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Do Many Game Designer Even Usually Study The Game Theory?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by computertech, Jan 20, 2017.

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How Do You Usually Practice A Game Design?

  1. Study Game Design Theory (Ex. University Interactive Art And Design Theory)

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. Make Games As You Are Designing. But Have A Less Deeper Understanding Design Theory.

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  3. I Already Did Both (Design Book Studies + Make Games)

    6 vote(s)
    60.0%
  1. Teila

    Teila

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    Digital art programs are in the Art school usually, not in the technology programs. They design school might touch upon it but only really for simple programmer art. I have two artist daughters and we have perused the college programs. The digital and 3d art is usually in those programs. A tech school might bunch them together, but not usually a college program. Of course it probably depends. Some have interdisciplinary programs. Typically though, designers are not the 3d artists at a gaming company.
     
  2. samnarain

    samnarain

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    That is a really good choice he has made; you must be an incredible proud parent!

    I always love to see when people have converted their past knowledge into present wisdom.

    And this mindset, will get him very far. I've no doubt about it.
     
  3. samnarain

    samnarain

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    You might be surprised, but mastering code, art, screenplays, music, a marketing strategy, etc., etc., requires practice and a lot of it. You expect that you will be bootcamped into a game designer superstar. Perhaps you believe that soldiers in the military all follow a Special Units training. If you believe that a college is supposed to provide that, you are mistaken.

    Let me give you something you will not appreciate in this stage of your life.

    There are three kinds of people in this world.

    One that looks at a river and is terrified from it, yet desires to cross it, hoping someone will build a bridge, but in the end walks aways from the river; looking for another way to cross it. Some find it across, some don't.

    Another will jump into the river, and try to swim across. Some get caught in the rapids and never swims again; some will barely get across and feels the risk and journey wasn't worth it and remain wet on the shore, screaming warnings to others not to swim over. Some will swim across and get the trophy, some will drown and be forgotten.

    But one kind looks at the river and decides to design a bridge to cross over. The bridge will prevent them getting caught by the rapids and allows some to travel back quickly. Some of this kind will make a better bridge every time they fail crossing over - and the disciplined one will even build a variety of bridges. Even though, after making a bridge, the reward might not be satisfying. Yet this kind, the ones who designed a bridge, will be able to cross different rivers, depending on the quality of their bridge and the size of the river.

    Lucky enough though, being one kind does not limit one from some kind to be one of the other kind.

    Teila's son, according to the impression I'm having is the kind who is designing multiple bridges. At this point, my impression of you, is you are experiencing the river as looking really dark, filled with many piranha's and electric eels - and someone should build a bridge for you.
     
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  4. computertech

    computertech

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    @samnarain maybe you are right that I think some design courses is being too dark as a river. And you might be right that I need to try harder like swimming across a river like a military, instead of building a bridge. Just to tell you I am trying hard in the Brock university game programming stream with full of computer science courses. Also, I am not in the Brock university game design stream. So, I am glad to be in programming instead of the designing stream.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  5. Habitablaba

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    I went to a school for Game Development and got a degree in game development; which is really just a fancy computer science degree. I worked my ass off on personal projects and hustled to make in-industry connections. I landed an internship with a AAA company my final year, and a few months after graduation, I was back at that company full time. I worked there for ~4 years before leaving the industry. Professionally, I am still a software engineer (just not for games). I make more money doing what I do now than I did (or would have, had I stayed) at the game company. I have more free time, too, since quality of life is an actual concern at the company I'm with now (but that's a conversation for another day). The income I have now, and the additional free time, allows me to work on my own projects as a game designer and developer.

    I'll provide no additional analysis of my example, and leave that as an exercise to the reader.
     
  6. Teila

    Teila

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    Great story! Congrats to you.

    Sadly though, for every story like yours, there are ones where people are saddled with debt from very expensive for-profit schools. Debt they simply cannot pay without a good job, which can be difficult to find. I think if these schools had admission requirements that were not about "you can pay, we want you" then it would be better. At least the people who get in would be ones that had the potential to succeed if better screen for previous experience and education.

    This has gotten so bad that in my state, several tech schools were shut down and the student debt forgiven. These were not fly by night schools, but big ones with huge advertising budgets and actually thought to be respectable at the time.

    Not all for-profit schools are bad. But many do take advantage of students because their goal is to make money, not to get student's jobs. One popular one actually says they will get students jobs but the caveat is that they find one or two jobs and they may be far away from the students home and without the means to help them move. So really, worthless.

