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Old 05-30-2009, 07:04 AM   #11
Gshonk
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I just want to preface this with what I have already said, I am a programmer/designer hybrid, but I will answer these questions with my designer hat on

1. What first interested you in this career?
I, like most designers in the industry, was drawn to this career when I was a kid playing games. I remember I wrote my first design document after I lost some data while playing Pokemon, I got so mad I wrote a game called "Pokemon Killer" (funny note I pitched it to Sony via email about 10 times).

2. When did you realize that you wanted to become a Game Designer?
After realizing the document actually had good flow and some good ideas I thought hey I could do this. And then I began designing levels for friends in Warcraft 2.

3. What sort of education is required for this job?
Well this is the tricky one, I'm not really sure what education is required. I have friends who are designers that have degrees from CS to Architecture to just a high school diploma.
I for one went to Full Sail University and got a degree in Game Design and Development (which is almost purely focused on the programming side.) but while pursuing that degree I became intensely consumed with the design of Casual games. This on top of playing lots of causal games and talking with other designers gave me an education in design principles. (Also reading Gamasutra articles keeps you up to date on design)

4. Do you enjoy your job?
I love it!

5. What is the best part of your job?
My favorite part of being a designer is when the Creative Director calls me into his office and says "I have an idea.". This generally means he has a setting or humorous thing he wants to build a game off of, then it is time for me to go to work and come up with some fun gameplay mechanics. I really enjoy this time where it is just the two of us bouncing ideas of of each other and writing crazy things on the white board.

6. What is the worst part of your job?
When the game gets to QA and you have to make sure the way the game turned out is how the spec was written- at my studio the spec is used by QA to test game features.

7. What are the hours like?
Sense I work at a casual game studio our crunch times aren't that often. On average I work 40-50hrs a week. During crunch time that might get up to 60hrs a week.

8. What sorts of careers are available to your position?
If I stay at the studio I am at then I might eventually be able to move up to Creative Director, or Producer.

9. Have people always been supportive of your career choice?
If you mean family and friends, yes, they have all been very supportive.

10. What sort of salary ranges are there?
I would suggest for this you check out gamasutras salary survey.

11. Is it difficult to always be thinking of new ideas and concepts?
The only difficulty I have with this is being a programmer at the same time, so I can't devote all of my time to thinking as a designer, so I need some time to switch gears. Funny thing though a lot of my ideas come to me in dreams, so I always sleep with a notebook and pen next to my bed. (Now if only I got paid while sleeping)

12. What are areas of business that are very popular?
Not really sure what you are asking here. ??

13. What do you think of your career?
I love it, though it is moving along rather swiftly and I have to take care not to burn out.

14. Have you had any embarrassing moments in your career?
There was the time at GDC when I was at an IGDA round table and I said (very loudly) that the chapter near me sucked. Turned out the guy sitting next to me was one of the coordinators. But it ended up all good he plugged me in and now we are revitalizing the chapter.

15. What risks do you take in your job/position?
Pissing people off. Sometimes you have to lay down the law as a designer and tell an artist "No that art can't be in in this way because it hinders gameplay." or to a programmer "I know we told you this but we need to change it around because my design was broken.". They don't really like to hear these things and they get a little grumpy.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:18 AM   #12
toyoka
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Thanks for the great answers Grant! I'm sorry about number 12, it was very vague . To make it more clear, I'll change it to: What area(s)/aspect(s) of game design interest you most, and why? Again, thanks for your time Grant, I really appreciate it!
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyoka View Post
What area(s)/aspect(s) of game design interest you most, and why?
Well right now I am mainly working on casual games. So I am really enjoying coming up with mechanics that are very accessible and addictive. I guess you would call the area gameplay mechanics. But I am constantly enjoying learning new and innovative things to implement. For side projects I am currently working on the more artistic/express side of game design.
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