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Gamespot: "So You Want to Be a Game Designer"

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Just showed up on Slashdot. "A great idea is meaningless. A great idea that leverages your existing technology, gets the team excited, is feasible to do on time and budget, is commericially competitive, and, last but not least, floats the boat of a major publisher... Now you have something." -- Ken Levine Gamespot: "So You Want to Be a Game Designer"

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Yep. Thats pretty much it. Unless an idea is actually feasible to do in reality, then it is not even worth considering. For example: everyone would love to build a complete simulation of the entire world, and it is a fantastic idea!.. How attainable is such a lofty goal though ? - completely impossible is what it is..

Good quote.

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Original post by Darragh
Yep. Thats pretty much it. Unless an idea is actually feasible to do in reality, then it is not even worth considering. For example: everyone would love to build a complete simulation of the entire world, and it is a fantastic idea!.. How attainable is such a lofty goal though ? - completely impossible is what it is..

Good quote.

Yes, lets wait till 4e4 until we say that [grin]

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- Feasible to do on time and budget,
- commercially competitive and
- floats the boat of a major publisher.

This equals 'dull 'most of the time. I respect the article because that one guy worked on Planescape: Torment but I don't agree with those three requirements. I would call myself a game designer but none of my designs pass these tests. OK, I never give myself a deadline so strike that out, but the last two remain. When I get an idea for a game I let it stay in my head for a while and if it develops (I usually go through things of this sort in my head when I'm in the shower, for example) into something I find interesting then I write down a quick outline and as time goes on I add and edit until I'm happy with it. Then I start implementing it. I don't care whose boat it floats or if it's commercially competitive (usually it is not). I'm not sure if I ever want to work in the industry but for now I enjoy making games that stagger off the trodden path.

Yeah, the article was aimed at people who want to 'get in'. This is just my view. Then again to return to the guy I mentioned earlier, I don't think Planescape: Torment was ever commercially competitive and KOTOR 2 was certainly not a feasible design for its deadline (no idea about the budget).

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I think the article is pretty dead on. At least for the standard development team or company.

But then, it seems when a company uses their strict deadline and limited budget to create something above and beyond the average game and sells exceptionatly well, their next budget and timeframe is extended.

for example, look how long it took games like Warcraft 3, Halo 2, Doom 3, and Half Life 2 to finish.

Its probably the same as with movies. Steven Spielberg gets alot less limitations than that guy who directed Saw will ever get again.

So, I guess, if you have this grand amazing game thats going to take 5 years to finish and 25 hundred people to work on it, then you'd better not try to develop it untill you've established yourself in the industry with previous titles that dont suck.

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Original post by infrmtn
- Feasible to do on time and budget,
- commercially competitive and
- floats the boat of a major publisher.

This equals 'dull 'most of the time. I respect the article because that one guy worked on Planescape: Torment but I don't agree with those three requirements. I would call myself a game designer but none of my designs pass these tests. OK, I never give myself a deadline so strike that out, but the last two remain. When I get an idea for a game I let it stay in my head for a while and if it develops (I usually go through things of this sort in my head when I'm in the shower, for example) into something I find interesting then I write down a quick outline and as time goes on I add and edit until I'm happy with it. Then I start implementing it. I don't care whose boat it floats or if it's commercially competitive (usually it is not). I'm not sure if I ever want to work in the industry but for now I enjoy making games that stagger off the trodden path.

Yeah, the article was aimed at people who want to 'get in'. This is just my view. Then again to return to the guy I mentioned earlier, I don't think Planescape: Torment was ever commercially competitive and KOTOR 2 was certainly not a feasible design for its deadline (no idea about the budget).


I think it's talking about designers, to be complete it would have to include one more clause:

-You are able to try implementing it yourself; in that case scrap the above and may God be on your side.

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