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Design Compasses Part I

So this is something very important in regard to making any kind of content, that your product should be coherent. Whether it's a painting of a friend, design schematics for a racecar or the plot for a fiction novel one would desire created content be 'successful.' Pushing out high quality material requires the maker not to display instability or incoherency. If you were to see someone wearing a business suit except khaki shorts for pants at a meeting you'd find it distracting to say the least.
This gentleman does a good job keeping the colors cohesive.
Unfortunately hard to say the same for the cut.
As you're building a game, a world or a story you have to pay attention to various aspects such as the 'tone' of the writing or the 'look' of the game or the 'feel' of the gameplay. Nailing these things down takes effort and keeping it uniform and cohesive becomes just as troublesome over time. In order to alleviate this situation a good idea is to come up with 'compasses' that will guide you, and your team if you have one, and will act as a safety mechanism for differentiating concepts that belong to your game from those that don't. This strategy is useful regardless of the size of your team.

Above, the original and a spoof splash of Diablo III juxtaposed.
So what are these compasses and how can you make them? A design compass will display you the direction the vision dictates. Whenever you steer far away from your compasses' needles you'll end up with misfit material that needs to be scrapped. Above pictures shows the illustration of an artist who chose to stray away from the compass purposefully in order to make a funny spoof splash.

In the upcoming post I'll make and display some of the compasses I've made for Wasco. (Click here to go to part II.)

(Note-1: In some cases coherency won't be what you desire but even that will be the manifestation of a solid ideology of incoherency. Being incoherent then is interpreted as being coherently incoherent.
Note-2: There also could be an argument regarding the picture I posted here. One could say this is against norms we've created thus we perceive this elderly gentleman as dressing wrong. You're right and there are deeper levels to this discussion but we'll leave that for another time.)

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