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Member Since 18 Mar 2007
Offline Last Active Oct 17 2012 10:24 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What Are a Game Designer Job Requirements?

12 October 2012 - 11:01 PM

I'm already watching the EC show but yet you guys drew lots of light right at the areas i needed, so thanks a dozen.

one thing to note: and im not into having a career in the indie game community - since i want a solid stable job, yet after reading what u say - i will sure give a stronger push on making my own completed games, so i'd have things to show in job interviews.

i understand what u said and since i'm planning to study for a bachelor degree, it raises me the next, sorta complicated, question:

Telcontar said that there aren't really 'game design' only jobs,
for a role which contains the most game design work in a typical popular video game company, should i look for a degree in game design, computer science or graphic design?
i have no priority over none, and it seems like computer science would give me an extra push in interviews more than the game design one, either because the game design degree is less developed\stable, or the computer science is harder- i might be way wrong but i just want to know,

Thanks again for all the help, much appreciated!,

I actually recommend either double-majoring or taking a minor in art or programming. Graphic design is not what you want - it's too focused on 2D art and professional game companies these days make 3D games. Computer science will definitely teach you a lot about programming, but it usually doesn't focus on game-specific programming techniques.

I recommend checking out the digital counselor at game career guide. It should help you find schools to look into.

In Topic: Stuck with my idea.

12 October 2012 - 11:15 AM

Hi guys,

II thought about this idea a while ago, about a multiple character platformer game where the player controls a few characters.

The (current) game idea is as follow :

1) The player starts with a character and he can save more character as he progress.
2) Each character get a timer, which will deplete when the player use that character.
3) When all the character finish their timer, the turn ends. Each turn will cost the player resource(Battery) and it is important to gather those battery.
4) The game is room based and to exit the room, The player must turn on certain switches and get all his/her characters to the end point.
5) Each room will provide the player with opportunity to get items/power-up/equipment but will cost the player extra time from their characters.

I toyed around with the multiple character ideas but it seems like something is missing from the game that makes it interesting and fun. I am too close to the game to see the bigger picture so maybe someone can point out the real problems, but first let me state some of the problems I had with the game.

1) The game is too slow paced. Having to switch character every 20 secs or so kind of break the momentum of platforming game. To counter this, I tried another mechanic. In the new mechanic, the battery will run down as the character deplete its timer. This means that each battery provide one character with one recharge instead of recharging the entire team. This makes the game more fast paced but reduce the need for having more than one character, which bring us to the next point.
2) There isn't a need for more than one character. I can't seems to make this part work without make it into a puzzle game.
3) Problem with having enemies. If the game have enemy, then it might attack the player's non-active characters. I am not really sure how to go about dealing with this or is this the "player's problem" like how RTS don't care if your units are being attack while you are building your base. Having no enemy makes the game too static.
4) Repeating task. If I put my end point away from my start point, then the player need to perform the same actions, walk the same paths for every character to reach the end point. I kind of find this frustrating. If I put the start point near the end point, then the challenges of having multiple character is totally removed. I could start all the characters at random positions but I am not quite sure if that should be the way to go.

I know that this post is too long so for those people with not much time
tl;dr : My platformer game with multiple controllable characters is having some fundamental design problems.

Maybe the idea can't be saved so just go on and flame me for that =P, but if you have any good idea or tried this before, please point out some of the major issue with this.

I've played a multiple character platformer that worked well before.

The Lost Vikings.

In Topic: What Are a Game Designer Job Requirements?

12 October 2012 - 11:03 AM


This question is directed to the people who work in an official - not indie - video game companies.

I'm a young dude, who would like to be a game designer, I think I have the right potential but have no idea how to execute it.

That's why I making this thread and asking about the job requirements, the institutions I should apply for, experience I should already have, and such.

Any help will be grateful,


Excellent question. I second the recommendation to not only watch this episode of Extra Credits, but to watch as much of the series as you can. It's a freely available resource and James Portnow gives a lot of really great advice. This episode is spot-on.

The requirements do vary from company to company, so I'm going to focus on the core of design that doesn't vary. Take this as a supplement to this episode of Extra Credits.

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs

The primary skill is design. It's not about coming up with ideas or stories, it's about designing systems. Mechanically, all games are an interesting system to explore. You need to be able to see how the parts of a system interact in able to craft systems that are fun to explore. Due to this, I highly recommend studying some systems thinking if you intend to get into game design. It will help you understand and map out how the game's internal economies and mechanics function and make it easier to spot imbalances or problems in the design of a system.

The best way to learn how game systems and mechanics interact with each other is to play with them. This means playing games as a designer, and it also involves tweaking rules. The fastest way to start doing this is with board games and card games. In fact, board games & card games are a great starting point for studying the design of games because you can literally deconstruct them to examine how everything interacts. For example, in Monopoly you could change the ratio of beneficial chance cards to detrimental chance cards, change the amount of money earned each time you pass go, change the amount of money properties cost or earn, etc. When changing a rule to see how the change alters the way the game plays, only change them one rule at a time. This way, you can be absolutely which change produced which result.

There is a lot of competition for design jobs, so most companies are now looking for designers that have successfully shipped a game. I'm not just talking about following a pygame or unity tutorial - I'm talking about building a complete game and getting it approved by certification at Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. It's a bit of a catch-22: If you want to make games professionally, you must first make games.

For your first forays into digital game development, you should start small. Pong small. Breakout small. Don't go beyond 2 dimensions yet. The classic mistake that every developer makes with their first game is trying something too big and not realizing how big it was going to be. Find some friends that want to make games and work on some small arcade-style games together. Even if your first 5 attempts to make a game fail, you'll still have 5 times the experience of that other applicant that just has some good ideas. Many places are also looking for designers that have branched out from pure design. Designers that have art or programming experience (especially programming experience) have an edge over a pure designer when applying for a design job.

I'm going to recommend a few good books for beginners, as well:
  • Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite & Ian Schreiber - this book is an excellent workbook filled with game design challenges and design problems to explore with paper prototypes, card games, and board games. It lets you get design practice without needing programming or art experience. It's perfect for the beginning game designer that wants to get their hands dirty playing with game mechanics.
  • Fundamentals of Game Design by Ernest Adams - Ernest was my introduction to game design, and his book is a great foundation of knowledge to build upon.
  • Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton - Another great introductory book with a focus on prototyping and playtesting early and often in the course of designing a game.
These are the main 3 that I recommend for beginners and they provide you with a great foundation to build upon. :)

Also, you should participate in the Global Game Jam in January. I did my first game jam at the end of last month and it was an amazing experience to build a complete game in 48 hours or less.