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Elijah Chapman

Introduction and Career Questions

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4 hours ago, Elijah Chapman said:

I've got four years and some change experience working in unity,  [..]. Most of the teams I worked on were during my degree program, if that has any bearing on the conversation

It does, because you can't go to an employer and say "I have 4 years experience of game development" if you really mean "I did a 4 year course at university/college". It's not that your experience is not valuable - it is - it's just that you have to frame it differently. Academic projects are very different from commercial ones. But if you get your indie project shipped, that will reflect well on you.


4 hours ago, Elijah Chapman said:

I've worked a lot on different sorts of design documentation in the past

That's great, but being a designer is not just about documentation, it's also about the doing. Here's a list of things (from an older post of mine) that I have seen game designers doing in their day jobs in the industry, in no particular order:

  • Broad character/vehicle/unit/species design
  • 'Grey box' level concept design (artists replace the grey with real assets later)
  • Level design by placing assets, or using a level editor tool
  • Hook up animation assets to characters
  • Write design documents for producers, artists, and programmers
  • Choose input schemes and keybindings
  • Implement character archetypes within an engine
  • Create 'flavour' documentation or narrative to guide feature implementation
  • Plan cutscenes
  • Produce UI mockups for artists
  • Consider UI/UX issues, accessibility and usability, plan a player's flow through the program, etc
  • Perform competitor analysis on related products
  • Create trivial game logic and events in Blueprints or Playmaker
  • Write pitch documents for game ideas
  • Prioritise features and sub-features to guide producers and programmers
  • Plan and design game systems (movement, camera control, character progression, encounters, AI)
  • Design and balance game systems (via formulae in spreadsheets, simple scripts, etc)
  • Balance game systems via testing and measuring
  • Write narrative, dialogue, flavour text, or prose, and enter it into the engine
  • Evaluate and refine monetisation approaches
  • Create scripted events
  • Set up quest definitions with objectives, conditions, etc 

How much of that have you covered? As with what we said earlier in the thread, nobody is expected to have done everything. But a lot of designers come into game development thinking that their role starts with the idea and stops with a design document, not realising they need to do a lot of work beyond that.


4 hours ago, Elijah Chapman said:

would you be willing to take a look at some of my work when I have completed these examples?

We're generally happy to on these forums to give feedback on portfolios. If you post up links, people can offer their opinions. Those opinions will vary because everybody likes to see somewhat different things from their designers, but it should point you in the right direction.

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