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Old 06-20-2007, 02:04 AM   #1
insignificantly
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Default different designers, what do they do?

i never really understood what different designers do. you have level design, character design, etc.
when someone asks me what i want to be as a profession, i answer, game designer.
but reading interviews and posts on different sites i'm beginning to doubt that i know what a game designer is.

is a game designer, any designer that works on a game? so are character and level designers also game designers?

i always thought a game designer was the guy that gets the idea for the gameplay, and designs it, and the controlls, etc. and that a level designer designs the levels, which is a whole other profession. and that the lead designer is a game designer that leads all the other game designers and other designers.

but on different sites i found that alot of people say that a game designer is any designer and lead designer is the gameplay desiger (or something).

does the word game designer even have 1 meaning, or is it an opinion what the word means?

thanks.
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:35 AM   #2
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I believe somebody working within the development team of a game is called a 'game developer'. The game designer's role is something like what you stated (although it seems to vary a little from company to company), it just seems that people misuse developer and designer, probably since a lot of jobs within the dev team contain 'designer'.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:13 AM   #3
insignificantly
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so officially, a game designer designs the game mechanics? (Gameplay). and as you said it varies within companies.

are there people who dissagree with this? i'd like to hear.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:21 AM   #4
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Usually a game designer writes out the GDD, does the planning and scheduling as well as translate from programmer to artist The designer is the top guy on the project with exception to the people supplying the money. on a project to project basis they are sometimes known as a project lead but on a career basis they are game designers.

It becomes a lot easier to remember if you look at it as software rather then games. then you have :

Software Design - Think of a application
Software Development - create the application
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:32 AM   #5
insignificantly
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but you can be a game designer and not be the lead designer, right?
i often see in credits:

Lead game design
name1
game design
name2
name3
name4

and the game designer doesn't make the story right? he could ofcourse do it, but then it would be a game designer that also made the story, right?

edit: can someone give me any references to interviews or something in which professional game designers talk about this?

Last edited by insignificantly : 06-20-2007 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:34 AM   #6
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Yes this is true. You don't have to be in charge, but then you are not doing any of the fun stuff either. The lead has the final say and will take input from game designers. They will not shape how the actually game works but rather how smaller parts of a game will work.

An example, one game designer can design how the GUI will work and interact with the user.

Sometimes they do make the story but not always, They may come up with the main Idea but not all the interlinking events. There is a lot of writting that goes into a game including non story text. Every character in halo from grunt to spartin has text written for their in game voice acting. One person would not write all of that and keep their sanity.
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:23 AM   #7
insignificantly
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the lead design is the leader, but that doesn't mean the other game designers dont have anything to say right? and what exactly is the line between fun stuff and little parts of the game?

Edit: and are there any articles or something like it, that describe this in detail?

Last edited by insignificantly : 06-22-2007 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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sorry I guess I was a little vague there. By "fun stuff" I meant the overall general feel and design of the game. An example would be the artistic style of the game. Another would be some basic game play design.

The little parts are things like what the flow of a single level will be or how people will interact with the environment. There more specific and detailed.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:41 PM   #9
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and are there any articles or something like it, that describe this in detail?
the things i've seen in wikipedia or other sites are too vague for me to understand. i'd like a clear list and detailed explanation what all the jobs do.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:59 PM   #10
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Thats just the problem. The game industry is still new and developing. Different companies have different titles and job descriptions, there not the same. The only things that are the same are the vague parts. give us another 10 years and maybe we will have things straightened out.
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