    On the other hand University of Central Florida, near Orlando, has a game development degree that I hear is excellent. And probably about a 3rd of the price of the nearby big game development school. Might be good to look at both options and really figure out the type of person you are before committing to a huge student loan payments in the future.
     
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  7. Habitablaba

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    Yep, I totally forgot to include the fact that of my entire starting class, 4 graduated on time. The rest of the graduating class was filled with people who fell back from previous classes. Of those, only a very small handful ended up in the games industry; and most of them ended up programming slot machines in Reno.

    To get more into analysis: if I had it all to do over again, I would have not taken the path I did. I had the opportunity to take a degree in computer science from an in-state school that had a baked in internship and an optional focus on game development that, in hind sight, I really should have jumped at.
     
  8. Kiwasi

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    I've always seen low success rates as a sign of a strong degree. About half of my starting class in engineering dropped out. About half of them ended up with science degrees, and some dropped out altogether. Virtually all of the engineering graduates ended up in higher paid positions then the science graduates.

    A degree that is easy to get into and easy to pass, is typically is in high supply. And high supply means low prices. Especially in games, where you have high supply and low demand. The perfect economic conditions for low wage jobs.
     
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  9. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    It's also possible for idiosyncrasies like a professor's disposition to affect this. At the university where I'm a master's student, a professor in P-Chem curved our class liberally (as is typical, which I'm sure you're aware of). In other years, however, for various reasons he didn't like the class and didn't curve at all.

    Additionally, this last year there were 4 sections in the course, and I was one of the TAs. This spring, I am no longer a TA for the class...because so few students passed.

    Some of it is definitely because of the students. But it is possible for it to be a result of the professor's method of grading the class, rather than purely the difficulty.
     
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  10. Teila

    Teila

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    True. But the problem is a degree that is easy to get into and puts the student $100,000 into debt and then is too difficult for his abilities. Most traditional non-profit colleges have admission standards because dropping out hurts them. But for-profits want the money, so they let anyone in who can get financial aid, including loans.

    That is not a mark of a good school. A good school admits kids that are ready for the challenge and supports them so that many of them will succeed in school and afterwards.
     
  11. computertech

    computertech

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    Is it true that some professor can be marking way too hard? One of my professor marked me as wrong, because I answered a extra step in a math, and another question I add a extra statement, and another question I did answer T for true and F for false, but instead I did not answer 1 for true and 0 for false, and more question in my exam is like the same answer but is being marked as wrong when I last double checked my exam.
    Should I still file a complaint? I already ask my chairman and he said no without double checking. Is hard to proof my complaint when I cannot keep a copy of my exam. So, I might need to give up and lost around 30% of my exam marks for no reasons at all.
     
  12. Murgilod

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    "No reason at all" seems a lot like you didn't follow the guidelines for the exam itself, which is a part of the exam. It teaches that if you fail to read the brief, you won't be up to the standards expected of you.
     
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  13. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    There's always the human element in anything. I would recommend getting to know your professor well enough to know what they're looking for, and follow that format the rest of the time.
     
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  14. Teila

    Teila

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    If the directions said to mark it T or F, they marking it anything else was wrong. Or the other way around.

    Don't blame your professors if you don't read the directions. When I taught college students, I expected them to be at a level where they could and would read the directions and follow them.

    Do not file a complaint. Just chalk it up to learning a lesson and next time, do what it says. Filing a complaint will make you look foolish.
     
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  15. Kiwasi

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    Yeah. You've got to take all of my comments in the context of my background. New Zealand has some fairly strict regulations on the education industry. Only Universities can offer degrees. And becoming a University is difficult. Universities are all government sponsored for domestic students, with caps on the fees that can be charged on top of that.

    That's all combined with a no interest government sponsored student loan scheme. Repayments are scaled based on your wages, you only pay it back when you earn money.

    So here getting a degree is pretty much the default best answer. You need a really good reason not to get one.
     
  16. Kiwasi

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    Sounds like you didn't answer the question properly.

    One of the most damming comments I got on an assignment was 'Perfect essay on topic X. However this does not answer the question. 0/20'. At that point I took a lesson to read the question properly.

    Its certainly helped in my career. The real world is not so specific in asking well written questions. So taking some extra time to figure out what the actual requirements are is super useful.
     
  17. computertech

    computertech

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    My teacher assistance and my A+ friend classmate told me that my professor is doing a unreasonable marking.
     
