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Encyclopedia > Game designer

A game designer is a person who designs games. The term can refer to a person who designs video games, or one who designs traditional games such as board games. For other uses, see Game (disambiguation). ... Computer and video games redirects here. ... A board game is a game played with counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across a board (a premarked surface, usually specific to that game). ...

Contents

Video and computer game designer

A video or computer game designer develops the layout, concept and gameplay, the game design of a video or computer game. This may include playfield design, specification writing, and entry of numeric properties that balance and tune the gameplay. A game designer works for a developer (which may additionally be the game's video game publisher). Gameplay includes all player experiences during the interaction with game systems, especially formal games. ... Game design is the process of designing the content and rules of a game. ... A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


This person usually has a lot of writing experience and may even have a degree in writing or a related field (such as English). This person's primary job function is writing, so the more experience they have with that activity, the better. Some art and programming skills are also helpful for this job, but are not strictly necessary. In addition game designers often study relevant liberal arts such as psychology, sociology, drama, fine art or philosophy. Due to the increasing complexity of the game design process, many young game designers may also come from a computer science or other computer engineering background. A writer is anyone who creates a written work, although the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The definition of an artist is wide-ranging and covers a broad spectrum of activities to do with creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. ... A programmer or software developer is someone who programs computers, that is, one who writes computer software. ... Psychological science redirects here. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge [1]) is the systematic and scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social action, and culture[2]. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... Fine art refers to arts that are concerned with beauty or which appealed to taste (SOED 1991). ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ...


With game budgets now running into millions of dollars, the industry can often be volatile and a failed project could force a company into bankruptcy. [citation needed] So the design of the game is critical and the industry has been repeatedly criticized for choosing to develop sequels and licensed titles where sales are more certain, rather than investing in new game ideas. [citation needed] In larger companies entry level game designers will typically be given simpler tasks such as level design and object placement, while the role of lead designer will be reserved for a designer with more experience and a history of successful titles. [citation needed]


History

The first video games were designed in the 1960s and 1970s by programmers for whom creating games was a hobby, since there was no way to sell them or earn money from creating games (the games required large mainframe computers to play). Some were designed by electrical engineers as exhibits for visitors to computer labs (OXO, Tennis for Two), others by college students who wrote games for their friends to play (Spacewar!, Star Trek, Dungeon). The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit. ... For other uses, see Mainframe. ... OXO (also known as Noughts and Crosses) is a tic-tac-toe computer game made for the EDSAC computer in 1952. ... Tennis for Two was a game developed in 1958 on an oscilloscope which simulated a game of tennis or ping pong. ... Spacewar! is one of the earliest video games for a digital computer. ... A simple version of Star Trek, running in a Linux command terminal The Star Trek text game is a classic text-only computer game that originated from the BASIC programming language hacker culture of the 1970s. ... Dungeon was perhaps the first computer role-playing game, and ran on Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-10 mainframe computers. ...


Some of the games designed during this era, such as Zork, Baseball, Air Warrior and Adventure later made the transition with their game designers into the early video game industry. Zork universe Zork games Zork Anthology Zork trilogy Zork I • Zork II • Zork III Beyond Zork • Zork Zero Enchanter trilogy Enchanter • Sorcerer • Spellbreaker Other games Wishbringer • Return to Zork Zork: Nemesis • Zork Grand Inquisitor Zork: The Undiscovered Underground Topics in Zork Encyclopedia Frobozzica Characters • Kings • Creatures Timeline • Magic • Calendar Zorkmid... Baseball was the first-ever baseball computer game, and was created on a PDP-10 mainframe computer at Pomona College in 1971 by student Don Daglow. ... Air Warrior was the worlds first multiplayer on-line air-combat simulator (at least for civilians). ... This article is about an early text based computer game. ... Pac-Man is one of the most recognizable video games ever created. ...


Early in the history of video games, game designers were often the lead programmer or the only programmer for a game, and this remained true as the video game industry dawned in the 1970s. This person also sometimes comprised the entire art team. This is the case of such noted designers as Sid Meier, Chris Sawyer and Will Wright. A notable exception to this policy was Coleco, which from its very start separated the function of design and programming. Home video-game systems became popular during the 1970s and 80s. ... A lead programmer is a software engineer in charge of one or more software projects. ... Sidney K. Meier (born 1954 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American programmer and designer of some of the most commercially and critically successful computer strategy games of all time. ... Chris Sawyer is a British computer game developer who is best-known for designing and programming RollerCoaster Tycoon, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, and Transport Tycoon. ... For other persons of the same name, see Will Wright. ... Coleco (1932 - 1989) was a company founded in 1932 by Maurice Greenberg as Connecticut Leather Company. It became a highly successful toy company in the 1980s, known for its mass-produced version of Cabbage Patch Kids and, to a lesser extent, for its video game consoles Coleco Telstar and ColecoVision. ...


