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1st Week as a Game Designer

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zer0wolf

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Well, I started work last Wednesday, so I figured this would be a good time to reflect on my first week as a game designer.

Day 1: I spent all day doing things like setting up my company e-mail address, Messenger client, e-mail client, etc. I also made a list of things that I'd need to bring in from work and things for our IT Manager to get a hold of for me to be more productive. I spent the day kinda getting to know the guy I'd be assisting and also spent a bunch of time reviewing through the current state of the design documents and the company's wiki and forums.

Day 2: This is where I really starting to dive into the design documentation, getting more intimately familiar with it. I started going through the current FDD (functional design document), making notes and comments about various things that I sat down and discussed with the lead designer on the project. I also had a nice sit down with our Art & Design Director about where the company is at, where we're heading, and the overall structure of the company.

Day 3: (Friday) Well, I finished my initial run through of the FDD and I started work on visual effects for the game. The FDD was at about 80 pages at this point, and I needed to peer through it and come up with a master visual effects list for the entire game.

Day 4: (Monday) I reviewed over the Visual Effects list with the lead designer. I spent a good portion of the day moving onto creating a sound effects list for the game and I started work on a Photoshop template for GUI design for the title I'm working on for both the DS and the Wii. I also started a master list of GUI objects in the game to help aid me in the creation of the Photoshop GUI template. I also worked on a Use Case for the visual effects list for a part of the game.

Day 5: I returned to my use case after getting feedback on it, but I was pulled away from it to work on a more urgent matter - getting a list of voice overs done today, because the lead designer is leaving town the following morning. So, I spent some time work on that. I also cleaned up the SFX list and I then put both lists into our Audio Design Document. I also had the pleasure of being at my first team meeting, where I got to introduce myself to everyone. I felt kinda dumb.

A coworker, who is a GD.net member as well, commented about how it's something that I walked right into a game designer position right after college. I'm still excited about it, but I feel a little dwarfed at BLS, even though it is small, because most of the guys here have at least a few titles under their belts. I'll get there soon enough, I suppose.

Day 7: (Today) Well, with the lead designer on the project gone, I found myself at a stand still. I got the GUI design templates to point of where I wanted them, but beyond that I wasn't sure what to do next. I sat down with the Producer and figured out a little plan of action. So far I've been kind of spoon fed my assignments by our lead designer. Now I'm entering a little more of a self governing position. Interesting stuff.

All in all I think Black Lantern Studios is going to be a pretty cool place to work. Everyone here seems to enjoy what they do, which is certainly a change of pace from most jobs. It is going to take a little getting use to as far as spending so much time sitting in front of Word on a regular basis, but I think I can get used to it.

I wish I could say what I'm working on, but obviously I can't because it is at such an early stage. I can say however that I'm pretty excited to be able to work on both the Wii and the DS right off the bat.
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Congratulations on what looks like a very promising career!

I remember the first job I ever had was horrible (no organization at all). From the looks of it it seems you've got some good management and they know what kind of assignments to give.

Best of luck with your game design role, please keep updating this blog as I'm a regular visitor.

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Thanks for the feedback [wink]

As I said several entries ago, I've been meaning to use this journal for something useful, and I've finally gotten to a point in my life where I feel like I have some things worth writing about. Hopefully my journal will give prospective game designers some food for thought in their endeavors.

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