This section of my website covers my love for games and game design. Part of my research interest includes developing a game for social good. As part of developing those skills I play games and work on little mini game projects to hone my ability to navigate the exciting world of game design and development.
Be sure to check out the links in the sidebar for specific areas of interest. Currently this section is a bit scant but I am learning how to use UNITY which may provide for some entertaining posts in the near future.
What is Game Design?
- Creating a game is all about deciding what it consists of, content, and how it plays, the experience. In education we often mistakes the experience for instruction. My pedagogy as an educator views instruction as a small part of the task of a cognitive architect. The true calling of a teacher. Call it Sage Level.
- Created a game – done! Wait! The second part of game design is the most intensive. Game designers then must communicate the vision of the content and experience to the developers who create art, work computer code magic, design music, and all the other assets that actually create a playable game.
To Designer or Not to Designer…
Designing games requires the following skills:
- Imagination and Creativity!
- Collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams
- Communicate with:
- marketing staff
- Accept and provide constructive feedback
- Present orally and in writing
- Design visually (digital or hand draw)
- 2D and 3D graphic and animation software: Blender, 3D Max, or Maya
- Programming skills (basic)
- Deep understanding of game play theories
- Storyteller & Narrator
- Systematic and strategic thinker
- Awareness of legal implications
- Know platforms and emerging platforms for gaming
Game Design Job
Game Designers, as above, come up with the content and experience of a game. They figure out how it will play. Game Designers are responsible for the plan and defining all the elements of a game including the setting, structure, rules, story, characters, objects, vehicles, devices, interface design, play modes, and props. It is a bit like being an author of a book. Only once the game is done it is time to communicate all those components to the development team who will actually bring those things to life. Game designers are a lot like writer/directors. They have a lot on their plate.
At this stage game designers are constantly adjusting the game to fit within the technical limitations as they come up. Sometimes new art is needed and other times it is a bit of new programming. They also work with quality assurance testers to play the game and make sure the vision makes it to reality.
There is a document, typically, called the Game Design Document that is used to help guide everyone of the design team towards realizing the game. It is constantly being referred to throughout the development of the game. Changes and updates occur as production and technical issues occur.
Below are some links to websites, journals, boards, and other industry resources.
- 3DWorld – the magazine for SFX, TV production and game development artists
- BECTU – the UK’s media and entertainment trade union, covering broadcasting, film, independent production, theatre and the arts, leisure and digital media
- Develop – the monthly magazine for European developers
- e-Skills UK – the Sector Skills Council for IT, Telecoms and Contact Centres
- Edge – the UK’s self-styled bible for UK gamers
- Eurogamer – European-focused consumer website
- Gamasutra – website founded in 1997 that focuses on all aspects of video game development
- GameDev.net – online community for game developers of all levels
- Games for Change – organization promoting games for social good.
- GamesIndustry.biz – covering breaking news from the game’s business
- IGDA – the International Game Developers Association, a global network of collaborative projects and communities comprising individuals from all fields of game development
- IGN – internet media and services provider focused on the video game, entertainment men’s lifestyle markets
- MCV – the weekly trade magazine of the UK games industry,
- TIGA – the Independent Games Developers Trade Association – non-profit trade association representing the UK’s games industry
- Ukie – the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment – champions the interests, needs and positive image of the video games and interactive entertainment industry whose companies make up its membership