As games became more complex and computers and consoles became more powerful (allowing more features), the job of the game designer became a separate job function, with the lead programmer splitting his time between the two functions, moving from one role to the other. Later, game complexity escalated to the point where it required someone who concentrated solely on game design. Many early veterans chose the game design path eschewing programming and delegating those tasks to others. Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... Game console redirects here. ...


Today, it is rare to find a video or computer game where the principal programmer is also the principal designer, except in the case of casual games, such as Tetris or Bejeweled. With very complex games, such as MMORPGs, or a big budget action or sports title, designers may number in the dozens. In these cases, there are generally one or two principal designers and many junior designers who specify subsets or subsystems of the game. In larger companies like Electronic Arts, each aspect of the game (control, level design or vehicles) may have a separate producer, lead designer and several general designers. The term casual game is used to refer to a category of electronic or computer games targeted at a mass audience — typically with very simple rules or play techniques, a very low degree of strategy, making them easy to learn and play as a pastime. ... Tetris (Russian: ) is a falling-blocks puzzle video game, released on a large spectrum of platforms. ... Bejeweled is a popular puzzle game first developed as a browser game by PopCap Games in 2001. ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... Electronic Arts (EA) (NASDAQ: ERTS) is an American developer, marketer, publisher, and distributor of computer and video games. ...


