The world of video game design is not for those who simply love to play video games. It is a complex science that has become one of the nation’s most popular college majors. VGD combines artistic talent with high mathematics and computer programming ability. The serious designer will look for schools with “industry current” facilities, small classes, high post graduate employment rates and supportive faculty who come from the actual gaming industry.
Why is this Important?
- Watching videos on the subject helps you understand the true nature of the major
- Viewing student work helps you see the quality and complexity of what you’ll study
- Videos allow you to see facilities, and resources of schools that teach the major
Game Designer As the game designer, you'll be the person primarily responsible for the playability and Fun Factor of the game. You'll use your skills to create the best game under the given circumstances, targeted specifically for the platform, the genre and the audience. You'll start by writing and diagramming the game in a design document, using such tools as screen shots and interface diagrams, flowcharts, script templates, and state tables. Throughout the project you'll keep the documents current so that the rest of the team always know the game's current status. The design document is not just a top level idea statement - over the course of the project it will come to hold many details about the game, such as the characters, worlds, control schemes, systems, interface, story and puzzles. As the game progresses from document to reality, you'll play it constantly, in order to ensure the proper "balance" of difficulty to fun, at all player skill levels. This will often be informed by results of user playtesting, pointing out areas where the game especially needs attention. You'll be expected to stay familiar with the genre of your game, and know well the strengths and weaknesses of competitive products through comparative research. Game design isn't a one-person show, of course; in addition to your fellow designers, you'll work closely with the other parts of the team to design the elements that the player will experience. As the game engine and tools come online, you'll use them to build out game spaces, and script the non-player characters in the game. On any particular project, the designer's role may include all or a subset of the responsibilities described. Most games have more than one designer, and designers might divide up the responsibilities according to their expertise and interest.
Lead Designer A Lead Designer may or may not be the person who "invented" the game's idea, but it's almost certain you'll be specifying its primary interactions. As Lead Designer, you will perform most of the tasks mentioned for Game Designer, and you'll also lead the other members of the design team to achieve the product goals. Along with producer, you'll have decision-making power regarding the design, especially in cases where your choices don't result in any changes to scope or schedule. You will participate in, and may be ultimately responsible for, the selection of the other designers on the team. Often the Lead Designer holds or shares the responsibility of representing the game to the media.