In need of some help.

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g?day everyone.

I?m in need of some help guys. I wish to become a start out game designer in the industry. I?m currently beginning to make a folio to show my ideas and abilities to offer to the studios around my state. It?ll be completed around December and It will comprise of a Audio/Visual presentation of a Game Proposal and its features on DVD.

However, Making a good folio and even more important a good impression is a tough task. I was wondering if any designers who have industry experience could critique my work through its 3 states of production. Honestly. I don?t know what I can offer in return. But if anyone could help me out it would be a great help

Caroo.

[img]http://ic1.deviantart.com/fs5/i/2005/131/d/8/foilo_work_plan_by_caroo.jp...

FOR THOSE WHO CANT SEE THE ABOVE IMAGE CLICK THIS:

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MoonUnit's picture

Your image dosent work, i beleive deviantart dosent allow direct links to images posted on the site so youll need to find another place to host it or take the easier option which is to upload it when you make your post on these forums

Jackydablunt's picture

Ok now I'm not an average GD, other's on other companies have very different backgrounds and experience from me and will probebly have better advice. But anyway you've got this idea (e.g a kickin, innovative tactical MMOFPS), and you want to pitch it to show your ideas, cool, it is very good to have one primary project that you manage to put a hell of a lot of detail into. However, what if the company your applying for doesn't want to do an FPS, and in the most likely case have already selected a game they wanna do.

I think a good thing to do is to package that idea for the FPS and put in as much detail as you can with it, but, also make up designs for multiple other types of games as well to show your scope. I personally have ideas and designs for multiple FPS', tactical team based startegies, 3D person combat actions and shooters, RTS', Survival style Sim games, SciFi's, Fantasies, Horror's, licences, whatever. I even developed a design for possible the greatest sex simulation ever, the point is, you have to show you're adaptable.

One thing I find people doing a fair bit as well (myself included) is that they marry themselves to a theme far too much. To me, Gameplay is first, Story is second. I always try to treat the story and the gameplay seperately, trying to make either as strong as the other. Ideally you should be able to stip the story from the game and replace it with another, because it's the Gameplay which is the focus. People write these great stories and they think they have a game, but its actually more just like the Final fantasy games which to me seem basically just interactive movies, take out the story and it's a bloody boring game.

So basically what I think, is show your adaptability, but also stick with your major concept and show that you can think in detail in as many aspects of the production you can. it's also not about the theme, you need to emphasize the means to an end rather than the means itself.

And in final, don't expect to get your concept made, if you're good you'll get a job, but it may not mean your game will get made. I've been in it for almost two years, I haven't had the chance yet to design a concept of my own, even with the next project it looks like it wont be mine. So basically I could be working this industy for five to ten years before I even get a chance to do my own idea. What I CAN do however, is inject as much of my input into that concept as possible, and make it as good as you can, because thats what you can do when you're adaptable.

Caroo's picture

Ok now I'm not an average GD, other's on other companies have very different backgrounds and experience from me and will probebly have better advice. But anyway you've got this idea (e.g a kickin, innovative tactical MMOFPS), and you want to pitch it to show your ideas, cool, it is very good to have one primary project that you manage to put a hell of a lot of detail into. However, what if the company your applying for doesn't want to do an FPS, and in the most likely case have already selected a game they wanna do.

<< well the idea is.. that is idea im making isn't going to be published. thats never the intension of the foilo, the intension is to show that i have the determanation and imagination to design. The game idea itself is acully an evolution of the old style that the X-COM games played, its a mix of FPS - RPG and BASE BUILDING AND MANAGEMENT, however im also going into deaph about things like the 7 main character you can play as. the history behind the story and other features. I have one advantage in that im a modaratly ok (not good.. ok) concept artist and i can illastrate and annotate what i'm trying to explan.

(and mate XD leave the sex games to the japanese. they do it so badly it's funny)

while im a lover of a curtain genre of game (i think everyone is) i beleave my imagination is adaptable for all genres... however thanks for pointing this out i'll have to inclue some additional work of the other consepts swearling in my head. (like a RPG of australian settlement using kangaroos and dingo people <.< MWHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

thanks for your imput. and i beleave that you'd be a great help to me in making my folio. Wanna give it a shot?>>

Jackydablunt's picture

Have you played Silent Storm? that was my personal fave of 2004, it's basically what X-Com would've been if made today, just the depth of the gameplay was phenominal, and was almost fully destructable terrains! Brilliant, seriously look for it if you havent already, Auran are actually distributing it so it shouldnt be too hard to find.

The japanese make freaked out games huh, there was this one that we were playing here at work called Sexy Beach, the whole point was to rub lotion on this chick in a choice of positions (I made it to 2nd stage!). The thing I've designed is not as blatant as that, it's a community thing catering for men and women, straight or gay, not just a bunch of giggling Manga girls with 30yr old bodies and 8yr old faces.

I think you've definitely on the right track (as much of a track a GD position offers). Don't worry about the quality of your art, as long as you can simply show what you want to do, remember the majority of of GD's are coders and trust me, THEY CANT DRAW. Anyway I can't offer too much as I myself am not that experienced but yeah I'm willing to give what help I can, just Email me through this thing if you like.

