Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
rnw159

Job as Game Designer?

This topic is 2997 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I love to program. I try to get 20-30 hours in each week and it isn't because I am forcing myself to, I have fun programing. For a while I have heard a guy talking about wanting to 'design' games and I asked him if he knew how to program or had any experience. He basically said, "I have cool ideas so I don't need to know any of that stuff. I can get a job as a designer and just tell the programers what to do." Now to me, a quarter of the fun of making a game is being able to mold the gameplay however you want. I need some assurance, that in the game development industry, there will not be room for that guy. If there was a job that only required you to come up with cool ideas while other people put them into action who the hell wouldn't take it? I would honestly take it but I would probably still keep programing.
My dream job is one that will let me develop and program all in one career.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
If there was a job that only required you to come up with cool ideas while other people put them into action who the hell wouldn't take it?

Me.

I have more fun forging stuff to reality in a good quality and possibly optimizing it than just thinking about it all day long. Of course my ideal job is, too, to think and code.

Sidenote: I am not talking about being a real code monkey, but about a job where thinking and discussing is welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All I mean is, what requires more work, programing or designing? Its obvious that programing requires more work and it scares me a little to think that a design job would be higher value than a programing job.

edit: (to clarify) my ideal job would be one where I could program, but If I had a killer idea I would be allowed to use the idea in whatever game the team was making.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by rnw159
All I mean is, what requires more work, programing or designing? Its obvious that programing requires more work and it scares me a little to think that a design job would be higher value than a programing job.


It isn't. Programmers are generally paid more and enjoy better job security. They are also much more in demand.

As for designers, they are not paid to sit around and have ideas. They are paid to develop the game mechanics and ensure that they are fun, intuitive, and complete. They have to then document those mechanics clearly so that the programmers and artists can implement them correctly. They are also quite often responsible for much of the non-art content of the game - which means that quite often they get landed with tedious data-entry monkey work.

As for contributing ideas, as a general rule, anyone can. The only people who get to be purely 'ideas men' are those who are paying the bills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, that took a load off my mind.

Do the companies ever hire designers that don't know the first thing about programming? Wouldn't they make unrealistic demands?


edit: fixed spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They hire lots of designers who don't know the first thing about programming. However, most of them won't be telling you what to do - they'll be making levels or placing objects and so on.

Sometimes there will be a lead designer who knows nothing about programming. And yes, sometimes they have unrealistic expectations (not demands - if your demands are unrealistic then your company closes pretty quickly). Usually the lead designer will then talk with the lead programmer to find out what is actually possible and they reach a compromise.

Personally I would prefer designers to come from a programming background for exactly this reason, but in the industry you won't always have that luxury. Besides, some will say that they prefer their designers to be unencumbered by ideas of what is realistic. (I don't agree with this.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by rnw159
Do the companies ever hire designers that don't know the first thing about programming? Wouldn't they make unrealistic demands?


Yes, and yes.

Designers often come from a QA background, and have little if any programming experience. Familiarity with scripting languages may be very useful though, as often designers will be tasked with implementing some gameplay features via scripts and other data.

As for unrealistic demands, when that happens usually the programmer tasked with implementing the impossible or broken design will discuss the issues with the designer(s) and settle on a workable solution together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kylotan
some will say that they prefer their designers to be unencumbered by ideas of what is realistic. (I don't agree with this.)


That sounds fine to me, as long as the programmers expected to implement their ideas are unencumbered by constraints on time and money [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by rnw159
1. He basically said, "I have cool ideas so I don't need to know any of that stuff. I can get a job as a designer and just tell the programers [sic] what to do."
2. Now to me, a quarter of the fun of making a game is being able to mold the gameplay however you want.
3. I need some assurance, that in the game development industry, there will not be room for that guy.
4. If there was a job that only required you to come up with cool ideas while other people put them into action
5. My dream job is one that will let me develop and program all in one career.

1. The last 8 words of his statement are wrong. The designer does not tell the programmers what to do.
2. The last 6 words of your statement are wrong. As a member of a team, the programmer has to program what the overall vision requires. Every team member does have input into the gameplay, but the designer isn't a dictator, and the programmer can't say 'screw you' to the rest of the team and do what he wants.
3. Sorry. Maybe you should read up on the various jobs in the game industry. Go to the Breaking In forum and read the FAQs there.
4. No, that's not what the designer does. The designer fleshes out the design details for the game that the team is supposed to be working on. Read http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm
5. What does the word "develop" mean, if not "program" -- or did you just mistype (accidentally substituting "develop" for "design")?


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by rnw159
All I mean is, what requires more work, programing or designing? Its obvious that programing requires more work and it scares me a little to think that a design job would be higher value than a programing job.


Personally, I don't believe it's quite as cut-and-dried as 'programming requires more work'. And why would it scare you to think that a design job could pay more than a programming job?

In my limited experience it seems to take both programmer/s and designer/s, along with a slew of other folks; working together; on the same page, and not hung up on whose job is more important, to complete a project.

I think anyone you talk to who has designed an entire MMOG or similar type project though, would be slightly offended by your 'Its obvious that programming requires more work' statement. What specifically is your basis for that statement, and what exactly are you comparing?


Quote:
Do the companies ever hire designers that don't know the first thing about programming? Wouldn't they make unrealistic demands?

Just because a person doesn't program, doesn't necessarily mean they are not aware of coding limitations and capable of designing within those parameters.

Personally, I think most designers are smart enough to speak with programmers first before including any system into their design that they may suspect is a little sketchy. That's just my opinion though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!