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n14Charlie

Another: "I want to be a game designer" thread

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n14Charlie    122
Hey all
Right now I'm getting my master's degree in Computer Science, and my dream after I'm done is to move abroad and try to squeeze myself into the gaming industry.
I'm a programmer by profession but I dream of being a designer, is there any way I can "learn" the craf of a being a designer? is there any book? or the only thing I should do is try to make a portfolio of games I developed using different engine.
Any help will be appreciated :)

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zyrolasting    280
If you've programmed an application before, you would have had to design it to begin with. Designing is about deciding what you want, recognizing where things can go wrong, and the ideal course of action to write the best implementation. A design always starts with a vision, which is highly subject to various logical flaws and desires that could make programmers start circulating their resumes.

To put it simply, designing a game is merely documenting how a game world works down to every detail that will be referenced by artists, programmers, level designers, etc.

Everyone is capable of designing anything, but being any good at it involves practice (surprise, surprise). Look at what passes for good design and bad by doing some research. I'm sure there are many "Top 10" lists that can give you a vague idea of what's hot and what's not. You could read books on the subject, but the best teacher for any conceptual field is failure and honest feedback from the more grouchy (read: experienced) members of GDNet.

Until you can find formal training for Game Design at Full Sail or wherever, just grab some paper or open Word and design a game. Head to the game design forum and (briefly!) share your design, and get a taste for it before deciding to move out of programming.

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Tom Sloper    16040
Quote:
Original post by n14Charlie
is there any way I can "learn" the craf of a being a designer? is there any book?

Yes, there are several books.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson8.htm
And just do it. Write some designs.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/specs.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson13.htm

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Edtharan    607
As zyrolasting said: "practice". Ideas are cheap, so one way to practice is to just come up with an idea and design the game as a theoretical excersize. You might not develop the game, but at least you will get practice in designing. Using GDNet here will allow you to get feedback on your designs and help improve your skills.

There are often posts from other designers in these forums where they propose games that they are not intending to develop, but are just using it as a discussion, or as a theoretical excersize to improve their skills.

And, if you have an idea that you don't want to put forward (for what ever reason), you don't have to put forward that idea, just come up with something just for the purpose of learning.

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JoeCooper    350
Quote:
Original post by Edtharan
As zyrolasting said: "practice". Ideas are cheap, so one way to practice is to just come up with an idea and design the game as a theoretical excersize. You might not develop the game, but at least you will get practice in designing.


It's worth doing that a lot; fleshing out designs. But also implement some. Use some "quick & dirty" prototyping approach, like making it on paper or in Java or Flash or even a game kit. When you actually play a game, it brings out a lot of interesting flaws that will warrant revisement.

Also try to think deeply about games you play and what decisions you're really making as you play them, and what you're really doing. A lot of games are deceptively simple. If you see a game that just looks really simple and mindless, look deeper.

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