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FlashChump

Dev/Designer to Designer

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FlashChump    122
Currently I design and develop casual flash games. What skills and experience should I pick up if I want to eventually move away from development and focus mainly on the design aspects?

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Omega147    536
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Original post by FlashChump
Currently I design and develop casual flash games. What skills and experience should I pick up if I want to eventually move away from development and focus mainly on the design aspects?

Design in games has a heavy emphasis on writing. Scripts, storyboards, design documents, game manuals and documentation, quests, tutorials, character and creature details, etc. All of which a game designer may be asked at one point or another to contribute to or oversee in the gaming industry, and then some. Your English (or native language of the game studio) should be strong. You must be a skilled verbal and written communicator capable of getting ideas across. You should be versatile in your personal knowledge base--you may be great at American history or an opera buff or whatever, but sometime down the line you may need to know a thing or two about plants or cosmology; research things for fun, expand your mind! And, you need to be creative (imagination-wise).

Having some basic art skills is also handy, as it will allow you to sketch out rough ideas of characters or scenes for later reference. You don't need to be great, but at least better than stick men (preferably). Take a couple college level art courses and that should cover that part.

As a further recommendation, a designer must be able to accept and cope with change. In the industry, not every idea a designer presents will make it into the game, and even the ideas that do take hold usually end up mutilated and hacked apart from their original form. A designer has to accept this, though, and be able to move on without holding a grudge--take the criticism and whatever compliments you can get, and leave your ego at the door. Though this suggestion applies more-so to those working in the gaming industry, indie projects must accept this fact as well, since development never goes as planned. Things will change, and the final product may be quite different than you originally imagined it to be. That's just how it is.

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