What is Game Designing?

7 April 2014Written by AIT Crew

Game design is one of the most essential components of game production. It is during this phase that the game designer begins the process of working out the characters, gameplay, storyline and visual concepts for a game that a studio will be producing.

The Process of Game Design

The process of game designing generally starts with a concept for a game and the acceptable genres for the title are explored. In this initial stage, the concept, systems and features of the game are considered and the initial cost estimate to produce the game is prepared. It is at this time, that the publishers decide whether they will move forward with the concept. They will often consider the genre of the game, the style of game – if it is technology driven or story and art driven and if they are able to put up enough funding to make the title. A games programmer may be brought in to determine if current scripting languages in a particular system’s code base can handle the game that is being presented.

Game Designing Team

As part of the game design process, a design team is generally formed. These are the people who will help ensure that the gameplay is smooth and the game has clear rules and structure. Others on the team will be hired to review items and ensure that mistakes are caught in the early stages of development. A typical game design team will consist of:

  • Lead Designer – Responsible for the vision of the game and to ensure that the team works together with open communication. They will make critical decisions that impact the final project.
  • Level designer – Handles the game’s environment, including missions and world maps.
  • System designer – Will be in charge of the game’s rules and core operations for the game.
  • Writer – Will develop the story and the necessary dialogues. They will often be on hand when journals and cut scenes are added to games to ensure that the flow is consistent. Often, they will also write the video game description for marketing purposes.

Game Designing Elements

Certain areas that are focused on during the game design stage include:

  • Content Design
  • Level Design
  • Narrative
  • User Interface
  • System
  • World Environment

Once these areas have been given due consideration, the focus shifts from game design to beta testing so bugs can be explored and the project team can work on finalising the content.

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