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Advice for game design interest

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Hello everyone,

I have a little free time and I would like this opportunity to design and make a game for fun. Although I have a degree in computer science I do not like to program. I also studied a little of the 3ds Max program but after a few weeks of using it I feel its also something I am not interested in. I realize that the big problem here is that I am uninterested in the programming and art aspect of creating games, yet I am interested in the gameplay and how the game is designed on a psychological level. Also I do not have any friends who are interested in game development, so if I were to start a project it would be solo.

What I would like to know is what is the best way for me to design, or create a game? I would like to make a game but not focus so much on the art or programming and something that is manageable by myself. I know I will be severely limited but any advice would be nice. The only solution I have is just to make a game design document.

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1. What I would like to know is what is the best way for me to design,
2. or create a game?
3. The only solution I have is just to make a game design document.

1. Just start writing. That's it. See #3.
2. You might not be able to do that. If you want to be a designer, maybe you ought to get a job in games. The Breaking In forum has FAQs about that, and if you want to talk about getting a job in games, go to that forum and start a thread there.
As for the idea of getting a bunch of volunteers to join you and make your design into a game, that's unlikely. Many have gone on the Business/Law forum and started discussions about how to start an indie "business." Essentially, if you manage to find a bunch of guys who want to make a game, each one of them will have his own idea for a game he'd rather make than yours. Check out the Help Wanted forum and the Classifieds - you'll find lots of people wanting to form teams, but hardly any of them who can't find an idea to work on (or who are desperately seeking a designer).
3. Yes. Writing the GDD is pretty much all you can do at this stage. If you want to design your game, you ought to go ahead and do it. It can be rewarding, even if the game never gets made.

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Okay, thanks but one more question I had was I notice that game designers seems to wear two hats within development (they design the game, but they still have art or programming duties as well)

will I eventually have to learn more programming or get into art, or is it enough to understand and communicate what makes a game "fun" by creating game documents, or maybe using a level editor?

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Okay, thanks but one more question I had was I notice that game designers seems to wear two hats within development (they design the game, but they still have art or programming duties as well)
In large companies, this isn't true.
In small teams, it's not economical to have a dedicated designer, so often other staff will also put on their design hats.

If you're going to do this as a hobby or small business, it will be hard to get your designs actually made into games unless you (help to) do it yourself via your own programming/art.
Also note that in large companies, you might have 1 designer per every dozen artists/programmers, which means it's very hard to actually get a job as a full-time professional game designer. Companies will have dozens of staff, but only a handful of designers.

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I realize that the big problem here is that I am uninterested in the programming and art aspect of creating games, yet I am interested in the gameplay and how the game is designed on a psychological level.

LiquidLeon, you are not alone. In fact, the desire to minimize the need for custom code and modelling to create new types of games is my inspiration for developing The Super 3D Game Platform. A Game Creation Platform suitable for both non-programmers and non-artist. However, until I complete its production you might want to consider the following products for Non-Programmers:

