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(Techli)   Become a game designer without knowing how to code. Wait, didn't Dead Island already do this?   (techli.com) divider line 78
    More: Interesting, GameSalad, venture funding, designers, monetization, coding, islands  
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3033 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Jul 2012 at 10:02 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-09 10:05:07 AM
That game could've been amazing.
 
2012-07-09 10:05:34 AM
So we'll have more WoW clones that are better than WoW right?
 
2012-07-09 10:06:12 AM

Epicedion: That game could've been amazing.


And yet, here we are...
 
2012-07-09 10:06:25 AM
Game designers don't particularly need to code, although it helps if they can rapid-prototype their designs. Game developers are the people who code.
 
2012-07-09 10:09:38 AM
Curt Schilling doesn't know how to code and it seems to have worked out for him.
 
2012-07-09 10:13:37 AM
It's like Pinball Construction Set just that instead of only making your own pinball game, what kind of game you make is up to you.

/now, to wait for the warm nostalgia to wash over people as they read Pinball Construction Set
 
2012-07-09 10:15:07 AM
haha shearight. I am an ideas guy. This is how it works- I get an idea and then you make it happen. I get all the credit because it was my idea. Awright?
 
2012-07-09 10:16:55 AM
I remember doing this in the early nineties with click 'n create.
 
2012-07-09 10:17:35 AM
Also, there has to be some kind of defective gene in tech writers where they can be adequate in their job but their bios are universally terrible.
 
2012-07-09 10:18:14 AM

Kuroshin: Epicedion: That game could've been amazing.

And yet, here we are...


When is someone going to make a zombie apocalypse game that's actually something like a zombie apocalypse? You know, barricading yourself in houses at night, scavenging for food and bullets, creeping around deserted gas stations trying to scrape together a few drops of fuel and some bandaids, tense encounters with other survivors or bandits, etc.

Every zombie game in the last few years seems to be YOU ARE IMMUNE NOW PUNCH ZOMBIES WITH A LAWNMOWER.
 
2012-07-09 10:18:33 AM
Design and implementation are not the same thing
 
2012-07-09 10:19:14 AM
There are many game designers who don't know how to code. I was one of them, though I do now know how.

"Game designer" is a blanket term that encompasses many different job descriptions. A game designer can be someone who writes dialogue and story, to one who writes level design and monster design descriptions, to someone who focuses on game content and game balance such as items and their associated stats in an RPG, and even someone who codes actual game mechanics.
 
2012-07-09 10:26:15 AM

Epicedion: Kuroshin: Epicedion: That game could've been amazing.

And yet, here we are...

When is someone going to make a zombie apocalypse game that's actually something like a zombie apocalypse? You know, barricading yourself in houses at night, scavenging for food and bullets, creeping around deserted gas stations trying to scrape together a few drops of fuel and some bandaids, tense encounters with other survivors or bandits, etc.

Every zombie game in the last few years seems to be YOU ARE IMMUNE NOW PUNCH ZOMBIES WITH A LAWNMOWER.


DayZ?
 
2012-07-09 10:27:46 AM

Epicedion: When is someone going to make a zombie apocalypse game that's actually something like a zombie apocalypse?


For the last couple of months I've been obsessed with the one game that finally got it right. It's called Day-Z and it's a free mod for ARMA2.

Oh, and it'll probably give you PTSD. Fair warning.
 
2012-07-09 10:29:23 AM

khhsdude: DayZ?


It's a great idea, but the Arma 2 interface is so counterintuitive and communication is so difficult that the game really just consists of several hours sprinting through the woods and then getting shot by some random dude. I'd check back with them in a few months to see how they're coming along.
 
2012-07-09 10:29:59 AM
But can I be a game designer without knowing that duct taping cellphone batteries to a fire axe gives me a magical lightning blade?
 
2012-07-09 10:31:10 AM
khhsdude:

Oh, god damn you. One minute faster.
 
2012-07-09 10:46:49 AM
There are more games in the world than are dreamt of in your electronic box, Horatio.
 
2012-07-09 10:53:47 AM
Don't forget to tighten up the graphics. And reuse that sound effect from level 3.

"My mom said I'd never get anywhere with these games!"
 
2012-07-09 10:56:42 AM
Oh, for a second I thought this would be a link to Full Sail University.
 
