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How to become a Game Designer : Getting started

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Bit-Winchester, May 19, 2017.

  1. Bit-Winchester

    Bit-Winchester

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Posts:
    1
    Hey guys, I made a quick video to hopefully help with how to become a game designer. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming or we can through ourselves head first into technical before we have an understanding of fundamentals that make great designers. Hope this helps a few people out there that are just getting started. Cheers!

    You can watch the video here:
     
    Gigiwoo, PhilippG and JoeStrout like this.
  2. uncle-iroh

    uncle-iroh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Posts:
    1
    i have a hard time with computers..but have a brilliant idea for a collaborated game, the marketing that would go into the design, a small amount of paperwork and illustrations ive come up with for algorithm and overall concepts and functionality (with lots of room for change and input)..I GUESS MY QUESTION IS ..are there any roles in this industry for a person who just conceptualizes and discusses with a team, who would be able to convey and apply my idea into game? or what level of technical skill would i have to reach to be taken seriously?.....im a father of 3..and learning coding is tough and time consuming for me..and feel that if i were just to talk with a team of experts, they could mainline this project into fruition..the concept would easy to explain, for the idea of all the mechanics and function already exist in other games, card games , ect..
     
  3. TeagansDad

    TeagansDad

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    481
    Quite frankly, no. No there isn't.

    Ideas are a dime a dozen in this industry. Everybody working in games have their own ideas they'd love to pursue given the chance.

    To put it bluntly, it is your ability to implement your ideas that is of value in this industry. Otherwise, you're just the "ideas guy" and nobody respects or values him. That's the harsh reality of making games.

    You need to be proficient enough in a particular technical skill to be able to pull your weight on the team: programming, 3D modeling, animation & rigging, 2D art, concept art, sound design, music composition, etc. Game Design is a bit of a jack of all trades role; usually a designer needs to have some skill in scripting (at least with a visual tool like Playmaker if not coding), enough 3D modeling to build simple greyboxed environments or prototypes, plus knowledge of game mechanics.

    I know that's not the answer you want to hear. I'm a father of two myself, so I get the time issue -- and that's the main reason I left the AAA industry. Game development is a very time consuming pursuit and there isn't any getting around that.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
    neoshaman and Martin_H like this.
  4. samnarain

    samnarain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Posts:
    98
    Yes. Companies are born out of that.

    None. You will need some sales engineering skills though.

    Contact a publisher or a studio or start your own, acquire the funding. Expect a lot of "no" and randomly emailing will most likely end up in your idea being changed and stolen.
     
  5. TeagansDad

    TeagansDad

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
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    @samnarain does have a valid point; I'll revise my answer slightly.

    If you have lots of money, then you can be the Ideas Guy, despite a lack of experience or ability in making games. People will listen to you and "respect" your input so long as the cash keeps flowing their way.

    But the odds of acquiring funding based on an idea for a game -- or selling your idea with no prototype to back it up -- are close enough to zero that it would be a complete waste of time to try.

    Also, if you're a Sid Meier, a Richard Garriott, or a Shigeru Miyamoto, then you have earned the right to just be the Ideas Guy and get others to do the grunt work. Guys like them can get away with asking for funding simply based on an idea.
     
    samnarain likes this.
  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Dec 5, 2013
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    14,499
    Why not try board games? These tend to be far more 'pure' game design. And the design is still primarily done with a single person.

    Video game design requires you to have a track record of successful design. Which normally requires you to have some skills to implement your own designs.
     
  7. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    19,820
    I agree, if you have the chops to create a board game you're probably on the way to understanding game design as a whole, not just gameplay mechanics.

    Put it this way, several AAA games (I won't name them), have bad game design but sufficiently mask it under the gloss of endless cutscenes, art, sound etc. But, terrible actual game design.

    This is from companies which have the money, imagine how much harder it is for those who don't :)

    Kinda - be a producer, a director or earn the position via success. Nobody will give you a game designer job until you've designed a few actually successful games. The job exists, just they're only going to a hire a very successful one.

    These positions are nearly always grown into, for instance I might work at naughty cat, and make a name for myself adding cool bits and generally injecting value into existing titles. A position may come up and I may find myself looking at a potential game design role, subject to anyone who is in charge of lots of money.

    Like Carmack, I believe you should earn your way there via the roads of art or programming.

    That's not many people around here. So I would advise making some games yourself.
     
    Martin_H and Kiwasi like this.
  8. samnarain

    samnarain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Posts:
    98
    I wasn't saying you were wrong; totally agree from the perspective you were answering. Just wanted to add my perspective. :p

    Bingo.

    I agree that you'll need a demo - or better said a "Proof of Concept". If you can't code it yourself, mow some lawns and hire someone for the bare minimum or get a business partner who is willing to help with it. Just make sure that you won't start feeling yourself too awesome "because you are the idea guy"; that bull won't fly anymore. Unless the bull has lots of money from a secret chest earned by mowing lawns.

    Truth is being spoken here.

    Tiny note for ones own soul: don't make people your idols. Work hard. Keep your integrity. Take a leap of faith and don't be afraid of failing. Take only risks that are worth the while and don't drag other people into it. Even if your idea is utter crap, your effort, dedication and discipline will grant you more than money will buy: respect and a sense of accomplishment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    TeagansDad and Martin_H like this.
  9. Mercbaker

    Mercbaker

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Posts:
    15
    Guys... this is a blatant Internet Marketing post, why are you all even giving this thing traffic? lol

    The video leads to a channel selling a product course. I also doubt Bit-Winchester is even the guy in the video and is probably an affiliate.

    A new account with one post. No replies. OKAY.

    Thread should be locked for external marketing purposes.
     
  10. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    14,499
    Meh. Forum culture is such that we don't mind the occasional marketing post. We are all guilty of pushing our own products from time to time, so you can't really blame someone for trying.

    Repetitive spamming the same product and necrospamming will both get you in trouble. But the occasional marketing post in the section it's related too doesn't bother most of us.

    You are of course entitled to hit the report button if you want a thread locked. If the post really is in violation of the rules then a mod will close the thread.
     
  11. SoundStormLabs

    SoundStormLabs

    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    Posts:
    75
    Actually, there is, but it depends on the size of the company. Generally indie developers can't afford such custom work which is why they don't hire people like writers for it, but a larger company like Blizzard or Raven Soft or EA Games absolutely can and does for most of their games.