Today, the field of game design has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Now, it’s known as one of the most demanding fields in the industry. This is due to the fact that game designers must be able to think like a programmer and a player at once. However, this doesn’t mean you can just jump into designing games without any formal training or experience beforehand. In this article, we’ll take you through eight things every game designer should know if they want to succeed in the field.
The Importance of Gameplay Design
The first step to becoming a good game designer is understanding the importance of gameplay design. In other words, you need to be able to explain why your game exists in the first place. The best way to do this is by telling a story. Any video game, no matter how innovative, can’t exist without a compelling narrative. That’s because gameplay is nothing more than a series of events that happen in a given order. No one, not even the player, knows why those events occur in that order. This is the whole point of storytelling: to provide context for events by giving them meaning.
An Understanding of the Basics Will Take You a Long Way
By now, you probably know the difference between levels, scripting, and art. However, knowing the fundamentals of each field will help you as a designer a lot. For example, you need to know the basics of programming in order to decide what programming language to use. The same goes for art and sound. And while the field of game design is constantly evolving, some of these fundamentals have never really changed. This is why they’re important to understand even if you’re just starting out.
Good art almost always beats graphics alone
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to creating art for your game is that it needs to tell a story. This means that the illustrations and images you choose need to be relevant to your narrative. And while it’s great to add cool-looking effects, you should never let them overpower the narrative. The visuals in your game should always serve a purpose. This way, you’re not wasting your team’s time on assets that don’t contribute to the game’s core experience. This is why it’s always a good idea to spend some time playing around with various graphics tools. Doing so will force you to think about the type of art that you can use in your game.
Know your audience and write with them in mind
The best way to know your audience is by understanding their needs and desires. This means that you should conduct research on your target audience, their likes and dislikes, their demographic, and their preferences. This will help you come up with the right type of game for your audience. Next, you need to know your genre and its conventions, just like Poker. For example, the action genre has certain conventions that you need to follow in order to be considered part of that genre. These conventions include gameplay mechanics like shooting, boss battles, and platforming.
Always question your assumptions, even if they’re based on facts
One of the biggest mistakes that new game designers make is falling for their own assumptions. Whether these assumptions are based on facts or just a hunch, you need to always question them. This is especially true when you come up with a concept for your game. You need to make sure that your concept makes sense and is consistent with the rest of your game. You can’t just think of a cool idea that you want to execute. Instead, you need to think about the core concept of your game and make sure it makes complete sense. After all, you don’t want to create a game that has a cool premise but doesn’t follow through on it due to poor design.
Now that you know what it takes to become a game designer, it’s time to start putting these things into practice. Remember, the best way to learn something new is by doing it. That being said, you need to find ways to apply what you’ve just read so that you can start getting experience as a designer. The best way to do this is by creating your own games. This can be tricky, since most game creation software is intended for commercial projects. However, there are plenty of resources that allow you to create games for free. With these resources, you can practice your game design skills and learn from your mistakes. If you prefer to learn on a more formal level, there are plenty of design schools and universities that offer game design programs. Similarly, you can also look into online courses and bootcamps that provide game design certification.