2012-07-09 11:06:55 AM

Epicedion: When is someone going to make a zombie apocalypse game that's actually something like a zombie apocalypse? You know, barricading yourself in houses at night, scavenging for food and bullets, creeping around deserted gas stations trying to scrape together a few drops of fuel and some bandaids, tense encounters with other survivors or bandits, etc.


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-09 11:08:40 AM
Project zomboid my friend.

Epicedion: Kuroshin: Epicedion: That game could've been amazing.

And yet, here we are...

When is someone going to make a zombie apocalypse game that's actually something like a zombie apocalypse? You know, barricading yourself in houses at night, scavenging for food and bullets, creeping around deserted gas stations trying to scrape together a few drops of fuel and some bandaids, tense encounters with other survivors or bandits, etc.

Every zombie game in the last few years seems to be YOU ARE IMMUNE NOW PUNCH ZOMBIES WITH A LAWNMOWER.

 
2012-07-09 11:13:03 AM
Young people who want to make video games always make me chuckle a little ...They have absolutely no understanding about how flipping much you need to know. I am a self-proclaimed indy developer. I have worked on various games/projects since I was about 14 on a C64. It still astounds me the amount of effort it actually takes to produce a quality game.

Most people don't actually want to make games once they find out what it takes. However, their imagination is admirable.

Also, how could anyone possibly make a decent game without the ability/skill to build custom shaders, custom AI, custom events, custom camera behavior, etc. etc. I could go on for an hour. The truth of the matter is, no matter how you look at it, they will be crappy cookie cutter, mod-like games.
 
2012-07-09 11:14:51 AM

natmar_76: "Game designer" is a blanket term that encompasses many different job descriptions. A game designer can be someone who writes dialogue and story, to one who writes level design and monster design descriptions, to someone who focuses on game content and game balance such as items and their associated stats in an RPG, and even someone who codes actual game mechanics.


In my experience, game designers know nothing about anything involving games, and yet they still are able to order people who do know stuff (artists and programmers) around.

/ Last year in HS I was Game & Simulation Design class, where we made games with the UDK... the game designer knew nothing about how to build games, but still ordered the artist and I( the programmer) around.
//CSB??
 
2012-07-09 11:25:53 AM

Rockstone: In my experience, game designers know nothing about anything involving games


This ...

I once had to explain to a project lead why we could not do real time reflections on curved/complex surfaces. Made the mistake of attempting to explain environment maps. God help me when I had to explain the z-order of rendering transparencies and why the artists needed to split up objects. That was a disaster of a project and deserved the horrible death that it got.

Designer: We need the impossible, and don't try to explain it to me!!!
Developer: How can we manage fake it?
 
2012-07-09 11:26:05 AM

Rockstone: natmar_76: "Game designer" is a blanket term that encompasses many different job descriptions. A game designer can be someone who writes dialogue and story, to one who writes level design and monster design descriptions, to someone who focuses on game content and game balance such as items and their associated stats in an RPG, and even someone who codes actual game mechanics.

In my experience, game designers know nothing about anything involving games, and yet they still are able to order people who do know stuff (artists and programmers) around.

/ Last year in HS I was Game & Simulation Design class, where we made games with the UDK... the game designer knew nothing about how to build games, but still ordered the artist and I( the programmer) around.
//CSB??


When a friend of mine was working at Realtime Worlds on the ill-fated APB, he tried his damndest to explain FPS basics to some of the higher ups.

Friend "Look, if person A is almost about to kill person B after a long battle, and person B grenades themselves at the last second to deny Person A the reward, Person A will be frustrated."

Exec "Well, we'll just penalize Person B for self-killing! Then Person A won't be pissed."

Friend. "Er, yes they will. They won't think 'Haha, that person has been penalized'. They're going to think "THAT BASTARD STOLE MY KILL!""

Exec: "Why would they think that?"

/Note: This is a paraphrased conversation.

It's like they set about to make a Thrid-Person Shooter MMO without actually comprehending how people who play shooters think (at least, when there are rewards for kills.)

Poor guy has seen enough projects fail from the inside (He also worked on Star Trek Online) that he's relatively certain he could see the warning signs and prevent a project from outright imploding, if he were put in a position of power...
 
2012-07-09 11:26:37 AM

Perlin Noise: Young people who want to make video games always make me chuckle a little ...They have absolutely no understanding about how flipping much you need to know. I am a self-proclaimed indy developer. I have worked on various games/projects since I was about 14 on a C64. It still astounds me the amount of effort it actually takes to produce a quality game.

