11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 17, 2015 7:26 AM by spannerspencer

    What is the most important thing in game design?


      I'm trying to be a game designer but I am not sure what programs and specs in a computer i'll need

        • Re: What is the most important thing in game design?

          There are probably books on the subject, but at a guess, probably maths is the #1 most important thing? And then maybe lots of computer science.


          The games industry is so big, probably people specialize in (say) sound or music, or gameplay, or 2D or 3D,and so on.

          I know when the Harry Potter movies came out, some companies specialized in (say) snakes CGI and others in (say) smoke CGI. So it can get that granular : )


          So, your question on computer programs and specs probably needs to be put on hold until you've joined some programmers and games industry forums (if they exist), read any books on the subject, and until you know a bit more about what you want to do. All the above is a best-effort guess. Perhaps some internship with a games company could help you decide.

          • Re: What is the most important thing in game design?

            Look at python on Raspberry Pi. There are many retro projects for it.


            • Re: What is the most important thing in game design?
              lucie tozer

              Do you already have skills you can use in game design such as programming, graphics design, 3d modelling, sound production etc..


              If not, think about learning some basics in all areas that way you can realise what goes into game design. Once you have an all round skill set in the basics, building a portfolio of work to demonstrate your capabilities will help in lots of areas.


              Working on a portfolio will help to develop your skills further, show potential employers what you can do - having a portfolio you work on in your own time shows that you are passionate about game development which is an important quality in itself.


              Workflow is also something that you will develop while working on a portfolio, everybody has their favourite programs, their own way of doing things, how you arrange your computer workspace, how you like your actual physical desktop to be. Where you like putting things etc... Developing a workflow is so important but it's something that happens naturally while you are going about your work, it's not something that you can teach and is individual to everybody.


              A portfolio doesn't have to be completed games, it can a mix of everything, snippets of programs, artwork, a sound collection, maybe make a small website that everything can be uploaded to. Websites are a great way to show off your artistic and design talents, a website is a great way to experiment with user interfaces - another very important aspect in game development.


              Maybe just make a program that makes pretty lava or plasma animations or design a spaceship as a vector picture and work out how to make it move around a screen with the arrow buttons.. Small things like that make for a very good portfolio of work as well as letting you build on your skills.


              Once you have a grasp of things and have made some small programs, maybe look at doing something like Ludum Dare .I'm not sure if it still runs but there will always be similar competitions and taking part in them will really make you stand out from every other joe and nancy blogs that is trying to get into game development.


              If theres anything specific you want to know, feel free to ask.





                • Re: What is the most important thing in game design?

                  Alright well question anyone know a good map designing program cause well I don't know any to use

                    • Re: What is the most important thing in game design?
                      lucie tozer

                      Good question!


                      I suppose it really depends on whether you are planning on using a gaming engine.


                      Gaming engines are packages of software designed to make certain types of games easier to produce from a core level, handling many aspects of the development from utilising advanced features of graphics cards right through to providing a standard structure for things like maps and models. Although old, you may well find lots of tools for the quake II engine.


                      Many games built on game engines release their own level designers that allow you to build maps specific to their game only, this is an example showing that map designers can be something that you have to make yourself as a resource to making your game.


                      Looking at some of the more popular game engines might help find a map designer specific to your needs but you also need to take caution that this often involves spending a lot of time learning how to use that specific engine.


                      It's probably best taking some time to understand how game maps are made from a core level, I'd suggest following this link http://fivedots.coe.psu.ac.th/~ad/jg/


                      The link is for an older book called "killer game programming in java" from the optimistic days when Java was going to be the be all and end all of programming as we knew it.. I suggest scrolling down and taking a look at chapter 13, where the author explains producing a top down isometric tile game. There, he demonstrates how the map is made from a core level including code.


                      As much as Java is probably not the best language to use for game development, the examples given show how simple games are made and the fundamentals are the same regardless of the language you choose to program in. If you can take the time, I'd suggest downloaded the Java developers kit (jdk) and netbeans ide to make things simpler and starting from the beginning, getting to understand the game loop as a core concept upwards.


                      Those fundamental systems and the examples given may seem a bit too "simple" for the kind of game you have in mind, but I assure you that all games have these things as their very foundations. The concepts just get built on to produce the high high level games that we are used to seeing.


                      I hope this has helped.




                  • Re: What is the most important thing in game design?

                    Given that you're only recently getting started, I think you'd do really well to give something like Construct 2 a try. It doesn't need a high spec computer to use it, and you don't even need to know any coding (although it wouldn't hurt to pick some up as you go).


                    And best of all, it's free! Very intuitive to use, and it's ideal for the kind of games you mentioned, so long as you don't mind giving them a retro angle (it's a 2D engine, but perfect for "pixel art" style games). Building maps, like dungeons and similar, is very easy. You might out grow it fairly quickly, but at least by that point you'll have developed some strong game design chops.


                    Let me know how it goes if you give it a shot!