How to Become a Better Game Designer

This subject came up while conducting an interview with a fairly successful (but still medium sized) development studio, so I might as well share some insights. Specifically, the debate was about gaming and education: those who want to become better video game designers, can’t really grasp how to educate themselves. Now, in my experience there are excellent schools in America, I’ve also visited one in Germany, and it was nice to see progress. But not many can afford to go to school while already working on a game, and many countries still don’t teach basic principles of good game design. The solution is obviously autodidacticism, but you should always take every learning material with a grain of salt. I’ve worked as an information manager, I know how difficult is to identify useful knowledge. Continue reading

Games We’d Like to Play #1: Space Adventure

I would like to play a game something akin to Mass Effect, but without action. To make a great team of scientists, archaeologists, mathematicians, physicists, paleontologists and so on (like in Michael Crichton’s novels); and to go to undiscovered planets and do research. The gameplay would be about the discovery. Getting samples of unidentified materials (maybe of extinct ancient species), insects, plants, bring it to the ship and research them, just like in StarCraft II – Wings of Liberty. But not to make new weapons and cutting edge laser technology to kill other species. Just to make discoveries to make a better team, with better equipment! After you gain a new and better item, you should go back to previous planets and reach previously unreachable places – such as acid lakes or giant canyons – and make further discoveries. Also, if you have a better cartographer, you should see more detailed maps of the planets. Continue reading