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XvDragonvX

How misunderstod do you think designers are?

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how misunderstood do you think designers are in the industry? I think designers are pretty misunderstood, a lot of people think that all they do is create ideas (not speaking for anyone). Well thats not all they do. They''re also the people that hold the team together, the game would pretty much fall apart without designers.

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quote:
Original post by XvDragonvX
how misunderstood do you think designers are in the industry?

I don''t care how misunderstood they are. This isn''t a sympathy party, it''s a development effort. Do your job and leave the weenies to underappreciate your efforts. The people who work with you know what you do, and how well you do it.

quote:
I think designers are pretty misunderstood, a lot of people think that all they do is create ideas (not speaking for anyone). Well thats not all they do. They''re also the people that hold the team together, the game would pretty much fall apart without designers.

First, your assertion is flawed, at best. The game would pretty much fall apart without the programmers. The game would pretty much fall apart without the artists. The game would pretty much fall apart without the designer(s). The game would pretty much fall apart without the producers. The game would pretty much fall apart without outsourced talent, if used. In other words, all parts are necessary to build the whole.

What, you feel "misunderstood" in your current job/team? Get over it. If it''s a job, take it up with your superior (they know that morale is important). If it''s a team and some ignorant programmer punk is trash-talking, ask him to switch roles for an afternoon and then pepper him with the kinds of structural questions you answer.

That said, I fail to see the point of your thread, particularly on a forum called Game Design.

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Just out of curiosity to go along with this...how important do programmers feel that the Designers should understand programming? At what competence level should the designer know programming? Other than Wil Wright, I can't think of any top-tier game designers that know no programming.

Frankly, I started learning programming so that I could talk on the same level as the programmers. I still have a LONG LONG way to go in terms of becoming proficient at programming, but I think I at least have a good notion of some of the fundamentals. It's funny though...sometimes just when I thought I understood something and I try to code it...my mind just goes blank and I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing

And since Designers are sort of the "visionary" behind the game, how much should they know about writing, music and art? Afterall, a game is the sum of its parts. A director of a movie doesn't have to play musical instruments, know carpentry to create sets, or know much about fashion...but he does have to have a good idea of how they all fit together. And while a director may not know how to act, he has to be able to get across to the actors the emotions they should be conveying.

So, how much should a designer know ideally? While personal communications skills are important, I would think a certain amunt of common ground in technical terms must be established to communicate effectively.

[edited by - dauntless on March 17, 2003 1:02:14 PM]

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Professional designers recommend that you have some skill in everything. They recommend that you try to master programming. Designing is the most missunderstood but I think programming is by far the most important. I''m learning programming for the same reason you are Dauntless.

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Ideally you should know everything. Since that is not an option your minimum requirement in every field is that the respective specialist can communicate with you efficiently and effectively. That means some programming, some art (including 3d skills), some music.
Design skills shouldn´t really have to be mentioned, without them there´s nothing (and yes, it is a skill that can be learnt, it has nothing to do with vision).

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They are plenty misunderstood, but for the reason that most people simply don''t understand the design process. And it is true that you should not let it bother you, but project management skills proscribe (at least in my book) that you communicate clearly enough so that nobody has room for criticism that is anything other than constructive.

I think game designers are coming to light more and more as the key individual in the game creation process, and that means that a lot of prima donna programmers (who may not, and often don''t possess design skills outside of software design skills and perhaps some graphic design skills in a 3-D modeling package or photoshop) will have to take second chair for once.

Since programmers mainly created alot of games from the infancy of this industry, that is going to be a bitter pill for them to swallow, but if they want the industry to make better games, they will accede.

Why? Because design, good and complete design and it''s relevant and associative skillsets simply are not in the skillsets of anybody else except designers (with the rare exception here and there, I agree).

Don''t think so? Spend a few years studying architecture (the mother of all arts) and find out how deeply aesthetic and structure permeate in very subtle ways *all* design. It''s not just squares and sticks, nor it is either levels and targets in games.

In Game Architecture and Design, arguably a classic in this field, without hesitation explains that programming is actually only 20% of the game making process. If you were to add in modeling, animation and other art assets, you would still not get to a hundred percent of the process, and I am not even counting what happens when you get to gold master.

The designer is responsible for the whole aesthetic, detailing and every design choice (unless delegated to a sub designer like a level designer or a graphic artist) in the entire game. If you think programming, modeling and animation and art is all it takes, you are wasting your time in this business.

The future of this business demands more complex and sophisticated games, and that means massive design development on the pre-production levels, including the documentation demon. I didn''t set these criteria in front of us all, our bosses the customer did. Has you heard the idea in the publishing world that you sell to a publisher because you have his audience wired?

I love to write, and have been writing and desinging for a very long time. I can deal with these pre-production aesthetic demands, and I believe it will give my game design it''s best chance of success. I know very little about programming, but I bet you your compiler of choice I can describe documentatively everything a programmer needs to know in advance so they can plan the software efficiently. I know a ton about architecture, but am not a licensed architect or ever formally studied it in school. Yet I build all of old town san diego (to the tune of 2 billion dollars) by intelligently managing an architect, an engineer and an attorney. Oh, let''s not forget political management, probably the least understood key skill.

The bottom line is I know a great programmer will get and execute in code what I want the game or particular object or asset to do. I know I can do the same with an animator and a graphic artist and a level designer, because I know the goal and total concept of the gameworld and it''s play objectives.

That means I know the story, the gameplay and the interactive objectives, as well as the scale, architecture and aesthetic of the project overall. You won''t see me cutting a single line of code, nor will you see me pretending to know how to do so.

But my programmer will be satisfied, because I articulated a clear and accurate picture of what is happening on the screen, and how it relates to the big picture of the game. Every other professional will respect the vision I create for the game, for if they don''t I''m not a very good designer, or didn''t design for success, and shouldn''t be in that position of decision making.

The reason all of the people on my team are happy to carry the responsibilities of their particular discipline (whether art, code, model or hull) and are willing to use their expertice to guide me making design choices in the pre-production proofing stage of the project, so they had a chance to weigh in and understand the overall theme of the game.

But above all, I as a designer must also communicate to my team that I have thought about the most important thing in the game design process, the player, and that is an argument even the publisher cannot say no to if you have done enough research and thinking. Team members know they are onboard with a winner, because you have control of the process of creation of games.

It''s about the players who plunk down money and sell more units by word of mouth. Publishers can''t logically argue against this, nor can a team member, unless the designer has forsaken one of their jobs responsibilities by not thinking every single aspect of the game through, getting feedback, rewriting and redesigning, and then doing what creative people do; they make the choice that after all the refinement, this is how it is going to go together.

If you are willing to live with the responsibility and workload that kind of development requires, then you can succeed in this business.

There is an old business adage, "Don''t think about the competition, think about the customer." I guarantee the publisher does all day long, or pays somebody to do that all day long. That is where yes and an inked deal lies.

FWIW,
Adventuredesign

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I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I go to college, the main things i'm focusing on are Designing and producing/marketing. As for the rest of it, I'm not sure.

[edited by - xvdragonvx on March 17, 2003 11:49:44 PM]

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