The Art of James Teeple

My photo
Leicester, United Kingdom
I'm 21 / DMU Art Student / British-American.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Elements of Game Design part one: The Designers!

Years back when I was seriously into games on a day to day basis, i.e get home eat food, sit down and kill grunts all night kinda scenario. I did at times wish I could be sitting in the driving seat behind the making of these wondrous time leachers. But in all honesty I didn't understand squat of what it means to be a game designer. I just thought it meant, waking up in the morning and remember an awesomely cool creative dream I just had, as I often did most nights and still do. Then Telling the team about it and making it...
But of course in reality things aren't quite that simple. But the same principle applies. You need to have that kind of mind I guess, its just a whole lot more complicated and tricky to get your cool Idea anywhere but in fond memory. To this day I still hope to design a game at least once in my career. I would consider it an enormous achievement... unless it flopped big time. But even then, ah well. I just long to see some of my more vivid and startlingly unfamiliar ideas come to life in a working game environment.

So Game designers...

Ive unconsciously had a lot of experience with these folk and their creative directive genius. Certain Designers spring to mind that I would like to talk about and what exactly made them significant to me in my gaming history. But what makes these guys important is not just that they are key in the  ideas and stories behind the games, but also in directing the mood and feel of the experience and not to mention the delicate job of coercing the rest of the team to work their butts off and meet the deadlines. They deal with all manner of things from Communication and marketing to art design.

Game Designer number 1:

Ken Rolston: He was the lead Designer for Bethesda Soft works for the Elder scrolls games Morrowind and Oblivion and their expansion packs. As game designers go, I and many others I'm sure consider him a legend among few. Because those games probably ate the best part of a thousand hours of my spare time and "not spare time". And I still go back to them. Ken originally retired after completing oblivion and after 25 years working in the games industry. But soon returned only a year later to begin work on some more epic RPG's ;)
Good old ken.

Game Designer Number 2:

James Ohlen: He is a Canadian game designer who started out writing for and testing Shattered Steel, released by Bioware in 1996, and then he landed a job as lead designer for Baldurs gate. One of the greatest CRPG's of all time and, since then has worked on many other titles I loved and played over the years. Games Such as Neverwinter nights, Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic and most importantly Baldurs gate 2. Just wow. He is still going thought, recently he lead the design team for Bioware's MMO Star Wars The Old Republic which was only recently released.
Game Designer Number 3:

Cliff Bleszinski: Cliff is the design director for Epic Games based in Canada. He started young working on the Unreal engine and is acredited for his hand in the Unreal franchise. His biggest game to date arguably was Gears of war. Which was the first 18 shooter I'd played and was probably the first time I remember giving birth to true gamer rage. That game rocked, and partly because it as so team based, tactical and competitive, but mainly because of the insane gore effects it introduced to the franchise. I can remember many occasions where my jaw dropped because of shock and awe at what I'd seen in that game. Bare in mind I was under age to play it... Like anyone cared though aye.

These guys; and it isn't just coincidence that they are all guys, because only recently are women really starting to make an entry into the games industry and take up roles such as Lead Designer. It was a very uncommon thing indeed a decade back. But these people All have a few things strongly in common. If you ever hear them talk about their game projects or the vision. They don't just talk they story tell. Its clear they are very passionate and have a lot to put on the table that can help others to work together and share and understanding of the same idea. because as an artist, once you can see the world and understand the world, you an begin to see your own idea's being born inside that world, that fit and are cohesive. Because as a game designer, the last thing you want is a game full of mish-mash cliches but a solid idea. Its a terrible shame to be branded the classic review of "Had so much potential but just couldn't live up to it." Its all about that complete gaming experience.
All in all, it seems to be a good game designer, you gotta be prepared to nurture that game as it grows right from the first few roots and be there guiding it and evaluating it the entire way through to maturity.

No comments:

Post a Comment