Just make sure to go into a lot of detail on everything, thats what design is afterall, if you don't then you get people doing thing completely different from what you invisioned and it doesn't fit, and because they've already built it, you find that you're the one getting the extra work trying to tie it in. The initial concept design is a small percentage of the project. Stuff like:

"The Player will then be lead on to the Locker Room where there will be two doors.

1.If the Player selects the first door, they will be taken to the Field Entrance Area (Refer to Field Entrance Area section of this document)

2.If the Player selects the second door yadda yadda yadda"

Even that's not detailed enough for what is needed but you get the idea. also a good technique is to try summarise as much as you can as early as you can then refer to detail later, you always have to presume the reader has no time to read.

McKnight's picture

I remember a very discouraging message I read yesterday in a document on QA Advice.. it basically said there is no such position as GD, you need to either start a company or be with it from the beginning. I find this to be false, if you are determined and talented enough you can go anywhere. Good luck mate, I have always thought about aiming towards Game Design because I have a love for making extremely if not too in depth stories, and advanced gameplay.

My only problem would be that I would always try and push for non-linear gameplay :D

Jackydablunt's picture

Ahh non linear gameplay, the holly grail of game dev, (except maybe a cross platform non linear mmo with simple yet involving gameplay for both single and multi players, offering an engaging world and theme suitable for both male and female audiences, in short, anything from EA)

The problem I see with non linear is lack of context, take the sims for example, personally I think it's one of the most well made and polished games out there to date, problem is, you play it for like 200 years and at the end of it you're just "... Well... That's me... I might as well just die now I spose" I think people will always need some form of guideline to things, some kind of context like an embracing world or at least some form of story, thats why movies, tv, and books will never die.

Then again theres Big Brother, and that's pretty much a sims that you dont even play! ... in fact, it's like sitting behind and WATCHING someone playing the sims... the conversations are just as riveting as well.

AntsZ's picture

i like the open ended games but with a good story line, one good example were the Gothic series, the world was huge and you were able to go where ever you want (most places) but there was a linear story line which worked for it really well.

I also like the linear games where you have more than one route, or way to get something for example fallout, the world was pretty much open from when you started and there was numerous ways to achieve an objective.

most games like this work really well and has a great following of fans and players.

at the moment in writing up a Game Design Document for a story and concept I've had in mind for a while now based around both of the examples above

Anuxinamoon's picture

When you design do you work within budgets? Like money budgets, time budgets? What if a company only had 2 million and 18 months? You can't make some crazy 500hour MMOrpg or whatever with every bell and whistle under then sun.

If I was hiring a GD, I'd look at all the games you have ever played. I'd also like to see your top 3 favourites and what parts of those games you found worked the best and made them great. Then 3 of the worst games you played and what suffered in their design. (this can go from board games to computer games from any time era)
It wouldnt have to be an essay.

If I was hiring a GD, I'd also look at the number of books you have read. More books and knowledge = more places where ideas can come from = better game design.

You should write a game design document [;)]

Jackydablunt's picture

I agree with you to an extent, books aren't the only medium for inspiration though, I'm not a major reader myself, quite selectively in fact, most of my ideas actually spring from movies, games and tv (good tv), and thats including the novels I'm writing myself.

Getting feedback on the applicant's impression of certain games is a good one, and you see that quite often in the criteria of certain companies when they're hiring.

I think one of the best criteria is actual knowledge of the production process (industry exp basically) sooooo many people have ideas for great games and all that, it's dead easy to come up with a good idea for a game I come up with one literally every week. What the problem is, is most people's lack of ability towards tailoring that concept to fit their team, like what you said above with the budgets and that.

Also it's a lack of alternate perspective from the pov of the team members, the Designers who have backgrounds in code dont seem to get the importance of aesthetics and timing and mood, on the flipside, thoes with backgrounds in art tend to just go all out and think little of actual feasability. If you can find a middle ground then that's a major factor.

Another major is humility, remaining receptive to the opinions and input of others, and thats a hard one, you have to remember, coders know code better than you probebly ever will, artists know visuals and the programs better than you probebly ever will, so therefore by utilising their input all its doing is making your work stronger.

Caroo's picture

Well I get my inspiration from.. Well.. Everything really. Books, Television, LOTS of cartoons BOTH western and anime (Heman rules!!) , a few Mangas, news and events and most importantly other games. I try to mix the serious content with more lighthearted stuff to. I watched a cartoon movie called ?the cat returns? a very good lighthearted story. I do recommend it.

Currently I?m playing ?Beyond good and evil? which?while its got its flaws is turning out pretty good in both game play and storyline. On the other flip coin I?m playing ?Harvest moon? on the game boy advance.. In which you farm and believe me, don?t knock it till you tried it. It?s bloody addictive.

As for a bad game.. Play ?the seed? on the PS2? I swear.. You?ll scream and snap the disc in two.

As for my game design documents. I?ve written about 25 pages so far. Just outlining the HQ and its facilities and the character outlines. I?m finding it easer then I first thought.

The entire design doc should be ready in two months. Then I?ll annotate the most important stuff to audio to begin making the presentation.