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Old 05-10-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
Crowskie
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Default Studying games

Can someone give me any advice on techniques to study games academically. I am trying to learn as much as I can from the classics, and the games I am currently playing, so any advice is good.

Edit- also, what are some good books to read to learn more about game design?

Last edited by Crowskie : 05-10-2008 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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Study games academically?

Interesting concept. I took the "work at a game store, buy anything, play everything" approach. Also, I don't play games that EVERYONE does. I did play Bioshock, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed to name a few... but I also reach out to play the most obscure titles.

For example I was the only one in my city to get excited about Shadow of the Colossus over God of War, and I easily overtook the popularity of God of War with the talking up of the Shadow of the Colossus. I also grab TERRIBLE games to find out where they went wrong and what terrifying things I should never do. If you have a 360, buy Vampire Rain and Two Worlds. Two games that have so much potential, and then just were downright nauseating.

The thing is, I want into the industry so bad, every purchase I make isn't for enjoyment, it is literally market research. I can get 10$ of enjoyment out of any game, and that is my "I have to get it" price. I have bought amazing and terrible games for 10$ (Death by Degrees however, not worth the 5$ I spent on it). Also, don't limit yourself to playing just video games. Game Theory started with rocks and sticks, to checkers, to chess, to sports, to paper and pen, then tabletops, and THEN electronic media. I suppose starting at the beginning will only help you understand the end more.

Also, try different things. Play Final Fantasy while listening to your favorite rock tunes. Or play Burnout to Classical tunes. See what sets the mood. It's a fun little exercise. Also, I'm not sure where you're going in game creation, but design is always refreshing.

Hope that helps, just my thoughts... note though, I am not in the industry (yet).

Sincerely,
Tim Edwards
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimEdwards View Post
Study games academically?

Interesting concept. I took the "work at a game store, buy anything, play everything" approach. Also, I don't play games that EVERYONE does. I did play Bioshock, Oblivion, Assassin's Creed to name a few... but I also reach out to play the most obscure titles.

For example I was the only one in my city to get excited about Shadow of the Colossus over God of War, and I easily overtook the popularity of God of War with the talking up of the Shadow of the Colossus. I also grab TERRIBLE games to find out where they went wrong and what terrifying things I should never do. If you have a 360, buy Vampire Rain and Two Worlds. Two games that have so much potential, and then just were downright nauseating.

The thing is, I want into the industry so bad, every purchase I make isn't for enjoyment, it is literally market research. I can get 10$ of enjoyment out of any game, and that is my "I have to get it" price. I have bought amazing and terrible games for 10$ (Death by Degrees however, not worth the 5$ I spent on it). Also, don't limit yourself to playing just video games. Game Theory started with rocks and sticks, to checkers, to chess, to sports, to paper and pen, then tabletops, and THEN electronic media. I suppose starting at the beginning will only help you understand the end more.

Also, try different things. Play Final Fantasy while listening to your favorite rock tunes. Or play Burnout to Classical tunes. See what sets the mood. It's a fun little exercise. Also, I'm not sure where you're going in game creation, but design is always refreshing.

Hope that helps, just my thoughts... note though, I am not in the industry (yet).

Sincerely,
Tim Edwards
I WISH I could work at a game store for that reason. The few stores here are really bad about only hiring friends of people, or frequent customers. Of course, no money, not much of a customer. Ive really been trying to fill the void by playing a lot of free and web-based games. I am soooooo behind on the big titles.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowskie View Post
I WISH I could work at a game store for that reason. The few stores here are really bad about only hiring friends of people, or frequent customers. Of course, no money, not much of a customer. Ive really been trying to fill the void by playing a lot of free and web-based games. I am soooooo behind on the big titles.
Lol same here. For the big titles you can't afford, it's time to go into stalker mode. Look them up on Amazon.com, facebook, etc and see what other people had to say about them (other than omg! best game everrr! or this sucked balls. Some people do give pretty good critiques). Then when you do eventually get your hands on a copy (either buying or borrowing from a friend) you can see if you agree with what the other people have been saying and why.

The industry changes so fast. You're not going to be able to afford or have time to play every single smash hit. But think about, if you're going into the industry, chances are you'll be working on a team. There's bound to be one person on that team that has played those big titles and analyzed them to death. You can probably add more if you stick to games nobody's really heard of before.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:12 PM   #5
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It might be kind of fun to devote a topic to games that industry wannabes should play...
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:10 PM   #6
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does anyone know of any good books to read on the subject?
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:53 AM   #7
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Any specific? Game Design? Game Art? Game Programming? Studying 'Games' is pretty broad.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:39 AM   #8
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*bump* for the forum
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:18 PM   #9
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Books @ GameDev.net would be a good place to start.

Read the amazon reviews if there arn't any GameDev reviews. Off the top of my head, I would reccomend:

A Theory of Fun for Game Design

by Raph Koster

and

Game Design: Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed.
by Richard Rouse III
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
Any specific? Game Design? Game Art? Game Programming? Studying 'Games' is pretty broad.
Likewise. I'm no expert when recommending books on game theories, but the first step is to know the area or subject.

It's a broad field and if you don't where (you want) to go you might up end up lost.

I haven't read it yet, but as Adrir mentioned, A Theory of Fun for Game Design
by Raph Koster
always seems to be a good choice for starters. I've read other books, but it's about time I get my hands on this one.
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