landed a 2D game

  1. 2D Sprite Based Art
  2. 2D pixel
  3. 2D Photographic/Photomanipulation/Video based
  4. Child Friendly/Kids Cartoon Style
  5. Black & White/Noir
  6. Heavily Stylised, based on an existing artists style > You’ll need to make your own list of artists, cut and fold and draw from a hat – why not get your peers and tutors to write some.
If you landed on a 3D/2D option in section A, you could roll odds or evens to pick from the above two columns.


C – Types of Environment – Main Divisions

  1. Interior – Man Made/Urban/Architectural
  2. Interior – Man Made/Vehicle/Transportion
  3. Interior – Caves etc.
  4. Exterior – Man Made/Urban
  5. Exterior – Natural/Landscape/Terrain
  6. Exterior  – Airborne/Underwater/Space/Void

Now you need to choose a subdivision of that section, so if you rolled 3, scroll down to C3 and roll again to specify what type of Cave you are designing for…

Types of Environment – Sub-Divisions – Roll in just ONE of these sections only

C1. – Man-Made Urban

  1. Office/Corporate Space
  2. Science/Engineering Lab
  3. Domestic – a sleeping/eating/living space/basement
  4.  Recreational/Entertainment Space – Arena/Cinema/Restaurant/Bowling/Gallery etc.
  5. Retail/Storage – Shops/ Warehouses
  6. Communal Spaces – Atrium/Corridors/Balconies/Stairwells

Each of the above have variations available within them, roll again (based on your last roll) and choose a sub-section.

C2. – Man-Made Transporation

  1. Docking Bay/Flight Deck
  2. Engine Room
  3. Bridge/Pilot/Control Area
  4. Cargo Bay/Storage
  5. Weapons Bay/Gun Turrets/Armoury
  6. Corridors/Elevators

C3. – Interior – Caves etc

  1. Mines/Mineshafts/Mining Operations
  2. Buried Temples
  3. Natural Caves/Stalactites/Stalagmites etc
  4. Sub-Levels of a Building
  5. Animal Burrows
  6. Underground Industrial Complex

C4. – Exterior – Man-Made/Urban

  1. City Street/Urban
  2. Shanty Town/Slum Area
  3. Docks/Industrial Waterside
  4. Roofscape
  5. Railway Sidings
  6. Sub-Urban Residential

C5. – Exterior – Man-Made/Natural

  1. Jungle/Rainforest
  2. Mountains
  3. British/European Countryside/Rolling Hills
  4. Desert
  5. Coastal
  6. Snow/Tundra

 C6. – Exterior – Man-Made/Urban

  1. Open Skies/Floating Obstacles
  2. Open Skies/Difficult Weather
  3. Underwater/Deep/Sea Floor
  4. Underwater/Tropical/Reefs
  5. Space/The Void/ Asteroids/Space Debris
  6. An Abstract Void/Game Space


D – Genre

  1. Science Fiction/Futuristic
  2. Pirates
  3. Steampunk
  4. High Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery
  5. Western
  6. Contemporary/Gangland
You can (but you don’t have to) roll again to add a Combo/Addition/Crossover genre Dd. If at the end you feel this compromises your game Design Concept, feel free to ignore the addition…

Dd – Historical

  1. Napoleonic
  2. Roman/Greek
  3. Aztec/Toltec/Olmec
  4. Samurai Japan
  5. Stone Age
  6. Medieval/Dark Ages


And finally, to add a twist…

E – “…but with

  1. Dinosaurs
  2. Cthulhu/Lovecraftian Horror/Monsters
  3. 30’s Streamline Moderne styling
  4. Alien Invasion
  5. Occult Power as Currency/Hierarchy/Critical Game Mechanic
  6. Giant Robots


Okay so you should now have a list like the one at the top of this post…

Now get on with your designs and art!

You could of course add more to, or write your own versions of, the the lists above, just using die with more sides

Or write your choices on folded pieces of paper and draw it from a hat/box/drum etc… The idea of this is to show you how to make your own version of this idea generator rather than slavishly trapping you into the choices I made available…

Thanks to Matt Lane, Jack Wilson and Fraser Sneddon for testing the initial version of this…

~ by hesir on May 3, 2013.

6 Responses to “A Concept Art (Games Design) Brief – Idea Generation using a List and a Dice.”

  1. […] 003 – Concept Art – Self Initiated Brief Generator – Btec Level and […]

  2. […] Combinations of ideas and aesthetics to create a mini-brief could be easily generated using a simple “lists & dice” method similar to THIS. […]

  3. […] >THIS< is a Dice Roll based choice system used to generate Concept Art for Games project parameters… […]

  4. […] Brief generator that I used – apophenia […]

  5. Ye this is pretty cool, I’ve seen a site http://www.conceptstart.net that actually does something similar but works it out automatically to create a unique brief.

    • Great, I’ve seen some of the automated ones too. Those are particularly useful if you wish to be totally divorced from the control of the project, allowing a really “random”/client oriented approach to developing a personal project… whereas creating your own lists allows you to at least modify your potential brief in terms of your enthusiasms.

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