Step 2: Planning (story/style)
A name is an important thing to chose. I chose badly, picking "Defender" as my initial name. 4 months later someone told me that "googling defender.exe produces a virus." I then spent the next couple months deciding wether to change the name. It was a big task, as you have to re-brand everything, from script headers to posters to forum thread titles to website domain names. So pick a name that tells people about the game, isn't ambiguous, then, Google it to see if it has been taken by another company, or represents something you don't wish it to.
You must also come up with a story time.
Make sure you make the story-line believable and detailed. It will be the base for everything later in the game. Once you have set a story, don't change it either, unless there is a serious objection for it. It's not quite as bad to change as the name, but it is still an effort.
Creating a consistent style is rather important. No-one would dream of mixing 16x16 pixel textures with very good 3D models, simply because the effect would be so weird. The same applies for smaller things. Pick an overall style and communicate this to any concept artists. Styles can be things like:
- Dark industrial
- Fairly tale