When you are designing something, you have to think about many things like who you are designing it for, what you want it to achieve, how much you want to charge, should it be blue, etc. All of these questions and more should come up whenever you are creating a product.
Finding You Audience
Being someone that wants to create games, I have to design for certain people and have a target audience that I hope to impress. Figuring out what your target audience is before you start creating you product (whatever that may be) is a sure way to hit your mark and not end up creating something that nobody in-particular likes. For me, I think my target audience would be the masses of people that have to use public transport every day. People with a lot of time between point A and point B that need something to kill off 20 minutes or so. Keeping this as a key design element in making my games, I can start to think of certain features that I can include to make these people want to and be able to play my game.
Thinking about people in transit, I am able start planning for how I would like to craft my game. People on the move don’t have access to wi-fi. Is it quick and easy to download? People on buses don’t have a lot of time to figure out you game. Is it complicated? People on either a bus or train are not always sitting down rather many are left standing, grasping a pole and limiting their range of flexibility. Does my game require the player to use one or two hands? Simple design elements like this can cause people to play your game or to loss interest very quickly. Doing your research on your demographic is so important for the design of your creation because if the people you want to use your design find it too difficult to use or too inconvenient then your product will surly fail.
Knowing Through Doing
Most people that want to get into creating games are people that have grown up playing them. These people have had a lot of experience with different games and understand what they like in a game. Though these people understand what they would want in a game, it doesn’t then mean that they are qualified Game Designers. Nothing really does. There is no one way of teaching Game Design so it is often overlooked but learning it through means of practice is a sure way to get the hang of it. Learning to identify certain strong points within any game comes with practice.You will have to visually recognize when something is wrong with the games design rather then being told by a program or a second party. In the end, it all comes down to professional opinion and making a choice based on previous experiences. An article from the Gamasutra written by Richard Rouse III “Game Design – Theory And Practice: The Elements of Gameplay” (Rouse III, 2001) talks about how Game Design is more of a “gut reaction, a feeling”. It then goes on to talk about how good game designers will try to anticipate what the player will do. This is important as you can do so much more if you know how the player might think or act, allowing you to give the player a greater game experience by including more specific features.
The design of everything is so important and should never be overlooked. Simple design aspects can make or break a product, leaving the creators at a loss. Looking at other games and seeing what worked is a good way to start designing your own. Doing research on who you want to sell your creation to is something that can be vital to your project and can save you in the long run. Getting people to trial your design can also be very beneficial to the final product and you better under standing of game design. In the end, when design is given enough careful thought and effort a project can benefit greatly.
Rouse III, R. (2001, June 27). Game design – theory and practice: The elements of Gameplay. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from Gamasutra, http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131472/game_design__theory_and_practice_.php
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Benjamin Jeffrey Houghton