Listening to Non-Designers

Listening to Non-Designers

Some of the best advice out of GDC Canada came from non-game designers.

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Great article. I believe "poignant" is the word I'm looking for.

I'm playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup at the moment. That's about as harsh of a lesson in luck and skill in game design as you can get.

From the title of the article I wasn't expecting the conclusion to be that designers are not seen as being important enough in the games industry. I guess that Romero spoiled it for everyone by saying that design is law then giving us Daikatana.

Interesting read, and makes a lot of sense.

When it comes to Romero, well you can say that the Daikatana team certainly knows how to texture a rock. [old joke, sorry]

Non-designers do withhold valuable knowledge. In theory everyone should have their own say, which (from your read) seemed to be the case at GDC Canada. The result revealed great quality.

As a game designer & writer, had I gone as well I would've definitely attended the "Game Writing" panel.

Nice read. :)

Therumancer:
Interesting read, and makes a lot of sense.

When it comes to Romero, well you can say that the Daikatana team certainly knows how to texture a rock. [old joke, sorry]

They also know the meaning and use of color[colour] green.

Skill and luck are the basis of gaming. However, because the mechanics are fully exposed to the players in board and card games, these two aspects are probably more thoroughly explored in comparison to how video games are dealt with. All skill --> Chess, to all luck --> War (card game)... striking the perfect balance between exciting unpredictability with the opportunity to keep the game in your favor with thoughtful strategy and/or honed reflexes is the most important hurdle in quality game design.

Regarding writing... it saddens me a bit that the importance and impact of quality writing is such a revelation. Next, you're going to tell me that the concept of quality assurance is lost on most developers... er, wait. On second thought, don't tell me. ;-)

Very good article. It's always interesting to hear a bit about the people who make the games we love so much

On the subject of writers and devs, this video also goes into depth on that issue, in case anyone's interested.

Echolocating:
Next, you're going to tell me that the concept of quality assurance is lost on most developers... er, wait. On second thought, don't tell me. ;-)

Unfortunately, some of the guys who do know about this (Microsoft and THQ) are the exact reasons that Dawn of War (1 and 2!) suffered massive, massive delays to its patching process. As far as I know, anyway.

Regarding the mysterious non-dev designer they brought in, Wizards of the Coast know their stuff. Amongst others, they do Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, both of which are pretty much kings of their respective game-genres. I've learned more about game design from the Magic website, and the weekly articles (like Making Magic, written by Magic's current lead designer, the venerable Mark Rosewater), than I have from just about every videogaming website put together. If you're into Magic, then it's worth a read, because you'll learn about what goes into the design of a multimillion dollar cardgame.

 

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