Sunday, February 19, 2012

Extreme Naval Gazing

      For a lot of games I played, coming up with a good build is not all that difficult. Whether playing Diablo II, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, or any such game that requires builds, it never takes too long to get enough of a feel for the game that you can understand why a build is good, or even be able to make your own build. with the time and resources available in these games, getting together something that works well doesn't take too much effort. I am not talking about an optimal build, but something that works fairly well. Though the games are all rather complex, they aren't so difficult to grasp that a player cant figure out something workable.

      However, I run into difficulty when I try to think about what skills I want to develop as a game designer. Many sources that I rely on for understanding game design, such as Extra Credits or The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, answer the question of "What should a game designer know?" with "Everything that ever was and ever will be." When I first heard this, I thought, "Great. I'll do that," but time is precious. I am only able to spend a finite amount of time to learn what I need to be a great game designer. In my textbook, it lists "some big ones" as
-Creative Writing
-Public Speaking
-Sound Design
-Technical Writing
-Visual Arts

      Nobody expects a game designer to be a master of all of these things, but, as a gamer, I can't help but wonder what level of skill should I attain in each of these periphery skills. I don't really know how to feel about this. I sometimes think about how I would like to live dozens of lives, and attain the experience of each, but the thought of specialization, of a unique set of skills chosen for the purpose of making better games thrills me, that I get to customize my life in a way that gives me a unique way of designing games.

      All of this is interesting to think about, though I think I will be a better designer applying life to games, rather that applying games to life.

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