Most people don't actually want to make games once they find out what it takes. However, their imagination is admirable.

Also, how could anyone possibly make a decent game without the ability/skill to build custom shaders, custom AI, custom events, custom camera behavior, etc. etc. I could go on for an hour. The truth of the matter is, no matter how you look at it, they will be crappy cookie cutter, mod-like games.


Don't hate the game, hate the players. Angry Birds isn't popular because it is a monumental gaming achievement, it is easy to play and cute to look at. Unfortunately, popular pays the bills, while awesome is an opinion.

I think someone should make one of these for gaming:

imgs.xkcd.com

///Or my sarcasm detector is broken, and for that I apologize.
 
2012-07-09 11:27:25 AM

Perlin Noise: This ...

I once had to explain to a project lead why we could not do real time reflections on curved/complex surfaces. Made the mistake of attempting to explain environment maps. God help me when I had to explain the z-order of rendering transparencies and why the artists needed to split up objects. That was a disaster of a project and deserved the horrible death that it got.

Well, perhaps you can take comfort that you at least didn't Molyneux. I swear he's going to claim his next game will ALTER THE FABRIC OF SPACE AND TIME.

/I should note I'm not a programmer or developer or anything.
//Just a physics grad student. But I have friends in the industry...
 
2012-07-09 11:32:40 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-07-09 11:36:16 AM

roc6783: Don't hate the game, hate the players.


I have absolutely no issue with simple/casual games. They serve a wonderful purpose. I just don't like that we are beginning to breed out super users and developers who actually know how things work. We are starting to cater too much to the lowest common denominator.

Angry Birds is actually a good example ...there are about 100 physics/destruction games exactly like it, even before it was popular. There really is no reason that Angry Birds has made so much money... It may be fun and good for them, but ...uh ...why THAT one??
 
2012-07-09 11:36:26 AM

Honest Bender: Epicedion: When is someone going to make a zombie apocalypse game that's actually something like a zombie apocalypse? You know, barricading yourself in houses at night, scavenging for food and bullets, creeping around deserted gas stations trying to scrape together a few drops of fuel and some bandaids, tense encounters with other survivors or bandits, etc.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 286x400]


Another great example of a zombie game with developers who don't know how to code well.
 
2012-07-09 11:38:10 AM

Ambitwistor: [upload.wikimedia.org image 333x354]


upload.wikimedia.org
This one was the shiat...
 
2012-07-09 11:47:41 AM

WhyteRaven74: It's like Pinball Construction Set just that instead of only making your own pinball game, what kind of game you make is up to you.

/now, to wait for the warm nostalgia to wash over people as they read Pinball Construction Set


Pinball Constructawhaaa?!?!?

Also, Day Z looks cool, but I haven't forked out for the full Arma2 downloads.
 
2012-07-09 11:53:15 AM

Perlin Noise: roc6783: Don't hate the game, hate the players.

I have absolutely no issue with simple/casual games. They serve a wonderful purpose. I just don't like that we are beginning to breed out super users and developers who actually know how things work. We are starting to cater too much to the lowest common denominator.

Angry Birds is actually a good example ...there are about 100 physics/destruction games exactly like it, even before it was popular. There really is no reason that Angry Birds has made so much money... It may be fun and good for them, but ...uh ...why THAT one??


Cute art and merchandising. Unfortunately, lot of money has been made catering to the lowest common denominator. I would love to make an RPG with meaningful plot choices in a visual style similar to Final Fantasy 6, but I have a full time job, a wife and kid, and zero technical skills. I could spend the next 10 years using this engine to create my game and release it (I won't, but that is because I am also lazy) and it might not completely suck. I would never have that opportunity if something like this didn't exist.

I would definitely be annoyed as a professional in the game industry, just as I am sure most graphic designers are annoyed when some asshole with Photoshop thinks he is a genius when he makes a flyer using Comic Sans, unfortunately the only choice for the professional is to make games better than anything that can come out on the cookie cutter assembly line. Which I am sure most can, given enough time and money.
 
2012-07-09 11:53:19 AM

Lumbar Puncture: Another great example of a zombie game with developers who don't know how to code well.


I didn't say it was particularly good... :-) But it does meet the criteria the dude asked for.
 
2012-07-09 12:01:04 PM

roc6783: Cute art and merchandising. Unfortunately...


