Game Design: Brainstorming a game with block diagrams part 2

Today I met with 12 very bright high school students who are part of the College Bound program.  Bright and energetic, sadly none of them were going into Computer Science.  But we worked through what software design was all about.  We didn’t get to UML, but usually non-Computer Science types usually get it really quick.  At least the Use Case part.

So let’s take a look at the game that the students came up with (and yes I am off the beam, Pong just got thrown away for now):

Initially the students were ask to give an idea for a game:

  • Game like Temple Run (Tower Defense)
  • Basketball type of game
  • Something that uses the whole human body imagery for medical purposes
  • Integrate all of your devices into one system (universal remote)
  • Web Design type of tool
    • Dress up people
    • Blogging about fashion
    • Facial Recognition like software that can determine the location where to buy the product
    • Using Kinect to test fashion on individuals

A brief discussion and the Human Body imagery for medical purposes was picked but then quickly morphed into a game with the tentative title of Muscle Maniac.

The mission statement that the students came up with was (and it was their idea, really):

  • Whole human body imagery to teach anatomy
  • Serial killer and you have to solve the crime using anatomy


  • Elizabeth
    • Young, naïve, suburban teen age girl
  • Bob
    • High School Jock
  • Lisa
    • Cheer Leader
  • George
    • Cousin to Lisa

Now as skilled software workers (which I assume that you are, I am still learning) we know that the Avatars will be a single object with generalizations.  Unfortunately it seems as if this is a way to stop the brainstorming concept is to tell people about generalization so I don’t at this point.

Think about it: Use Cases the emphasis is on what a system not how.

But…At sometime you have to worry about the how.  Just not now.

For yet another discussion about UML see the URL: and it turns out to keep the blog short I won’t go into UML today.  We need to establish the design of the overall game design.


But first a brief break from the fascinating world of UML, Block Diagrams and layers

Since we need to view a game as a whole, let’s use the old fall back: Block Diagrams

The following shows a possible diagram for an RPG or more simply an Adventure game, and apologies to the many authors I likely remember reading this from:




If you don’t like left to right hierarchy here is a top down:


Ok, more in the next blog.

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