Game design is a circular problem, and figuring out where to begin can drive even the most seasoned professional a little batty. Where do you start?

For example, let’s say you’re making a level-based game (like a Mario game). Do you start with levels, enemies, bosses, player abilities, story, etc?

There’s no “right answer” to this question other than to say you start wherever is easiest for you. Think of it like google directions — you can’t get directions to a destination unless you have a start location (and vice-versa) — and most of the time the start location is wherever you are right now anyway.

For me, the easiest part to start with is enemies, so I start with them and “zoom out,” (to abuse the google directions analogy some more) so we can see some of the surrounding area.

The other reason I start with enemies has to do with “Questions,” which I talk about in another post. By understanding the enemies’ questions, when it comes time to design the hero character, the hero’s moves should just be the countermeasures to the enemies’ moves.