Sunday, 17 April 2011


Even though next generation consoles keep drastically improving in overall performance, the basic objective “Character collects objects, evades, kills enemies” (Pacman) still runs through most platform adventure games as a basic principal.
Gameplay is what helps video games evolve into more exciting and complex situations, involving strategies to kill the enemy.

The job of a game designer isn’t just to create the idea of a game, but to define the Systems, Mechanics and Levels. A game designer can evolve around any media, from card games, social games and board games. Board and Card games are physically interactive, which gives the player more control after the rules have been set. Board games are less complicated, and are mainly for multiple players.
Most offline video games only cater for one or two players, with the exception of some.
Traditional board games in general like monopoly tend to make players wait their turn.
Gameplay involves player interaction with a game to overcome its objectives, as opposed to non-interactive reading books and movies.

A key skill a game designer should have is communication; they may be working under their Lead designer/Producers, and will also have to communicate their ideas across to the Artists, Programmers, Audio team and even PR Business and Marketing.
Each individual will think differently and always have something to bring to the table. It is vital they can take constructive criticism and change or be done with an idea that will not work.
Personal attachment needs to be left at home.

The game design process starts with an idea/pitch which may entail information such as platform type, audience range, stylisation, concept, plot ideas, who and how many staff needed, timescale among other things just to get the ball rolling.
Whether the pitch is accepted is another entirely different matter. Things to take into consideration are feasibility of deadline completion, scope and budget.
A game documentation is then made in more detail, which is continuously edited throughout the game creation process.

In early video game history, programmers took the job of the game designers as the designs were very simple and limited in the 1970s.
As consoles and software improve overtime, game graphics, story and game play become more complex needing team members solely for game design, instead of being shared with programmers.
Today, games designers share this responsibility with game design producers, lead designers and general game designers as the workload is increasing with the ever growing facilities.
For me, game play can make or break a game no matter how good the visual experience of the world environment and characters appear.
It is very easy, to make gameplay simple and repetitive with the objectives given.

“Find this crate, kill 7 rabbits that drop this?, then kill another 10 birds that drop this”

I find, it becomes tedious, and lose interest..
I prefer when the objectives start to actually mean something, when it’s incorporated correctly within the story.
E.g “Distract the guards, spike the guards drink, search guard for key, key opens prison cell to your freedom”
It becomes less of an implanted game objective, and becomes a fight for survival to protect your character.  It is something you want to do, rather than something it’s telling you to do that has no purpose.

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