Notable video and computer game designers

Danielle Bunten Berry (February 19, 1949 - July 3, 1998), also known as Dani Bunten (born Daniel Paul Bunten), was an American game designer and programmer, known for the 1983 game M.U.L.E. (one of the first successful multiplayer games), and 1984s The Seven Cities of Gold. ... M.U.L.E. is a seminal multiplayer video game written in 1983 by Dan Bunten of Ozark Softscape. ... The Seven Cities of Gold is an adventure game created by Dani (then Dan) Bunten (and the game development team Bunten founded, Ozark Softscape) and published by Electronic Arts in 1984 for the Apple IIe, the Atari 800 and Commodore 64 computers, as well as the IBM PC and compatibles. ... Marc Blank is an American computer game designer and game programmer. ... Zork universe Zork games Zork Anthology Zork trilogy Zork I • Zork II • Zork III Beyond Zork • Zork Zero Enchanter trilogy Enchanter • Sorcerer • Spellbreaker Other games Wishbringer • Return to Zork Zork: Nemesis • Zork Grand Inquisitor Zork: The Undiscovered Underground Topics in Zork Encyclopedia Frobozzica Characters • Kings • Creatures Timeline • Magic • Calendar Zorkmid... Zork, an early work of interactive fiction, running on a modern interpreter Interactive fiction, often abbreviated as IF, is a simulated environment in which players use text commands to control characters. ... Zork universe Zork games Zork Anthology Zork trilogy Zork I   Zork II   Zork III Beyond Zork   Zork Zero Enchanter trilogy Enchanter   Sorcerer   Spellbreaker Other games Wishbringer   Return to Zork Zork: Nemesis   Zork Grand Inquisitor Zork: The Undiscovered Underground Topics in Zork Encyclopedia Frobozzica Characters   Kings   Creatures Timeline   Magic   Calendar Zorkmid... Bill Budge (born ~1954) is a computer game programmer and designer. ... The box cover for 1983s Pinball Construction Set. ... Electronic Arts (EA) (NASDAQ: ERTS) is an American developer, marketer, publisher, and distributor of computer and video games. ... Chris Crawford is a noted computer game designer and writer, responsible for a number of important games in the 1980s, for founding The Journal of Computer Game Design and for organizing the Computer Game Developers Conference. ... For other uses, see Balance of power. ... The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is an annual gathering of video game developers. ... Jon Freeman was an influential computer game industry figure of the 1980s and early 1990s. ... Archon is a computer game developed by Free Fall Associates and distributed by Electronic Arts. ... Epyx, Inc. ... Richard Garriott in Lord British attire Richard Allen Garriott (born July 4, 1961; nickname Lord British) is a significant figure in the video game industry. ... It has been suggested that Mongbat (Ultima) be merged into this article or section. ... Ron Gilbert is an American computer game designer, programmer, and producer, best known for his work on several classic LucasArts adventure games, including Maniac Mansion and the first two Monkey Island games. ... Maniac Mansion is a graphical adventure game originally released in 1987 by Lucasfilm Games (now known as LucasArts). ... The Secret of Monkey Island, CD version. ... Tomonobu Itagaki Tomonobu Itagaki is a Japanese video game designer who heads Team Ninja, one of Tecmos development teams. ... Dead or Alive ) is a video game series produced by Tecmo that comprises primarily fighting games. ... Ninja Gaiden is a 2004 action-adventure video game developed by Team Ninja. ... Hideo Kojima Hideo Kojima , born August 24, 1963) is a Japanese video game designer originally employed at Konami. ... This article is about the original Metal Gear Solid released for the PlayStation. ... Jordan Mechner (born 1960s) is a recognized figure in the video game industry as a visionary game designer. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Karateka is a 1984 computer game by Jordan Mechner, the creator of Prince of Persia. ... The Last Express is a video game created by Jordan Mechner and Smoking Car Productions, published in 1997. ... Sidney K. Meier (born 1954 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American programmer and designer of some of the most commercially and critically successful computer strategy games of all time. ... Civilization is a computer game created by Sid Meier for Microprose in 1991. ... Screenshot from Railroad Tycoon Railroad Tycoon is an economic simulation and computer strategy game. ... Shinji Mikami, circa 2002. ... This article is about the video game series. ... Shigeru Miyamoto , born November 16, 1952) is a Japanese video game designer. ... For the Game Boy game, see Donkey Kong (Game Boy). ... This article is about the first game in the series. ... For other uses, see Star Fox (disambiguation). ... For nearly two decades, Mario has been the official video game mascot for Nintendo. ... Peter at the University of Southampton Peter Molyneux OBE (born 5 May 1959 in Guildford, Surrey, UK) is a computer game designer and game programmer, responsible for well known God games Populous and Black & White, among others, as well as Business Strategy games such as Theme Park and most recently... Black and White is a computer game developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Electronic Arts. ... Fable is a video game for Xbox. ... Theme Park is a simulation computer game designed by Bullfrog Productions, released in 1994, in which the player designs and operates an amusement park. ... Brian Reynolds (born 1967) is a well known computer strategy game designer, formerly of MicroProse and Firaxis Games. ... Sid Meiers Civilization II, a. ... “SMAC” redirects here. ... Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy computer game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft on May 20, 2003. ... Alfonso John Romero (born October 28, 1967[1] in Colorado Springs, Colorado) is a well-known game designer, programmer, and developer in the video game industry. ... Wolfenstein 3D (commonly abbreviated to Wolf 3D) is the computer game that started the first person shooter genre on the PC. It was created by id Software and published by Apogee Software on May 5, 1992. ... Doom (or DOOM)[1] is a 1993 computer game by id Software that is a landmark title in the first-person shooter genre. ... Zombies attacking the player at the starting of Episode 1, Mission 3: The Necropolis. ... Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy series Hironobu Sakaguchi (坂口 博信, born 1962) was the Director of Planning and Development for Square Co. ... This article is about the Final Fantasy franchise. ... For other uses, see Blue Dragon (disambiguation). ... Lost Odyssey is an RPG currently in development by Mistwalker for the Xbox 360. ... Tim Schafer (born July 26, 1967) is an American computer game designer. ... Grim Fandango is a graphical adventure computer game released by LucasArts in 1998. ... This article for the video game; for other uses, see Psychonaut (disambiguation). ... Bruce Campbell Shelley is a computer game designer who helped design Sid Meiers Civilization and Railroad Tycoon with MicroProse and the 1997 hit real-time strategy game Age of Empires with Ensemble Studios. ... This article is about the Age of Empires computer game series. ... Civilization is a computer game created by Sid Meier for Microprose in 1991. ... Warren Spector, 1999 Warren Spector is a respected game designer, having worked to merge elements of RPGs and first-person shooters. ... For the Doctor Who novel, see System Shock (Doctor Who). ... This article is about the video game. ... Thief is a series of mainly first-person computer games where the player takes the role of Garrett, a thief in a steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with some primitive technology thrown in. ... Roberta Heuer Williams (born February 16, 1953) is a retired computer game designer. ... Kings Quest IV screenshot Kings Quest is an adventure game series made by the American computer game company Sierra On-Line (currently known as Sierra Entertainment). ... For other persons of the same name, see Will Wright. ... SimCity is a simulation and city-building personal computer game, first released in 1989 and designed by Will Wright. ... This article is about a computer game that was released in year 2000. ... Spore is a simulation computer game designed by Will Wright. ...

