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The Game Design Process

The Game Design Process

Intrigued by the game design process? Interested in learning how to design and create video games yourself? If so, you’re en route to the most thrilling career in IT. But, be warned, learning how to design video games is no easy task. The game design process incorporates several grueling steps, which even then only might lead to eventual success of the game. Only 40% of professionally designed games that begin the initial design process actually make it to store shelves.

A video game designer’s main responsibility is the production of a final game design proposal, a highly detailed visual and written account of every aspect of the game. This is typically the end of the game design process, and the beginning of the production process. Once the game design process is complete, designers assist in production, ensuring the vision is realized acceptably.

The game design process starts with molding ideas into tangible forms. You’ll learn about and take into consideration different game platforms, interfaces, and genres. The initial stages of the game design process not only create a framework for future design, but also serves as a marketing tool, in hopes of generating media buzz. The majority of games are market-driven, following popular trends or highlighting technological capabilities, so research and field testing are vitally important to predicting the level of success of the game. Learning how to design video games involves studying the gaming market intimately.

Throughout the game design process you’ll be working closely with programmers and artists to further develop every aspect of the game. You’ll detail rules, characters, levels, perspectives and much more. Learning how to design video games means getting technical, discussing which visions can be realistically implemented. Flaws in the game are virtually always found, so it’s important that they can be resolved and not fatal to the final product. Being a successful game designer means knowing how to liaise with development teams throughout the design process to realize ideas, artistically and technically.

The ability to create a spectacular final design proposal is the ultimate achievement in learning how to design video games. The proposal describes the game precisely, down to individual algorithms for unique features. This phase of the design process takes time and must be perfect to proceed into production. A simple puzzle game might require over fifty pages, including 3D modeling and scripts, so you can imagine what goes into much more complicated games like Halo or Call of Duty. There must also be detailed production timetables and budgets, a skill taught and practiced in game design school. When studying to design video games, you learn how to present every minuscule detail of the game to its best advantage.

If everything goes well you may eventually see the game made, but with production of some games costing over $1 million dollars, knowing how to design video games alone is not enough. You may endure the game design process repeatedly before success. It can be an arduous journey, but if you’re certain you’ve got what it takes to tackle the game design process, you could be well on your way to total career satisfaction…and a generous paycheck to top it off!

Get information on game design degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your game design degree.

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