Designer Talk: A New Form of Discussion

Studying video game design alongside the world of game journalism has given me some incredible insight into how principles of design can be applied in the simplest of ways....
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Studying video game design alongside the world of game journalism has given me some incredible insight into how principles of design can be applied in the simplest of ways. While there’s no way to measure an objectively good or bad game, there are in a sense, certain design laws that we do have to abide by when developing content. This essentially will serve as an introduction to my newest discussion series, Designer Talk.

ps4You know when you’re playing a game and the controls don’t align with what you believe they should be. You instantly know the difference between an intentional flaw, and a bug. What indicators give you access to this sort of knowledge?

It’s the inherent design ability we all develop simply by playing games. While it may not be on the same level as someone who has had a career dedicated to content creation, we do have a relative understanding of what is important to our industry.

I’ve been studying Game Art and Development at Southern New Hampshire University for almost four years, and it wasn’t until this year that I learned that Game Journalism excited me just a bit more than creating games myself. Breaking down that which already exists, using the knowledge I’ve gained as a designer, gives me an opportunity to look objectively at things I love and hate alike.

That being said, this is the introduction to a new biweekly segment I’d like to start doing here on MMOExaminer, in which I take some of our most beloved classic games, and analyze them based on the principles and standards of modern game design. This isn’t going to be me tearing into good games and trying to repaint them as bad or anything of the sort. If anything, it will serve as a celebration of some of the stage setting mechanics and ideas that have influenced our industry in the most permanent way possible.

The world of Game Design is a complex one, and perspective plays a huge role in our love of the industry. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to explore what really makes this the best creative medium on the planet. Come back soon for the first official segment of Designer Talk!

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Mustapha is a young yet spirited university student majoring in Game Art and Development. While he's but a senior in college, he has an extensive history with the art of gaming journalism. Managing his own game review blog for several years, as well as attending events such as Boston FIG and PAX East has given him extensive experience in covering game news. His knowledge of game design also serves as a tool to develop finite understanding of what makes games work.
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