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Old 06-30-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
TigerStrike1313
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Post A Few Quetions On Game Design.

Ive Been Extremly Drawn To Game Design, For The Last Couple Of Years My Intrest Only Grew. I Belive Im Finaly Ready To Get All My Anwsers, And Decied Whats Best For Me. Here Is What I Find Important That I Know. Any Answers Would Be Very Helpfull.

*Ive Been Looking At Digipen College In Redmond Wa. They Say Most Gradutes Get Jobs In Microsoft Or Nintendo. Or So I Read Or Understood. My Quetion Is... Do Schools You Go to, Have A Better Chance Getting Into One Company Over Another? Or Is It All About Location ? My Personal Intrests Lay In Rpg's And Companys Like Blizzard And Bethesda (Many Others Tho.)

*Is There Anyway I Can Visit Or See First Hand What Exactly They Do (Game Designers That Is)? And I Mean All Types Of Designers. Level Design To The People That Write The Scripts. I Realy Want Something Like A Career Day And Spend A Day Or Two Learing All The Works.That Would Help Me Alot. I Learn Hands On.

*How Do I Decied What Company Is Best For Me? And My Odds Getting Hired With That Specific Company?

*Right Now Im Leaning Towards Level Design. Do All Designers Need To Be Able To Draw ? Or Does That At All Have Anything To Do With Level Design ? I Have No Drawing Skills At All. But My Imagintion Runs Wild. I Often Find Great Ideas Pop In My Head. Then I Go And Write Them Down. If They Do Require Drawing Skills Is There Anything Else That would Suite Me ?

Video Games To Me Is A Burning Pasion That Grows The More I Think Of The Endless Possiblites There Realy Are.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
shane.hendrickson
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I'm a game design major myself, so I'll try to answer a few of your questions.
First, I don't know anything about Digipen, so I can't help you there. I do encourage you to check out other colleges before just jumping right in to one. Always be ware of statistics, they are there to get you to sign up.

If you want to know what game designers do, read through job descriptions, game postmortems (which you can often find on this site), and through some books on the game industry. Break Into the Game Industry by Ernest Adams gives a nice summary of game jobs, but it also reminds readers that there are no industry standards as far as job titles.

Which company is best for you really depends on what interests you. If you want to know what a company's definition of 'designer' is, check out their site and any job postings.

Do designers need to be able to draw? Well, I've been told that designers need to be able to do a lot. Again, this depends on the company, as there is no industry standard. I can tell you that in my curriculum so far, I have had three art classes with another still to come. Yes, I had a drawing class. No, I still can't draw very well. Design is about much more than coming up with game ideas. For example, here is the job listing for the design position at Insomniac Games:

Big Picture for the Position:
Develop concepts and treatments for specific game modes and features, and help implement the design features and game worlds.

What does that mean? It means that the designer would be doing the following, and more:
- Design game levels and all enemies and objects specific to those levels.
- Communicate designs visually and verbally to other team members, by possibly creating 2D maps of game levels, 3D roughs of game objects and level, documenting of gameplay functionality and design plans, document expected behavior(s) and functionality of entities
- Create detailed specs describing concept, content, assets, rules and behavior(s), constraints, etc.
- Evolve and tune game mechanics into fun, intuitive features that are player centric.
- Implement designed elements or oversee implementation of designed elements.
- Test gameplay and use results to tune gameplay, to make the game more enjoyable

What you bring to the table:
- Bachelor's degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university; or three to five years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Knowledge of Maya, Adobe Illustrator, and Microsoft Office Suite.
- Ability to implement gameplay via a scripting system.
- Strong communication skills including verbal and written skills are required.

Gold Stars for those who have:
- Familiarity with a LUA based scripting system.
- Experience with 3D level editors.


As you can see, there is much expected. I can say this: really practice your writing. In my curriculum, I have done insane amounts of writing. I'm loving every minute of it, but it's still really hard work. I have two game designs that I have to come up with this week, one of them will eventually be developed in to a full-fledged game design document. I'm only in my second year. Read, write, read, write, play some games, read, write, read, write, play some games....
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:58 AM   #3
Adrir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerStrike1313 View Post
Ive Been Looking At Digipen College In Redmond Wa. They Say Most Gradutes Get Jobs In Microsoft Or Nintendo. Or So I Read Or Understood. My Quetion Is... Do Schools You Go to, Have A Better Chance Getting Into One Company Over Another? Or Is It All About Location?
As shane pointed out, you should keep yourself aware of what statistics actually mean as they can sometimes be ambiguous. If they don't explicitly state what the statistics mean - ask them if they definitely mean graduates who have got into development positions at game companies.

No school can give you a guarenteed advantage, it's down to you. It's all about how you use the strengths of the school. Members of staff may often have a lot of contacts and could help you network with the companies you intend to join. Some schools provide heavy portfolio development and critique which you can take advantage of. Some schools offer better curriculums than others. Check out Scientific Ninja's opinions. Futhermore, you don't need a design degree to get into design!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerStrike1313 View Post
Is There Anyway I Can Visit Or See First Hand What Exactly They Do (Game Designers That Is)? And I Mean All Types Of Designers. Level Design To The People That Write The Scripts. I Realy Want Something Like A Career Day And Spend A Day Or Two Learing All The Works.That Would Help Me Alot. I Learn Hands On.
Some companies do, most don't. I'd ask the specific companies you would like to see, either by email or at a career fayre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerStrike1313 View Post
How Do I Decied What Company Is Best For Me? And My Odds Getting Hired With That Specific Company?
It depends. Personally, I wouldn't put all my eggs into one basket by trying to impress one specific company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerStrike1313 View Post
Do All Designers Need To Be Able To Draw ? Or Does That At All Have Anything To Do With Level Design ? I Have No Drawing Skills At All.
Drawing is a learned skill. You just need to have enough skill to communicate visually. If you are just starting a 4 year batchelors degree then you've got plenty of time to do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerStrike1313 View Post
Video Games To Me Is A Burning Pasion That Grows The More I Think Of The Endless Possiblites There Realy Are.
Welcome to the forums!

If you have any further questions, then feel free to ask. I would like to request, however, that in future you don't use a capital letter for every word in your post. It does make it hard to read.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:25 PM   #4
TigerStrike1313
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Thank you both for your information. I apoligise for all the cap letters. Bad Habit. You gave me alot to mow over . You both have been a tremendis help.

I belive now i can progress alittle further. Cant tell you how much im excited. Chances are ill be back with more quetions. Keep a look out .
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:59 AM   #5
Sara jones
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Ya its also helpful for me thanks.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:09 PM   #6
BorisK
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*Right Now Im Leaning Towards Level Design. Do All Designers Need To Be Able To Draw ? Or Does That At All Have Anything To Do With Level Design ? I Have No Drawing Skills At All. But My Imagintion Runs Wild. I Often Find Great Ideas Pop In My Head. Then I Go And Write Them Down. If They Do Require Drawing Skills Is There Anything Else That would Suite Me ?
-dont worry about painting the mona lisa again. as long as you can draw basic shapes and lines lol. some people use google sketch, blueprints and some even use matchboxes and toilet rolls(thats the best i think). as long as you can get ur message across. try doin research on design documents. most level designers i know cant draw to save their lives



its all about playing around with Maya, 3D Studio Max, Unreal Editor, Hammer Editor, Flash, Game Maker 7 and building up a nice portfolio. making mods is also a good way to impress. practice ur level design, 3D modelling and scripting
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