[size=2]2D Shooter Game Creator: The 2D shooter game creator will let YOU create your own games~ in the style of classic lightgun games~ e.g. Time Crisis
3D Adventure Studio: an editor for creating adventure games in style of Gabriel Knight 3 (WIN)
3D Game Engine: alpha release of an unfinished 3D game engine (DOS/GNU/Linux)
3D Game Studio: produce 3D realtime applications - demos~ adventures~ role playing~ action~ advertising~ or racing games - without programming skills (WIN)
3D Rad: a programmable~ user-friendly~ 3D real-time engine (WIN)
3DCakeWalk: allows the development of commercial quality games with all the "state of art" features you will find in today's leading games
Abstract RTS Engine: An RTS engine under development intended for user-produced rules~ AI~ and media modules (mods)
ADePT: adventure developing and playing toolkit
ADRIFT: a simple~ yet powerful IF game designer (WIN)
Adventure Book: CYOA creator
Adventure Builder: text adventure authoring system (DOS/WIN)
Adventure Game Engine: engine for creating graphical first-person adventure games with full support for inventory~ save/load games~ inventory~ puzzles~ conversations~ full motion video~ cutscenes (WIN)
Adventure Game Studio: make your own point and click adventure games without programming; recently rewritten~ now supports the standard Sierra interface as well as the LucasArts interface. Very nice. (WIN)
Adventure Maker: free toolkit to creat point-and-click software for Windows and PSP without programming(Win/PSP)
AdventurEd: system in development for creating graphical adventure games (Amiga)
AGAST: Adventure Game Authoring System to create and play your own graphic adventure games like those from LucasArts and Sierra On-line (WIN)
AGT: Adventure Game Toolkit for creating text adventures with graphics and sound (DOS)
Aiee!: design text adventures without programming experience
ALAN: for creating interactive fiction (Amiga/Unix/DOS)
Alice: create your own scripts that control the motion of 3D objects for games~ training simulations~ etc (WIN95+)
Antiryad Gx: easy multi platform game creator tool
AZALTA: system with endless adventures~ an infinite number of large worlds to explore~ hundreds of puzzles to solve~ creatures to meet~ and items to find -- you can even create your own worlds/creatures/items (WIN/Amiga)
Blades of Exile: a fantasy role-playing system (WIN/MAC)
Blender: free and fully functional 3D modeling/rendering/animation package~ including games (Unix/Windows/BeOS)
Blitz Basic: the legendary Amiga Basic compilier for the PC (WIN)
Blitz Basic II: basic programming package for creating high-quaility games on the Amiga (Amiga)
Blox Game Engine: Simple 2D game engine targeted at windows users using visual
ButtonTalk: easy to use tool for creating interaction fiction (MAC to create~ exports HTML)
Byond: create online games and applications using a simple programming language
Ca3D-Engine: create a variety of 3D applications~ including games~ simulations~ and training and architectural software
CAECHO: Spanish program for creating interaction fiction (DOS)
CAT: Creative Adventure Toolkit: adventure authoring utility for writing text adventures on your PC (WIN)
Clean Game Library: complete development system for 2D games (platform games~ side scrollers)~ using the functional language Clean (Win~ MAC~ Linux)
Coconut: 2D adventure game development tool (WIN/LINUX)
Coldstone: the most complete solution for developing games on the Macintosh (MAC)
Crystal Space: free (LGPL) and portable 3D engine written in C++ (WIN/MAC/DOS/LINUX)
Cycon Online Gaming -COG- Engine: Open Source project aimed at simplifying the creation of online video games with no programming experience necessary.
Dark Basic: BASIC language that lets you create fast full-screen DirectX and Direct3D games with incredible ease. You can write a 3D game in minutes! (WIN)
Delver: shareware single-player overhead-view tile-based computer RPG construction kit written in Java (JAVA)
Digital Loca-Lite: 3D authoring tool~ especially designed for beginning 3D-Game-makers (Win95+)
Dimension3: 3D game creator (MAC)
Divinity: RPG maker/editor (MAC)
DS Game Maker: Using point and click techniques for adding action and interaction, you can make simple games for your beloved console
Engine001: a game creation engine where you can bring your Action RPG and RPG ideas to life
Erasmatazz: Authoring tool used to create interactive storyworlds (WIN/MAC)
Explorations RPG System: independent role playing game engine
FPS Creator: make your own action packed FPS games without any programming or 3D modelling knowledge
G-Wiz: Game Wizard will be tool for designing and playing text adventure and role-playing games (WIN)
Game Book Player: This application allows you to write fighting fantasy like game books and has lots of neat features.
Game Builder Lite: for creating animated adventures and educational programs (DOS)
Game Editor: design 2D games for PCs and mobile devices
Game Maker: allows you to make exciting computer games~ without the need to write a single line of code(WIN)
Game Music Shop: Offers more than 25 packs of music exclusively designed or games and multimedia applications, with hi-quality previews and an mmediate delivery after purchase
Game Studio: the leading authoring suite for 2D and 3D multimedia projects~ especially computer games
GameBrix: the first product created for Adobe flash designers that enables them to build flash based web games
GameMaker & GameMaker Lite: simple~ card-based development system that enables you to create simple adventure games with graphics~ buttons~ and text (MAC)
Golden Realm: 2d Game Maker engine available for only $1.00
Golden T Game Engine: game programming for JAVA programmers
GRAAL: script-based Graphic Adventure Authoring Language (Amiga)
Hephaestus: computer role-playing game system with loadable adventures; with the compiler~ you can write your own adventures in a simple yet powerful scripting language~ and share them with anyone else who has Hephaestus (JAVA)
HUGO: a programming language and authoring system for interactive fiction (WIN/DOS/Linux)
IndianaJava: system to create and run 2D graphic adventure games (JAVA)
Inform: a design system for interactive fiction (WIN/MAC/Amiga)
InterAx: create games in an easy to use yet powerful visual environment without programming or scripting. (WIN95+)
