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May 15, 2021, 04:21:45 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignGame Design And Hardware
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TommyD3
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« on: February 05, 2021, 10:45:17 AM »

Hello everyone! I am a beginner at wanting to be a game designer. Is an off the shelf computer good for this route? Or do I need to use something more powerful to use with any programs like Unity and Blender? Also, what would be a good program for notes and presentations? In other words, what do I need to do this line of work in the production pipeline? Thank you!
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TonyLi
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2021, 02:04:40 PM »

Hi!

Don't let hardware stop you. You're not going to be pushing the limits of AAA photorealism with your first efforts. Jump in with whatever computer you have available, start learning, and have fun! As you learn more, you'll develop a better idea of what you yourself need to make your game ideas.
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TommyD3
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2021, 02:38:54 PM »

Noted and thank you for the advice! Would you recommend any programs that could help in a designers workflow (like Coral draw and Adobe anything)? Or just basics that come with a computer?
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raigan
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2021, 03:25:59 PM »

If you're just getting started, Unity/Blender might be too much. (Then again maybe not!)

Some other fun game-making tools to check out:
https://www.construct.net/en
https://www.lexaloffle.com/pico-8.php
https://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker

Pico-8 is especially fun for prototyping designs because making the graphics/sounds is integrated into the tool. Smiley
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TommyD3
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2021, 03:48:24 PM »

Thank you tons for the links! Do designers actually develop or do they document the game? I’m still a little hazy on this answer
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TommyD3
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 03:50:12 PM »

I know the difference between developer and designer, but I didn’t know if designers actually do any developing too...
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raigan
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 08:55:10 AM »

Well, the very first wave of game developers did *everything*: design, programming, graphics, sound, etc. Wink

IMO even if you're only interested in design, learning some basic coding will really help you communicate with team members better, as well as understanding how to break down processes into simple steps. And in general the more you know about all the domains involved in making games, the better.

AFAIK very few game designers do design-only, they at least are involved in scripting or other "productive" work. I guess e.g. Miyamoto or Kojima might be "design only" developers but I wouldn't plan on that as a career path.
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TonyLi
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2021, 12:42:39 PM »

^ Well said. Designers need at least a little experience doing everything, and often a lot of experience in one or more things. The way to become a good designer is to make games. You may hop from one game engine to another for a while until you find something that clicks with you, and that's fine. Just keep learning and making.

If you're interested in a particular genre of games, consider starting with a genre-specific game engine. For example, if you like old school JRPGs, look at RPG Maker. If you like visual novels, look at Ren'py. If you like point-and-click adventures, check out Adventure Game Studio. Genre-specific engines are usually easier to learn because their scope is limited to one type of game.

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Thaumaturge
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2021, 02:25:59 AM »

(Minor point: "developer" is a pretty all-encompassing term for "person who works on the game", and thus includes programmers, artists, designers, production staff, etc.)

Regarding whether designers do any direct development--coding, art, etc. It should be noted that the more indie the game/the smaller the development group, the more likely the designers take on other tasks, too, I daresay.

In a small enough group--let alone with a solo-dev--there may be no particular distinction between the "designer" and the "lead -programmer/-artist/etc.".
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 04:38:20 AM »

The word designer has a broad context too: sort of like architect. Its a sexy job title that seems cool. Most people want to be their own god and so on, so there is a ton of competition to be THE GUY.

If you apply for a design position at an AAA Studio it is essentially a job using a 3d modeling software to sculpt environments and other things, level design. For indies you can use a 2d tile sheet editor. The fact is, you can use Mario Maker to test how good at designing levels you are pretty easily.

Sometimes you will do stuff with spreadsheets designing progression curves and game economies, but the amount of work there is rare: not many games have particularly deep economies.

There is also writing, which is sort of a design-ish job that involves writing various forms of story related things, if you have a character who makes wise cracks every so often those need a writer. If you want to say the boss fight takes place in a cave that might be writing if the cave is in a special mountain that has a magic fire that can destroy any object, as opposed to just a random cave.

In terms of conceiving of high level concepts: that is probably the most fun thing to do, and also the smallest task there is. The idea is 1% the execution is 99%.

- - -

But the real trick is, unless your plan is to become the Übermensch and do it all yourself, that communication is the number one skill you need to truly be THE GUY, the CREATIVE DIRECTOR. That is, the ability to convince people to make *your vision* which is just a really complex set of variables to master that less than 100 people have ever done really well in games. Its a strange phenomena: people tend to resist letting people become THE GUY really strongly, but everyone seems to want it so bad. I guess that's why Game of Thrones was so popular.

So the real dream is to express your vision, but there are a million ways to fail at that, including living life with blinders on just keeping your head down and going with what everyone wants thus losing your sight, or similarly, having a unique point of view that you cannot get other people to see due to its ineffable abstruse circuitous complexity.

Why was humanity meant to struggle? Full of ambition, carved down to paste by a universe that simply does not care.
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