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What does a game designer do???

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Hiya I read the gamedev news about a game designer wanted and saw that it had said "design core componets". I thought that a game desingers job was to write the storyboard and be the ''director'' of the game. Then I saw a post here about ''I want to make an engine''. What is the true role you game designers play? Also, if I wanted to ask for design help with my engine, would this be the right forum? Thanks.

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I don''t think anyone who just sits back and just says how things have to be would get any respect in a workplace unless he was the guy that was put in charge by the company funding the game or actually the guy funding the game. There isn''t some official dreamposition of being able to sit back and just write out what your vision for a game is. The game designer is the guy who takes his vision and actually creates a design document, pseudo code, core engine components, story boards, and other such material items. Unless you win the lottery you aren''t goign to be able to get anywhere in the game industry with just a good imagination.

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quote:
Original post by no one
I read the gamedev news about a game designer wanted and saw that it had said "design core componets". I thought that a game desingers job was to write the storyboard and be the ''director'' of the game.

ROFL. The designer has to design the whole game.
1. Come up with the idea
2. Write up how the software will opperate from start up to exit (not how the game will play).
3. define each module of the code (the core components mentioned above) that are needed and specify how they work. EG Physiscs, AI, Graphics engine, network code
4. define all the graphics required (models, textures etc)
5. Define all the animations
6. Define all the audio
7. List all the levels, all the objects in them, all the NPCs, their actions and reactions.
8. Write or at least organise the script.
etc etc etc.

Then they work with the coder and artist to turn this creative doc into a technical/art doc.

Then as development progresses they adjust the design (when things don''t work) and update the design to reflect changes.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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Yes think of the Game Designer like the "Engineer" and the Programmers, Artists, and Sound Experts as the technitians. They come up with the work, you actualy do the work. It''s the same as with Officers and Enlisted in the military, the Officers tell you what to do, the Enlisted are the ones doing all the labor.

Point is, that without a plan, you can''t have a product. And the better the plan is, the better product it should be.

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quote:
Original post by furby100
I hear they just sit there and do nothing while getting paid the most.


indeed, that´s all I do.

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I wasn't saying that because I want to get rich doing nothing.
If anything I want to be one of the core engine programmers some day or such. I just wasnt sure what the role of a game designer was, thats all. I didnt know they did all of that. Heck, thats sounds like a job I would like to do!

[edited by - no one on September 28, 2003 8:47:34 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Obscure
ROFL. The designer has to design the whole game.
1. Come up with the idea
2. Write up how the software will opperate from start up to exit (not how the game will play).
3. define each module of the code (the core components mentioned above) that are needed and specify how they work. EG Physiscs, AI, Graphics engine, network code
4. define all the graphics required (models, textures etc)
5. Define all the animations
6. Define all the audio



Actually, no, in my professional development experience designers do none of the above things. Someone else often comes up with the idea, and the designer has to turn it into a game. The designer doesn''t dictate how the code will be architected, nor does he determine what textures will be needed: lead programmers and lead artists do that.

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From my experience the designer may or may not come up with the concept. In my team the designer is responsible for coming up with ideas, but others are encouraged to do so as well in brainstorming sessions. The designer will turn the concept into a full design for the game and, in doing so, will heavily dictate the type of content that goes into the game.

The designer does have to layout the flow of the game software, though not as technically as the lead programmer does. I.e. the game flow will follow in this order (when modularity is possible). The designer is also responsible for the interface functionality (pressing A Button = confirm, etc...).

In our team the designer does NOT define how each piece of code will work nor what they are. He is heavily consulted in the functionality needed in each module, but it is the lead programmer who figures out how what will happen.

He does define what graphics are needed and approves final in-game graphics, but the artist creates it, of course. The designer does define, again, what animations and audio is required. But it is the respective creators who actually figure out how and the designer simply approves the content.

I don''t think our model is entirely representative of all situations, but it does represent a small company well. Our designer acts as the designer (level and lead), the producer and the creative director. In a larger company you would have a game designer as well as a level designer, a producer and possibly a creative director (though that may still be coupled with the producer).

Charles Galyon

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Guest Anonymous Poster
"Game Designer" usually describes the guy at your company who has no real skills and just sits around all day either browsing the web or talking about this "awesome new game" he''s thought of.

Somehow this person manages to never do any work and get paid more than anyone. He''s in at 11 and gone by 4.

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