Game Design Resources

Even while I continue to work on Oracle’s Eye, I am looking forward to working on my next game project. Since OE took so much longer to develop than I expected, I can imagine that something similar will happen with my next project. I’ve also mentioned that I want to create a game for the next Independent Games Festival. I want to make sure that I dedicate enough time to that project, so I might as well get a jump on designing it instead of postponing it.

I’ve set a deadline by the end of December to get a basic idea of what kind of game I want to make. Of course, I’d like to be able to come up with more than just “it’s got spaceships and explosions and stuff!” I’ve realized that game design is a complete discipline in and of itself. You can’t design games just because you’ve played a lot of them when you were younger, just like you can’t be a high school educator simply because you went to high school and “know all about it”. While hacking it out is great for getting things accomplished quickly, it is also hard to know what it is you will end up with by the end. Also, I’d rather avoid potential game design pitfalls if I can help it. While reinventing the wheel is good for learning how it works, I wouldn’t mind reading about how other people might have messed it up before getting it right. I’ll mess up enough as it is. I’m all for taking risks instead of stagnating with what is safe, but I don’t have to ignore potentially helpful experiences that other people have been thoughtful enough to document for me. B-)

And so I decided to look up game design. I went to GameDev.net first and checked out the Game Design articles since I remember going there years ago. HOLY. COW. I don’t remember having access to that many articles on the subject! Maybe I just appreciate how important the topic is these days. Maybe there really has been that many new articles produced in the past couple of years. There are definitely a number of new game design books.

And I definitely have a lot more reading to do.

2 comments to Game Design Resources

  • Heh – that was a tough one for me, the day I realized that in spite of being a great game FAN, I wasn’t necessarily necessarily a great game DESIGNER. The first is merely a prerequisite of the second.

    I think that being a good game designer is a lot like being a good musician. There’s a lot you can learn from others, but ultimately it comes down to having the raw talent and putting in a LOT of practice, with a solid feedback loop so you can evaluate your own progress.

  • Gaining experience is definitely important, and is one of the main reasons why I had a tough time deciding if I should continue with Oracle’s Eye or start a new project. Luckily, with friends, family, the Indie Gamer forums, GameDev.net, Linux Games Development Center, and the ASP newsgroups, it is easier than ever to get good feedback. Now I just need to make things happen. B-)