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flyingpenguin9200

Becoming a game designer

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Ok...so I have been researching how to become a professional game designer and I have hit a wall. When you look up "game design" you get a lot of stuff on art, animation, etc. These are all important things, but not something I am interested in as a career. When I think of designer, I think of a guy who comes up with ideas and then fleshes them out (with other team members of course) and then helps them come to life. The more I look, the more it seems that this position doesn't exist. From what I can tell, designer either has to do with art or simple project management. I am really looking for a path into game design, online schools, etc...but I am not having any luck. I am a programmer by trade so I originally thought that I could become a game developer, then work my way over to the position I described above, but I was recently told that developing and design were completely different tracks. Is this a pipe dream? Does this kind of position not really exist? If it does, how do I get to that position? Thanks, David

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tellman    121
realy?... a simple google for "so you want to be a game designer" will reveal quite a lot of usefull and straight forward articles that answer your question directly.

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Wysardry    244
From your description, I think "producer" rather than "designer" is closer to the position you're looking for. The job titles vary depending on the size of the development team though.

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Eric Poitras    122
Yeah I would have to agree, being a producer of concept writer or something of the sort. Designing is quite a tedious and stressful job. It's not all fun and games, there's a LOT of paperwork involved and even more paperwork after that. If you really want to be a designer you'll have to study writing, technical writing that is. Technical in means of Concept Papers, Proposals, Technical Design Documents, Detailed Design Documents, etc. The hardest thing to do in designing is forming your ideas so that other people would understand them the way you do, it might sound simple enough but it's not.

So my suggestion would be learn to write like a pro and play MANY MANY games and study them. Hope this helps!

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DrEvil    1148
It's probably very difficult if not impossible to become a "game designer" without having first spent some time in the industry as an artist or programmer of some sort. It's not as simple as being a good technical writer and having ideas.

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I can understand that...a designer has to be like a technical writer.

Being a programmer by trade though makes me want to get more involved on the technical side of things.

Do programmers get involved in the "creative" side of things at all when it comes to professional game development? Or is it like the corporate world where you are handed basic tasks and told to go do them?

David

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rKallmeyer    396
Quality Assurance Analyst 1-3 years
Quality Assurance Engineer 1-3 years
Assosiate Producer 1-3 titles
Producer

Thats one way you can do it with no degree and no previous experience.

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catch    192
I don't mean to troll, but the problem with the game industry is not ideas. They have more than enough. Everyone has their own ideas.

You're going to find it _very_ difficult to be the guy who just comes up with ideas. It isn't impossible, but it is far from a cake walk.

The only recommendation I have is to be in the right place at the right time. Get used to not being a producer or even a designer until that happens.

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rKallmeyer    396
I wasn't being sarcastic about my post up there. I know of several people who started as analysts making $9 an hour and now have commas on their paychecks.

I agree that there are plenty of people that have ideas. But to say idea people arn't in demand because there are so many people with great ideas is missing the point.

What the industry respects is people who can do their job consistently, reliably, and cheaply. When it is required, get ready to work 100+ hour weeks. Don't be jirk. Don't waste your employers money. Don't waste your employers time by posting on gamedev.net (chuckle)

PS: those people that worked their way up have crappy ideas and are hard pressed to understand what makes a game fun. But they do a DAMN GOOD job at whatever they get paid to do. They also kiss more ass then an army of ass parasites.

[Edited by - Nuget5555 on August 4, 2004 5:59:27 PM]

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