Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Elements of Game Design

     The act of gameplay or in fact the playing of a game is where an audience or member of an audience uses a gaming interface to interact with the game following a set of premade rules. Gameplay usually consists of challenges and overcoming these challenges to reach an ending goal. The important thing with gameplay is believability and the relationship an audience has with the characters and plot. People like to get lost in the idea of a game, that’s why we play them. For the escapism of life. This is the same type of style film directors use, usually in a film (But not in such films as in French New Wave) a character has some sort of goal, and they overcome obstacles to get there, this is a traditional character arc. By doing this, the character gets to learn more about him/herself and better themselves in some way, whether it’s by saving the world or learning new abilities. This is the same in gaming mannerisms, except the gaming has somewhat a larger, although not complete turn in the characters lives. Although saying this, the character will predominantly (Only on solitary storylines) end up at a singular ending point. It is the game designers job to make the story believable enough for the audience to emerge themselves entirely in the story and get emotional involved and manipulated.

     It’s difficult to say who the leading people are in Game Design, as it’s a matter of opinion on the games they help create. A Game designer must have a selection of different qualities about them, including being very creative, obviously, everything is a cliché nowadays because everything has been done before, several times. But if someone takes one of these ideas and make it so much better, cutting and pasting scenes and ideas from various movies, games or general inspirational places and creating something a little bit different. After all, consumers know what they want, and they seem to be in a trend, this means that game designers have to make games to fit that trend so that the games are bought. It’s one big circle of gaming that can be very difficult to get out of, people want things that they knew will please them, as trying something new is normally slightly out of character and outside there  normal comfort zone, so the game designers have to follow the trend. Game Designers also have to be able to work well in a team and work efficiently in these teams. There are always strict time limits in creating a game and there will be many problems and adjustments on the way, being able to handle these problems with the time set and with other people are qualities that you must have to be efficient in corporations. Taking criticisms and adjusting correctly to these will also be an important part in a Game Designers career. It’s very easy to get attached to the work that you produce, because when someone criticizes it, it feels like they are criticises your child, you poured your blood and sweat into it and they are ripping it apart. But this is something you need to get over, because you are not creating a game to suit YOU, you are creating it to suit an incredibly wide audience, so your ideas may not be the same as the general publics.

    I think a very important “leading” Game Designer is Will Wright, who was one of the designers of “The Sims”, which is a very popular series of games that is still going. The games appeal to a large audience and is an incredibly enjoyable game. Will Wright has done a great job of taking an almost simplistic gaming mechanism and create so many different variations and add ons. This shows how successful he has been.

    Modern developers must take into consideration the importance of Game Design, as with most of the job roles in the gaming industry. It is one of the first roles taken upon a company, as without the designers there wouldn’t be any backing to a game. You have to build up the storyline and figure out what storylines and characters work well together, during this time, many ideas will be scrapped and edited. This is a natural process in Game Designing, and is important to get the right mixture of ideas to produce a game that will sell well. After the initial designing has finished, modellers and concept artists will be able to begin working  on there parts, although the designer will have to liaise with the rest of the work team to see if the game is coming along to the plan.

     It is by no means the sole responsibility of one person, one person may be the main backing to an idea for a game design, but there will be much input from inside and possibly outside people of the industry. It is all part of the process of getting the correct mixture of ideas and views to create something the public will like and purchase.

     With the mixture of genre’s you will have to have a slightly different input with regards to the different principles of the variation of gameplay. However, somebody who is more comfortable to adventure may struggle to mix the design if they were asked to make a horror, however they may be able to give a unique adaptation to the horror theme with regards to there adventure theme. Because someone is used to making a certain genre, doesn’t mean they are incapable of changing to a different genre, however there may be some subtle giveaways if there are. There will definitely need to be a change in principles, as the principles are normally set around the targeted audience, it is no use making a horror game for an audience of 5 year olds. Certain parts of different genres could be mixed to make the games more interesting, but not too much as the genre will become a blur between different types.

    When I play a game it is important that the storyline and characters are believable, I like to taken into the gaming world and not released till I’m done, I want to be so caught up in the game that I don’t realise that a full day has gone by. I want to feel emotionally attached to the characters and get upset when one dies, or feel happy if one completes there tasks.

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