  18. Teila

    Teila

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    You are going to feel that way many times. You are in college.
     
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  19. computertech

    computertech

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    I am in university. Not college. My older sister did also have the same problem with the professor markings as well like the professor thought my sister essay is off topic by judging on her essay title. Most university does not really care of your marks.
     
  20. Teila

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    In the US, college and university is used interchangeably. So in my eyes, you are in college.

    We all think our professors judge us harshly. Just wait until you get a job. Gaining a thick skin will serve you well...and stop blaming others.
     
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  21. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    THIS... I advocate. I want people to learn real skills that apply not just to game dev (as I mentioned with C#). Game development is a creative use of very clear talents. Mystically wiring up blueprints and attending a seminar on the nuances of vibrations isn't game dev, it's fantasy and polish, really not useful.
     
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  22. samnarain

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    Another great wisdom which will never lose its value in a lifetime.

    It is always sad to hear how institutions with the responsibility to grow the next generation are confused they are a large business from the 80's. But things often need to go worse before they get better. It is terrible that students end up with large debts, as some college board decided to have an aggressive marketing strategy.

    I hope that one day in the near future, someone smart and daring enough makes education free and intuitive, providing quality content and exams that will reflect skills and experience fairly. But, I guess nuclear warheads, political campaigns, excessive usage of fossil fuels, religious conflicts, teen vlogs that encourage vandalism and bad TV shows are better tools to progress as human beings.
     
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  23. Kiwasi

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    Life is not fair or reasonable. Get used to it.

    Thriving in Uni is all about figuring out what the professors want, and giving it to them.

    Its not a bad lesson for life. Thriving in work is figuring out what your boss wants, and giving it to them. Thriving in a relationship is figuring out what your partner wants, and providing that. Thriving in game dev is figuring out what your customers want, and giving that to them.

    Complaining about how life is unfair isn't going to get you your degree, job, or your own business. Unless of course you want to go into YouTube. If you can complain about how unfair life is in an engaging way, you might have a viable career there.
     
  24. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Exactly!

    It's not even a matter of fairness. People took the concept of law and decided that somehow, everything should be equal. How do you make 1.34 == 1.35? you take something away from 1.35, and just maybe, 1.35 doesn't agree.

    What then? war? or suck it up as it's not a problem :D
     
  25. Kiwasi

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    I'm all for equal opportunity. No one should be kept out of a job, school simply because they were born the wrong colour, gender, they happen to like kissing the wrong type of person, or don't worship the right God.

    I have no problem with society in general helping out people who are struggling. That's just a good thing to do. I'm a big advocate of society taking care of its weakest members. Its beneficial to everyone to have a a safety net in case things don't work out. We can work hard, but we can't ever control every factor.

    But even given those two thoughts, expecting equal outcomes is just ridiculous.
     
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  26. Teila

    Teila

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    I agree...and agree with your statement about expecting equal outcomes. Everyone goes into an exam or a job, for example, with a different interpretation of what they learned about a subject, how they interpret a question, and what they expect the professor or boss to wants from them. So therefore, the best one can do is pay attention and learn how things are to be done, adapting to the real world.

    Opportunity, yes, but what we do with that opportunity is going to vary for many reasons, some beyond our control, some within our control. We have control over what we do and how we react to situations. We don't have control over how others react or act.

    Therefore, it is smart to learn to be proactive not reactive. Pay attention, listen, know the rules, play nice with others. Work on yourself. I have said that many times in this thread. I think the OP is young and has a lot left to learn about many things. I have young adults and teens in my household and yeah, it is tough to take responsibility and deal with those things we can't control. But we all learn, and most of us live through it.

    I rather enjoyed this thread because it made me compare my 20 year old self to myself now and realize how much life has changed me, better or worse. :) I certainly don't run away from those rivers anymore but sometimes I waste my time telling others how to build their bridges. :p
     
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  27. computertech

    computertech

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    Ya, you are right. Especially for adults. I am going to forget my old exam. And I am going to try to get 70% or 80% on my next exam to catch up my marks. Is mostly too late now or too hard to fix it now.

    Hopefully, this forum won't get too off topic afterwards. I was mostly talking about game design theory or game design school.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  28. lemonrays

    lemonrays

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    Um. You've misunderstood me completely. I am an artist. Art was very much a part of my program. I'm talking about places like AI Institute that have classes that cost $150000 and the blood of your first born. They're a waste of time because of cost, not what you may learn there...
     