Notable designers of non-video games

Milton Bradley (1836 - 1911) was a game pioneer, credited by many with launching the game industry in North America. ... The Checkered Game of Life was invented by Milton Bradley in 1861. ... For the Oakland Athletics outfielder, see Milton Bradley (baseball player) The Milton Bradley Company is an American game company established by Milton Bradley in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1860. ... Allan B. Calhamer (born December 7, 1931) invented the board game Diplomacy. ... Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by Allan B. Calhamer in 1954 and released commercially in 1959. ... Frank Chadwick is a games designer. ... GDW logo Game Designers Workshop (GDW) was a company that published many popular wargames, as well as role-playing games such as Traveller and Drang Nach Osten!. Founded in 1973, the company disbanded in 1996 after having suffered financial troubles for quite some time. ... Twilight 2000 is a role playing game set in the aftermath of World War III. The premise is that the United States and the Soviet Union have gone to (limited) nuclear war with all its consequences. ... James F. Dunnigan (born 1943) is an author and wargame designer currently living in New York City, notable for his matter-of-fact approach to military analysis. ... Simulations Publications, Inc. ... Cheapass Games is a game company founded and run by American game designer James Ernest. ... Cheapass Games is a game company founded and run by former Wizards of the Coast game designer James Ernest. ... Richard Garfield Richard Garfield (born 1966) is the billionaire game designer who created the card games Magic: The Gathering, Netrunner, BattleTech, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (originally known as Jyhad), The Great Dalmuti, Star Wars Trading Card Game, and the board game RoboRally. ... Collectible card games (CCGs), also called trading card games (TCGs), are played using specially designed sets of cards. ... Magic: The Gathering (colloq. ... A board game is a game played with counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across a board (a premarked surface, usually specific to that game). ... Ernest Gary Gygax, 2004 Ernest Gary Gygax (born July 27, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois) is best known as the author of the well known fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), co-created with Dave Arneson and co-published with Don Kaye in 1974 under the company Tactical Studies... David L. Arneson is an American game designer who co-authored with Gary Gygax Dungeons & Dragons, the first and most popular role-playing game. ... D&D redirects here. ... Steve Jackson (born ~1953) is an American game designer. ... Ogre is a board wargame first released in 1977, as the first Metagaming Microgame by Steve Jackson. ... The Fantasy Trip is a role-playing game that was designed by Steve Jackson and was published by Metagaming. ... Car Wars is a combat board game developed by Steve Jackson Games. ... The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, commonly known as GURPS, is a role-playing game system designed to adapt to any imaginary gaming environment. ... Hacker is a card game (not a Trading card game) made by Steve Jackson Games. ... Illuminati game components Illuminati is an unusual card game (not a trading card game) made by Steve Jackson Games (SJG), inspired by The Illuminatus! Trilogy. ... Reiner Knizia is a prolific German-style board game designer. ... Puerto Rico, a popular German-style board game German-style board games are a broad class of games that feature simple rules, modest length, and attractive components. ... Alan R. Moon is a author of board games, born in Southampton, England, and currently living in the United States. ... Puerto Rico, a popular German-style board game German-style board games are a broad class of games that feature simple rules, modest length, and attractive components. ... Elfenland is a German-style board game designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Amigo Games in Germany and Rio Grande Games in the United States in 1998. ... Ticket to Ride is a song by The Beatles from their 1965 album, Help!. It was recorded 15 February 1965 at Abbey Road Studios and released as a single in 1965. ... Categories: Stub | Board game designers ... Tactics II Tactics II is a wargame designed by Charles S. Roberts and published by the Avalon Hill game company in 1958 and then re-released again in 1961 and 1972. ... Avalon Hill was a game company that specialized in wargames and strategic board games. ... Redmond Askel Simonsen (June 18, 1942–March 10, 2005) was an American graphic artist and game designer best known for his work at the board wargame company Simulations Publications, Inc. ...

See also

A game designer is a person who invents games at the conceptual level. ... This is a list of video game designers, past and present, in alphabetical order. ... This is a list of individuals that design role-playing games, including live-action role-playing games but excluding computer and console games. ...

External links

GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information. ... Eurocom is also the name of an Israeli telecommunications company [1] and a Canadian computer maker. ...

Newsgroups

  • comp.games.development.design via Google Groups
  • rec.games.design via Google Groups
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Game designer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1227 words)
Since a video game publisher may invest millions of dollars towards a game's development, it is easy to understand why they choose game designers carefully—one or two poor game concepts could end up costing them millions of dollars of revenue and could even risk bankrupting the company.
Early in the history of video games, game designers were often the lead programmer or the only programmer for a game, and this remained true as the video game industry dawned in the 1970s.
As games became more complex and computers and consoles became more powerful (allowing more features), the job of game designer became a separate job function, with the lead programmer splitting his time between the two functions, moving from one role to the other.
Game development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2715 words)
While in the early era of home computers and video game consoles in the early 1980s, a single programmer could handle almost all the tasks of developing a game, the development of modern commercial video games involves a wide variety of skill-sets and support staff.
After the game goes gold and ships, some developers will give team members around a week of comp time to compensate for all the overtime put in to complete the game, though this practice is far from universal.
In the very early days of video games, almost the only locale for game development was the corridor from San Francisco to Silicon Valley in California due to the era's high-tech growth in the area, and it remains an important development center.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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