What is Game Design?
Design is the part that comes at the very beginning. The part where you start with just a blank sheet of paper – or more likely, blank computer screen – and you start to decide what the game is going to be about.
Game design starts with an idea – but it is about far more than just “having an idea for a video game.” Lots of people have ideas. Game design is about how you take that idea and start making it a reality.
Game design isn’t about programming – although if you’re going to make video games – coding is a valuable skill to have.
But game design is the part that comes even before you write the first lines of code. In short, game design is figuring out what the game is going to be about and how the game is going to be played.
This means everything from coming up with the concept or storyline to how the game will be played. Then as you work through the game design process you start to flesh out those ideas so that they can be turned into an actual working game.
The earliest, most basic game design questions are:
What is the game about? What is the storyline or narrative of the game?
Some games might be epic adventures like World of Warcraft. Others might have very little story behind them and are basically just a concept like the classic game Tetris. But every game starts with a simple question, “What is this game about?”
What kind of game is it?
There are lots of kinds of games, from first-person shooters to puzzle games to simulations to side scrollers to games that incorporate various different kinds of games. Knowing what kind of game you’re creating is in importing starting point for game design.
From there, it becomes a process of designing the game. That means taking into account everything from the kind of artwork and sound effects you’ll need, what each level will look like, character design, how you will tell the story throughout the game and more.
Game design is almost like an instruction manual for everyone else who is involved in building the game. It will include all the pieces needed and explain how they get put together so the whole game comes together in the end.
Ready to learn more? Through 7 lessons, you’ll gain a general overview and understanding of game design- as well as some hands-on experience and insights from our 7 Generation Games experts.
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