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Shane C

My article on Game Design, for Gamedev

9 posts in this topic

Note: The following is opinion-based rather than completely fact-based.

Game design is the process of trying to figure out what works well in a game. In the case of commercial studios, they probably go by their own opinion or what they think will sell well. In the case of indies, the best thing to do seems to be:

1. Go by your own opinion of what works well, just make sure it's polished!
2. Ask for peer feedback of the idea on Gamedev.
3. See what other games are doing.

Often when discussing Game Design with people, you will get into debates. For debates, the one thing you want to keep in mind is the list of Logical Fallacies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies, and keep them in mind and point out when your opponent commits them, which they probably will. All but the most experienced debaters do. However, some of the most experienced debaters of all I have seen use Reasoning. To me, Reasoning is being able to appeal to a person and possibly even commiting a few Logical Fallacies in the process. The inexperienced debaters commit Logical Fallacies on a regular basis, the experienced people try not to commit them at all, and the extremely experienced debaters are so cunning, they know the rules and how to bend/break them when it comes to Logical Fallacies, and can backpedal their way out of anything.

Which gets me to another point in general:

An inexperienced or experienced person should follow books and tutorials, and not go off-track, for best results.
An extremely experienced person can go off-track, because they know when to break the rules of Game Development and when not to.

There are many facets involving Game Design, and I will list some of them:

Art - For art, it is best to follow tutorials to learn. There are a lot of fallacies involving art. People mistakenly call any sort of pixel-based art Pixel Art, when high-resolution Pixel Art is just called Raster Art.

Programming/Technology

Music - Music is harder to make than art, in my opinion. You have to write the music, then compose the music. Those who don't write the notes out and play by ear instead seem to make mistakes in their music more often than those who don't.

Sound effects - Sound effects are easy to make. They can be programmed, designed, or recorded.

Writing - Writing is one of the most subjective aspects of Game Design. In book writing, there are certain rules to follow involving proper writing and format to submit to publishers. In game writing, anything goes, you just have to remember you are writing for a game and not a book. Be careful about writing a lot for your game, because the more writing you have, generally the more content you will need for the game.

On Game Design Documents:

A game design document is extremely useful even when you aren't part of a team. I used one once for a game and followed a schedule and made the game exactly on schedule because I pushed myself to complete the schedule objects. This avoided feature creep and did something which was rare for me, completing on-time.

Getting hot in game development:

People who do stuff off and on do worse than people who do stuff constantly. People who do stuff constantly get "hot", a sports term for becoming extremely good at something. There are people who have programmed constantly for 9 months who can beat my programming experience off and on of 13 years, because they are "hot" at the moment.

Game Design is beautiful but in my opinion, it is also an extremely subjective madness. I have a lot of experience when it comes to writing, game design, and game development, but I still produce things such as writing that the community doesn't like. I feel qualified for writing this forum post because I have 13 years hobbyist game development experience and am in college for Game Art & Animation, but I realize, this doesn't make my opinions fact. I also know somewhat about the process of debating because I've been doing it as a hobbyist sport for years.

I'm not really interested in writing a book right now, just this article. But I will write more articles if you want me to, just name the subject.

What I wanted to achieve with this article was to teach and to introduce a few not-talked-about concepts of mine, which are open for discussion.
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I will also add my own opinion. Your post is kind of messy. I didn't get what is your point.

Your definition of Game Design not really the one you can usually find on Internet, and you seems to be talking more about economic plan (what will/won't work). And I also disagree with the most part of your article.

The fact that it's your opinion and is different is good, but your justifications and explanation are too shallow, either there is not enough to debate, or it's not linked enough to Game Design. Particulary for the art and music section.



Music - Music is harder to make than art, in my opinion. You have to write the music, then compose the music. Those who don't write the notes out and play by ear instead seem to make mistakes in their music more often than those who don't.


You are talking about music in general, not especially in Game Design, so why is it here?

Also, you first compose the music and then you write it, not the other way. (except if for you, composing mean playing )

There is also the lack of formatting (no underline, no bold, no sub-title)

In conclusion, I will say nearly the same as the two answers above : Too confusing, not focused enough on Game design as the title says, too shallow. Sorry if my opinion seems a bit rude, but I hope it'll help you. (maybe)
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There are actually some very good posts here from others, and what they tell me is that my view on what makes a good article is narrow. I wrote what I thought was pretty good information, but my view on what good information is is just too narrow. That's what I take from it, but I will also listen to other's observations. I'm sorry that you had to read all this and not enjoy it a bit more.
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Regarding terminology, programming, art, programming, design, etc, are all aspects of 'Game Development', not 'Game Design'.
Game design is only, that - design. The person making the music, or the art or the code, is a game developer, not a game designer.
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Regarding terminology, programming, art, programming, design, etc, are all aspects of 'Game Development', not 'Game Design'.
Game design is only, that - design. The person making the music, or the art or the code, is a game developer, not a game designer.


I'd definitely like to assume you know what you are talking about, but I once argued this exact thing and lost.

Game design is the game development process of designing the content and rules of a game in the pre-production stage and design of gameplay, environment, storyline, and characters during production stage. The designer of a game is very much like the director of a film; the designer is the visionary of the game and controls the artistic and technical elements of the game in fulfilment of their vision. Game design requires artistic and technical competence as well as writing skills.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_design

I don't think neither of us are completely right here :(.
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Within the industry, a game designer is typically a pretty specific title.

In Japan, "designer" titles are usually used for various types of artist, otherwise agreed completely -- just wanted to note the exception. smile.png

 

In Indie development however, it's quite common for a designer to also take on another role such as art or programming, but this is still commonly thought of as a single person taking on multiple disciplines rather than actually being part of the same job.

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Got it, Hodgman. My college teaches Game Design, which is not what I chose as my major, but I know they pretty much teach all other elements in the Game Design major as well. I think it confuses the students, in fact, into thinking that this is common in the industry, to be a Game Developer, whether or not it should.
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