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NikosPavlou

Game Programmer looking into Game Design

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Hey guys,

 

I'm sorry if this is an over-asked question, but I would appreciate a more personal discussion.

 

I come from a Programming background, my undergraduate degree and work experience have always been around that, but also as a Game Developer, currently doing my master's degree, I've worked in games only as a programmer.

 

I'm quite confident with programming and I love my work, in fact it feels like the safe career option to chase in the future. However I've always had the tendency and passion in generating game ideas and focusing on game-play mechanics. I love writing, in particular short-narrative stories or creating character's background stories. I enjoy finding inspiration from my life or from people I meet and that's where I find most pleasure doing in my free time.

 

Since I have minimum game design academic or professional experience, I would like to get opinions of what kind of skills are necessary to develop to become a good Game Designer. Can my current skills as a programmer and my hobby help me to get there?

 

Any suggestions are appreciated.

 

Thanks a lot,

Nikos P

Edited by NikosPavlou

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A lot of designers are ex-programmers, at some level. But I don't think the programming experience counts, more the fact that they've been involved with shipping games and have a decent grasp of the process. And in areas where programming will help you directly - e.g. a scripting-heavy role - they are less likely to offer you the narrative-based opportunities. (Although, really, what you describe is quite rare anyway. Character background stories are rarely something you ship in a game.)

 

What a designer does differs a lot from company to company. Each will look for evidence that you can do whatever they require, which might be environment design, system design, scripting (text or visual), gameplay balancing, quest design, documentation, pitch-writing, etc. Perhaps the programming can help you with creating prototypes of your ideas, too.

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I would like to get opinions of what kind of skills are necessary to develop to become a good Game Designer.

Basically, learn about everything, play a lot of games, and analyze them. Watch this video:


Can my current skills as a programmer and my hobby help me to get there?

Of course.

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