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Kopierkatze

How to get into professional Game Design?

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Kopierkatze    118

Hello! 

I'm new to this forum, but not entirely new to Game Development. I'm studying Media Arts and Programming at university, with focus on Game Development and I have been involved in small indie Projects before, however not as Game Designer yet. I have read a few Books about the subject, but there are many questions still left open for me. 

For example, I am looking for a book or resource that tells me everything about Game Loops, how to write Game Design Documents correctly and how to describe Game Mechanics. 

Also I want to know, what kind of Maths do I need to know as Game Designer? I wish to be schooled in Balancing as well, because I think this is important if I ever want to work in that field. 

Last but not least: How does someone coming from university find a job as Game Designer? 90% of the Job requests I read about are for experienced Designers only ... which makes me a little sad, because: How am I supposed to become experienced, if noone ever allows me on their team? :C 

 

Thank you for your answers in advance!

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Brain    18906

Are you sure you want to become a games designer, or a games developer?

 

These are my understandings of the role - bear in mind i am not a professional games developer or designer but i am a professional software developer and some of the skill sets overlap so these are purely my observations, feel free to correct any inacuraccies...

 

A games developer needs to be able to work on complicated programming tasks with little supervision, needs to pay tight attention to deadlines and needs to be highly motivated and deeply knowledgeable with regards to his craft. They must also have the desire to continually develop their skill set.

 

A games designer on the other hand is the person who started out as a games developer. He has been promoted up through a games studio and generally is in some position of team leadership. As most games are generally designed by more than one person, it is not a role of a lone ideas man who says 'i have this great idea for a game, everyone jump to it!' far from it.

 

So, back to the question - which one of these roles are you aiming to fill? Our own Tom Sloper gives some great advice about the role of the game designer here on his personal website. As someone with the relevent industry experience, he answers the question far better than I ever could. Enjoy! :)

Edited by braindigitalis

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Kopierkatze    118

Are you sure you want to become a games designer, or a games developer?

 

These are my understandings of the role - bear in mind i am not a professional games developer or designer but i am a professional software developer and some of the skill sets overlap so these are purely my observations, feel free to correct any inacuraccies...

 

A games developer needs to be able to work on complicated programming tasks with little supervision, needs to pay tight attention to deadlines and needs to be highly motivated and deeply knowledgeable with regards to his craft. They must also have the desire to continually develop their skill set.

 

A games designer on the other hand is the person who started out as a games developer. He has been promoted up through a games studio and generally is in some position of team leadership. As most games are generally designed by more than one person, it is not a role of a lone ideas man who says 'i have this great idea for a game, everyone jump to it!' far from it.

 

So, back to the question - which one of these roles are you aiming to fill?

 

Wow, first of all, thank you for the fast response! I am aiming to fill the second role, if I can that is. Up until now I have been doing different parts of Game Development. On our current project at Uni I work as Level Designer / Programmer, but I've been 2D artist before as well. So .. I know a bit about the Development of Games in general, however I kind of wish to also know how to plan said development ahead, and how to bring ideas to paper. 

But thank you! I didn't know that you couldn't become a Game Designer as entry level job, and that you usually start as Developer before this - although it makes perfect sense that you can't design a game without being able to actually create one. 

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Tom Sloper    16063

1. ...about Game Loops...
2. ...what kind of Maths do I need to know as Game Designer?
3. How does someone coming from university find a job as Game Designer? 90% of the Job requests I read about are for experienced Designers only ...


1. Loops is a programming matter, not a game design matter. Or am I missing something?
2. As much as you can stand to learn is good. Basic algebra, geometry and physics formulas should be enough for most designers. Since you wouldn't be doing 3D programming as a designer, you wouldn't need trigonometry or calculus much. Knowing about probabilities and combinatorics could be very useful, though.
3. As was explained already, game designer is not an entry level position. I moved your thread to the Game Industry Job Advice board, where you should check out the forum FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16

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DifferentName    1371

 

1. ...about Game Loops...
2. ...what kind of Maths do I need to know as Game Designer?
3. How does someone coming from university find a job as Game Designer? 90% of the Job requests I read about are for experienced Designers only ...


1. Loops is a programming matter, not a game design matter. Or am I missing something?
2. As much as you can stand to learn is good. Basic algebra, geometry and physics formulas should be enough for most designers. Since you wouldn't be doing 3D programming as a designer, you wouldn't need trigonometry or calculus much. Knowing about probabilities and combinatorics could be very useful, though.
3. As was explained already, game designer is not an entry level position. I moved your thread to the Game Industry Job Advice board, where you should check out the forum FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16

 

 

There are game design courses and degrees in some colleges now.  Instead of focusing on learning to program well enough to get hired as a programmer (with the hopes that you can stop being a programmer), some people focus their study directly towards game design. As people develop courses to teach game design, it's starting to get it's own terminology, like core loops.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MichailKatkoff/20131024/203142/MidCore_Success_Part_1_Core_Loops.php

 

I think I've also heard about game designers learning Statistics and Game Theory for balancing highly competitive games.

 

I wonder if studying game design directly might be a new avenue of becoming a game designer? I'm not in the industry though. I'm just making games on my own, hoping I can either make it on my own, or that showing off the games I made will help me get into the industry.

Edited by DifferentName

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Tom Sloper    16063

1. it's starting to get it's own terminology, like core loops.
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MichailKatkoff/20131024/203142/MidCore_Success_Part_1_Core_Loops.php
2. I think I've also heard about game designers learning Statistics and Game Theory for balancing highly competitive games.
3. I wonder if studying game design directly might be a new avenue of becoming a game designer?


1. Nice, thanks for that link. Voted up your post for this. I had indeed been missing something!
2. Yes, those are also good math areas for game designers.
3. Yes, definitely. But the entry path is probably still going to have to vary depending on the individual's other strengths. Level Design, QA are still valid entry paths.

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EthanHam    120
I like issfire's advice. Making tabletop games is a great training ground for being a video game designer. You can learn a lot about game mechanics, balancing, and documentation without the distraction of getting it implemented on the computer--this is especially true if you are not already a pretty handy programmer. This is where I start all of my game design students.

However, to really do it right you need to actually know something about tabletop games... if your board game experience pretty much starts and ends with childhood games like Monopoly, then you'll be like someone who is trying to make a video game having only ever played Pac-Man. There's a tabletop game renaissance going on right now, and a lot of amazing games to be played (I'm happy to post a list of my current favorites, if any cares to know). If you will forgive a bit of self-promotion, I just had a book published on this subject, Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers. It focuses much more on designing game mechanics than on programming... and it has a pretty good chapter on probability.

I wouldn't worry too much about game design documents. They're important, sure, but I think they're a distraction when you're just starting out learning about game design. They become useful when you start collaborating with others making a game. Incidentally, I think using a wiki as a GDD works much better than a more traditional GDD along the lines of what are typically included in game development books.

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PosthasteGames    213

There are so many ways to the field. The road can be so curved and variated that i can only recommend you to read on the internet or in books or watch videos to get your answer. But im afraid the answer isnt going to be one and a simple one............wich i guess can be both reassuring and frightening to hear

Edited by Sondre Drakensson

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Richard2    104

There are so many ways to the field. The road can be so curved and variated that i can only recommend you to read on the internet or in books or watch videos to get your answer. But im afraid the answer isnt going to be one and a simple one............wich i guess can be both reassuring and frightening to hear

You are right...so many ways and i choose on reading from internet, because information from book ussually dont actual for this job..information changes every year, so we need to look and keep pace with it smile.png

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