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  29. samnarain

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    Thank you for clearing that up for me :) I hope you didn't have that class for the sake of your first born :p
     
  30. computertech

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    Interesting facts my professor just told me that a game theory is basically a game studies, not really learning game idea or learning a game content. Before, I thought game theory is the same as learning a game idea.
     
  31. Teila

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    Nope. It is often offered outside of game development classes. More math and psychology I believe. Interesting though.
     
  32. computertech

    computertech

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    Is more like mostly learning game structuralism and learning game psychology. For example, the structure of play will always need a movement. Play is not really a game. Because, play can just be a digital interactive artwork only. Including to make play as a game, the play must have a objective goal of not being a loser. Like a game must have a goal to push you that you must play again. Like I need to play a game twice or more times to win. While, we can choose to play the digital interactive artworks only once as we like to.
     
  33. Teila

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    I think most of us know what it is. ;)

    Personally, I think you should go try to make a game rather than spending a lot of time in here. You will learn more that way. This thread has been so derailed and really, no one took up the gauntlet on game theory so might as well do something else.

    Good luck to you!
     
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  34. computertech

    computertech

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    I am making my first game that is a 2D Vertical Scroller. It is my first official Unity assignment from my first year game university. It might needs several more weeks to make this game. So far I already made my repeated 2d middle ground tiles and my background tiles. After around four years of wishing to make a full game, I finally did get started to make a real game from two weeks ago.
     
  35. Habitablaba

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    Just make sure this doesn't turn into a political conversation
     
  36. computertech

    computertech

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    That argument is already over. I already give up asking my computer science math professor as marking unfairly.
     
  37. Kiwasi

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    It's almost impossible to discuss education without getting into politics st some point. Education systems are closely tied to the political systems of a given country.
     
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  38. computertech

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    Man, I feel very tried of my game theory classes. Because, the game theory classes is basically keep on giving me a 68% mark from me not doing a good enough game theory writings with a university level. So, far I feel like we have not really been marked by making a game yet, because our school did not really make a lot of games yet.

    There is two choice in our university with the game major- game programming or game design. The game design is about being a computer graphic artist and a idea designer person. I feel bad for my friends being inside the design major classes, because their class teaches us with the digital art is not as good, because I bet most of my classmate will never really model a helicopter or a realistic temple. Half of the students is always playing the video games inside our game lab. They play video games more than actually doing homework, because half of our homework is always the presentations and the writings about video games, instead of actually creating a game.

    I am so glad I am inside the game programming major, instead of the game design major, because my programming class actually make you do a hard core programming that trying hard will not guarantee a success. But, in my programming university is a bit too hard for me, because like all of the university programming professors will usually actually make you being self taught with your programming skills.
     
  39. Kiwasi

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    If your forum posts are anything to go by, I'm not surprised.

    Have you considered taking a formal writing class. Many Universities offer them through the library.
     
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  40. computertech

    computertech

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    To summarize what I meant from before, the game design school is really suck. The game design school is mostly marking your game theory writing and your game making assignment will worth a lesser mark. The game design school promise to teach you more digital arts and game theory. But, their teaching with digital arts is not as great, because most of them cannot even model a helicopter or a realistic temple. So, they have a very less chance to be a artist. Being a artist is their only chance of getting a job, because most likely the game theory person will not bring you a job that easily.
     
  41. DangerSnoot

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    This'll probably sound weird so stick with me, but having trained and studied animal cognition and behaviour for a living since I was 16, I've found that to have provided me with more insight into game design than any other facet of my life, including a massive wall filled with books specifically about video game design. Models of motivation, play behaviour, reward and punishment, and the ability to design a positive, self motivating experience relative to the needs and abilities of the animal on the other end are rediculously transferrable, even though nobody would believe it if I wrote that on a cover letter or CV (I tell myself they're just jealous that wolves liked my touchscreen cognitive research games more than theirs). My point is that there are very key principles to game design that can come from all kinds of places, and don't necessarily need to be aquired from a university course. I've also met some animal trainers that know every theory under the sun, and yet you hand them a clicker and their timing is way off, the animal loses motivation and everything goes to hell because they totally lack the ability to convert theory into practice. Game design is exactly like that too - you have to have an underlying understanding of the mechanisms even if you don't know their technical names, but you also have to know how to use them. Whilst that skill can be aquired, nobody can actively teach it to you like it's some kind of interesting factoid. Only experience works here and it can take years of hard work.