JACL Adventure Creation Language: free open-source language for creating interactive fiction and web-based adventure games
KOF91: 2D fighting game engine (WIN)
KPL: Kids Programming Language a freeware educational program
Lassie Adventure Studio: freeware adventure game creation tool for building classic Lucas Arts-style games with Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash and Shockwave
LawMaker Game Engine: new game engine tailored toward indie game developers
Legendary Tales Editor: text-based gaming environment which allows anyone to create or enjoy independent adventure modules set in any medieval~ swords and sorcery fantasy setting(WIN)
LucasHacks: the ultimate SCUMM hacking resource including the new SCUMM Revisited (WIN)
M.u.C.e.S: Multichoice Creation System (MuCeS) allows you to create any type of multiple choice text adventure
MAC Game Creator Toolkit CD ROM: special registered versions of 5 MAC creators~ plus tutorials~ utilities~ and sample games (MAC)
Magx: compiler for creating text adventures which is downward compatible with all of the existing versions of the AGT language(DOS/Linux)
MechaniQue: easy to use programming language for IF (JAVA)
Megazeux: an object oriented ANSI game maker with many features not found in ZZT (DOS)
MMOWorkshop: Described my submitter as "At this time only free of charge available production proven and professionally supported system to develop mmorpgs"
MMOWorkshop: The Torque MMO Kit is a complete, production ready, commercially proven MMORPG solution
Multimedia Fusion: create exciting interactive applications with a mouse-driven interface - this is the one I use (WIN)
My Adventure Game: simple tool for creating graphic adventures
Odyssey-Creators: software to help in game creation and game creation software
Official Hamster Republic RPG Construction Engine: create your own role-playing games with no programming experience (DOS)
PAWS: IF authoring system (Various)
Pie 3D Game Creation System: make your own 3D action games (DOS/WIN)
Platform Studio: free to use software for creating great platform games
Play Basic: a game programming language designed to take the learning curve out of 2D game making
Playcrafter: Create flash games for online game
PlayerRealms: free online adventure game maker
Playground: build computer environments for 4-8 year olds to play~ design~ and create games (WIN)
Point & Click Developers Kit: 2D point and click adventure game developer
QML Quest Markup Language: free XML-based Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game system
Quest: Axe Software's app that allows you to create your own text adventure/RPG games~ quickly and easily. (WIN95+)
QuestMaker: for making graphical adventure games (DOS)
Ray Game Designer: Previously commercial (now freeware) 3D Game building system for Windows 3.x and Windows 95. It allows you to create games based on a RayCaster engine without any knowledge of coding: you only use a point-and-click interface and your favorite drawing tool
RayDream Game Studio: program to design computer games for Windows~ Linux and MacOSX
Reality Factory: suite of applications that have been created in order to enable people that are NOT programmers to make advanced~ 3d first and third person games for PC's running Windows (WIN)
Realm Crafter: create your own multiplayer online RPG
Ren'Py: a programming language and runtime~ intended to ease the creation of visual-novel type games
REXX Adventure: text adventure engine (OS2 Presentation Manager)
Royalty Free Music: Royalty free music by category
RPG Toolkit Development System: for the Creation and Play of your own RPG Games (WIN)
RuneSword: RPG game and construction set (Win95+)
SCI Studio: create games for Sierra's SCI engine(WIN)
Scirra: FREE open-source DirectX game creator. Using a drag-and-drop interface, it makes game creation fast and powerful
Scribe: development system for interactive fiction
Scrolling Game Development Kit: complete game development system whose features can be used by experts and beginners alike
Sharendipity: designed with non-programmers in mind. Not only does it provide a drag-and-drop programming interface, but it also enables users to re-use game components that have been shared back to the community
Silent Walk FPS Creator: create FPS style games without any programming knowledge
SKClone: RPG game maker (WIN)
SLUDGE: (Scripting Language for Unhindered Development of a Gaming Environment) is the box of cogs that will be available so that anyone (within reason) can use it to make an adventure game. (WIN)
Sphere: RPG engine specialized for making 2D~ console-style RPGs~ similar to Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star (WIN)
Stagecast: create multi-level games~ mazes~ puzzles and simulations for the Web~ using the mouse to demonstrate what you want each character to do(MAC/WIN)
StoryHarp: Audioventure Authoring System adds the dimension of voice to interactive fiction development (WIN95/NT)
StoryLand: create Cooperative stories~ using only a WEB browser
StorySprawl: a site devoted to the creation of hyperfiction
SUDS: adventure game system which combines the content and feel of a text adventure game with the point-and-click style of Windows (WIN)
TADS: text adventure development system (DOS/WIN/MAC/Amiga/AtariST/OS2/Acorn)
The 3D Game Maker: point & click 3D game creator (Win)
ThinBASIC Adventure Builder: Interactive Fiction creator
ToonTalk - Making Programming Child's Play: build and run all sorts of computer programs (WIN)
VERGE: a role-playing game creation system (DOS)
Visionaire2d (English Version): software that enables you to create your own adventure game without even having experience in a programming language
WinPAW: windows version of the Professional Adventure Writer (PAW)(WIN)
Wintermute Engine: a set of tools for creating and running graphical adventure games(WIN)
World Builder: create your own adventure games (MAC)

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Thanks so much for the responses everyone I really appreciate the help and advice. Thanks TechLord for the list of software I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way. It would be nice if all the assets of the game were there so designers like us can focus on the user experience, gameplay, controls, other psychological "fun" ingredients. . Also good luck on your project with the The Super 3D Game Platform I hope I can try it sometime.

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