Geez, got off track with the Expression Design 4 comparison to Adobe, I really want to get better at Expression 4 design, looks like a lot of fun. Understanding how the art is created is an important part of the game design. Also, how do designers think about their game in a way that they can get down to the details? After all with software we often get to the details but the design is lacking, as well as the ability to continue to make money off your design. At this time the general philosophy is to build, deploy, take your money and forget about the previous work. You can get away with that but to make serious long term money you need to be thinking about how to grow the work that you have accomplished, that way you can create IP that can be sold for the big bucks but start out with only a few dollars.
It has been a long time since the first console came out in the 1970s, but there is always the player and the enemies, in literature this might be the protagonists and antagonists. In this old 8 bit graphics the player would be one of the sprites and then the AI or other players would be one of the sprites, in this case I think they are cars. If we look at the arc of game design, these early games were little more than prototypes for future improvements, mainly because the games were ghastly to watch and play, unless you had never seen anything else.
In my game, I have the Dolphins with Guns shooting at the enemies as built using the tutorial from the http://create.msdn.com/gamedevelopment, for instance one of my “prototype” thoughts are shown below. A dolphin that I found on the web and added an anti-aircraft gun to might shoot down helium balloons, represented by the “shooter” game bad guy or protagonist. This is a static image, but it gives me a place to think about design and my game. The only details that I have at this point in the design is my design document, which I have modified.
Next, I will need some balloons and replace the “shooter” balloons. One of the things that comes to mind: If the balloons are shot down, they just go into the water, and are still a problem.