    The bit that I would be excited to learn in a formal setting would be the artistic and programming technicalities that permit you to turn a game design into a game. Whether that setting is at a university, or just by sitting down and reading books or stuff on the internet is a matter or preference and budget, but personally I find I learn best through live questions and answers as I tackle a real-world example, surrounded by like-minded, motivated people, immersed in a culture of mutual learning, and in which learning occurs in a logical, bitesize format to reduce my having to focus on too much at once. I also need enough time to walk my dog and eat. Some university courses can provide that.

    As for your example, I feel like you may be using your university time poorly. It's not an insult, as it's exactly the mistake I made the first time I went to uni. If you go there expecting them to tell you everything you need to know, then you'll probably feel let down. If you can do the work to get to the point where you know good questions to ask, then suddenly it becomes massively more rewarding. Plus, and here's a cheesey video game analogy - consider which of the below options is the best quest reward.

    Required XP to level is on an exponential curve, so going from level 1 to 2 is very quick and easy, but going from level 99 to 100 is nigh-on impossible under practical circumstances.
    1. You are a level 1 character; you instantly gain 20 levels!
    2. You are a level 50 character; you instantly gain 20 levels!
    3. You are a level 80 character; I have nothing more to teach you. <-- hippocoder?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  42. imaginaryhuman

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    if you are creative/artistic maybe you will express your originality from within, rather than learn some formula from a book?
     
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  43. computertech

    computertech

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    I wish that will happen just by following your own creativity, because I think most people does that. But, my game design school is a bit too harsh into studying game theory to the point the advisor said they rather teach more game theory than making a game artworks. And they explain is because this game design course is from our university and it should be taught in a university way by teaching more theories instead of a practical college practice. The advisor even said she can only guarantee 2 to 3 artist per graduate year. The advisor even said the reason they teach more theory, because to get a producer job will need to know more game theories to be better at a business practice, when I kind of believe that information is not really always the truth.
    In the end I am glad that I join the computer science game programming side instead of their game design side from their university.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  44. computertech

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    I post this video link, because I think the game literacy is similar into this post like studying and reading a game medium with a question and answering themselves with theories and technics to create a new type of design with more creativity. Hopefully, I am not wrong because I am still not really clear what is a game literacy.
     
  45. Ryiah

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    Literacy is simply competence or knowledge in a specific area. Game literacy would thus be knowledge of games. At the very basic level game literacy allows you to take knowledge of one game and play other games in the same genre without having to completely learn the mechanics from the beginning.

    Side scrollers, for example, have common concepts like running back and forth, jumping (or even double jumping), climbing ladders and ropes, picking up objects for points, and so on.

    Advanced game literacy wasn't touched on in the video but it's likely going to be described as the ability to take mechanics and understand them in a way that would benefit you in other genres. Mechanics listed in the previous paragraph relating to side scrollers are not limited to them after all.

    It's not restricted to mechanics either. My response times used to be very sluggish until I started playing games that required faster reaction times. Once I became accustomed to the faster pace I went back to the previous games and found I was even better at playing them because of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
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  46. Kiwasi

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    I'm about six months behind on my extra credits watching. Been studying philosophy instead.

    However in general when extra credits talk about game literacy, they are talking about the ability to play games. James does a lot of work with games in education. One of the issues he has is balancing the students.

    On the one hand you have kids like mine, who were practically born with controllers in their hands. They learned there way around a touch screen before they could walk. They even have their own YouTube channel.

    On the other hand we had a neighbour who graduated high school without ever creating a FaceBook account.

    Trying to target both ends of the spectrum is painful.
     
  47. samnarain

    samnarain

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    <3
     
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  48. print_helloworld

    print_helloworld

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Posts:
    231
    I've never really read any books on game design or watched extra credits much, this is mostly because the way I study game design is by studying my favorite games. This is could probably be referred to as backward engineering game design from existing games. There are some limitations to do this, primarily you learn only how to make good games for a similar audience that you are part of (if you play a lot of puzzle and shooter games, you will learn how to make these 2 kind of games). This is also useful with games that you dont play often or as much, if you played this certain game, and then dropped it cause you got bored, you can learn from it and make a game where a player like you wont get bored. So if a strategy game that was advertised as action packed got you really bored, now you will know not to advertise your games like that (unless youre not allowing refunds (this is a nasty business move unless the game is free))