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Demiurge666

Are there any game designers out there with poor artistic talent?

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I really want to become a game designer as in constructing the game design document and writing the storyline but I can''t draw. Anyone with a similiar dilemma? Jehovah is viewed by Gnostics as fundamentally evil, jealous, rigid, lacking in compassion and prone to genocide.

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Strictly speaking, artistic talent is not necessary to be a good game designer. It helps, because a picture says more than a thousand words, sometimes. My interview packet for a game design position suggests the use of Paint or PhotoShop to create simple diagrams and mack-ups of the visual aspect of the design, as well as any schematics.

It is unknown whether great designers like Will Wright, Warren Spector or Peter Molyneux have any artistic talent as it is not the aspect of their abilities that is emphasized. It is their ability to think logically, to analyze human stimulation, and to develop risk-reward mechanisms that keep people playing (I''ve heard Will Wright described as "social theorist turned game designer") that makes them good at what they do.

Keep in mind that up-front design positions are rare; it was by emphasizing my programming background - specifically game programming, on appropriate platforms - that I got an interview.

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I can''t draw but I could program though

Jehovah is viewed by Gnostics as fundamentally evil, jealous, rigid, lacking in compassion and prone to genocide.

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I program and compose... to hell with drawing and model making, although, most of those little projects i tend to do end up being along the lines of a dot moving around the screen with cool music! ;-)

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As Oluseyi says, a game designer technically needn't have any artistic ability at all. However, it is extremely difficult (indeed, nigh impossible) to achieve a strict "game design" position. Most "game designer" job listings, you'll notice, talk about wanting several years of level design, modeling, or in some cases programming experience.

From a purist standpoint, I wouldn't consider any of these elements to be part of Game Design. However, even if you're able to find an entry level position that doesn't ask for these skills, a candidate with programming experience, composition, or visual art talent in particular, will be much more suited to the job initially and will inevitably have a leg up on the competition, because they have another avenue for communicating complex ideas to large groups of people.

If you have no experience in any of these areas, or don't feel you have what it takes, your best bet is to go the "high road" and develop top-notch writing skills. A proven writer may find it much more difficult to get into game design than an artist or programmer; but in this designer's opinion, a designer with uncanny talent for both technical and creative writing is by far the ideal choice for a dedicated Game Design position.

****************************************

Brian Lacy
ForeverDream Studios

Comments? Questions? Curious?


"I create. Therefore I am."

[edited by - irbrian on May 10, 2004 10:50:50 PM]

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I can draw stick figures, and thats about it. Then again, I never was that interested in drawing (at least not interested enought to practice).

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Can you learn?

I was in your boat awhile ago. But I''ve spent the last 1 1/2 years (off and on) learning 3D modeling, photoshop and art techniques. I am about to complete an art course at a local community college as well that has taught me alot of the basics of colors, shapes and how to look at the world in order to translate it onto the page.

I did this because, although I can program, I''ve noticed that when it comes to soliciting help for projects artists seem to be in short supply. It''s very satisfying to be able to come up with an idea and know that not only can you code it, but you can put in all the art and maybe even buy the sound effects if necessary on one of those FX CDs (for a reasonable small project).

Maybe you won''t be able to program the next big thing all by yourself. But when it comes to selling your ideas, it''s nice to be able to put together a small mockup or prototype and not worry about relying on them thar herbal-tea sippin'' bohemian artist-folks. (*ahem* no offense to herbal-tea sippin'' bohemians )

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Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by irbrian
As Oluseyi says, a game designer technically needn''t have any artistic ability at all. However, it is extremely difficult (indeed, nigh impossible) to achieve a strict "game design" position. Most "game designer" job listings, you''ll notice, talk about wanting several years of level design, modeling, or in some cases programming experience.



I think this is mostly because the designer is often considered (sometimes rightly) superfluous after production begins, even for a larger studio that''s constantly cranking out product. So unless you have a contractor working for you, the "game designer" position has to do something else in the meantime.



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Just waiting for the mothership...

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