I totally agree with you. I think one of the other issues we are also having right now is an almost total dependency on third party middle ware. Don't get me wrong ..there is some goddamn amazing middle ware out there but even with a huge team of devs, you basically HAVE to shell out for the really good stuff.

It's sortta nice in a way. A dev team can concentrate on making the game work instead of the tech behind AI, 3d sound, fast rendering vegetation, networking, etc. However, its SUPER expensive.
 
2012-07-09 12:18:24 PM

Perlin Noise: roc6783: ***snip***


Which is why systems like these make sense for someone with a great idea and the dedication to see it through and games that get promotion only come from major companies.

There are diminishing returns on marketing, but more marketing always equals more sales. For indie games, they have to prove the game will be successful before outside investors will pump in enough cash for advertising (Offer does not apply to Curt Schilling). So cutting the upfront costs to allocate for later advertising makes sense. Major labels can afford to promote a game no matter how broken it may be at release (and beyond).
 
2012-07-09 12:49:55 PM

Perlin Noise: There really is no reason that Angry Birds has made so much money... It may be fun and good for them, but ...uh ...why THAT one??


Because where else do you get to play as an avian al Qaeda waging Jihad against the imperialist Pigs?
 
2012-07-09 12:52:21 PM
How did we get this far without:

www.getagamecareer.com
 
2012-07-09 01:18:43 PM

roc6783: Which is why systems like these make sense for someone with a great idea and the dedication to see it through and games that get promotion only come from major companies.


Maybe. I think the more likely outcome will be a ton of shiatty "games". There will certainly be exceptions here and there.

Heck, I won't mind being wrong it that's not the case.
 
2012-07-09 01:36:14 PM

Perlin Noise: Angry Birds is actually a good example ...there are about 100 physics/destruction games exactly like it, even before it was popular. There really is no reason that Angry Birds has made so much money... It may be fun and good for them, but ...uh ...why THAT one??


Simple attention-piquing title, family friendly, colorful, merchandise-able (stuffed birds you can hurl at each other? I mean, c'mon who could hate that?), consistent visual theme, easy to pick up, playable anywhere in any time window, and making it just challenging enough to perfect everything that the levels have some replay value. It's not groundbreaking in any aspect, but they did almost nothing wrong.
 
2012-07-09 01:55:46 PM

ProfessorOhki: they did almost nothing wrong.


I certainly don't disagree, its just that even after all of that, it's still "same game, different developer". I feel the same way about many many other titles. The COD games, for instance. I mostly got over FPS games in the late 90s. RTS games are even worse. Lots of wash/rinse/repeat with better graphics. And good god, stop with the tower defense already.

/ok, I have to stop or the ranting will become irrational :P
 
2012-07-09 02:08:08 PM

Perlin Noise: its just that even after all of that, it's still "same game, different developer".


I think the important factor is really just execution. The idea wasn't new, but it was a perfectly executed version of the idea. It's the same reason that, despite all of the Tetris clones, nobody's ever made a version that has the same addictive nature as the original Tetris.
 
2012-07-09 02:12:42 PM

Perlin Noise: ProfessorOhki: they did almost nothing wrong.

I certainly don't disagree, its just that even after all of that, it's still "same game, different developer". I feel the same way about many many other titles. The COD games, for instance. I mostly got over FPS games in the late 90s. RTS games are even worse. Lots of wash/rinse/repeat with better graphics. And good god, stop with the tower defense already.

/ok, I have to stop or the ranting will become irrational :P


Oh, I agree that there's a lot of stagnation, but I'd let CoD slide if it were $0.99 :)
 
2012-07-09 02:50:04 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

1985
 
2012-07-09 03:13:26 PM
There's several interesting ones.

I ran into one, I forget the name of it, have it on my machine, some coding but it's pretty basic and someone designed an analogue for Super Mario World on it complete with proper fx and the character's control responsiveness is pretty much perfect.

There are others to help you make your own games running in the SCUMM interface (Lucasarts: Monkey Island, etc) and ones to make games running in the SCI interface (SIERRA adventure games). Of course, that's not truly original if you are simply using the elements that made other peoples' games great to make whatever you're putting together.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with learning the coding necessary to utilize the Unreal engine since it's the go-to solution for fledgling game developers. No shame in not building your game completely from scratch, really. I have noticed that the Unreal engine games are frequently similar in feel, even when the artwork is different.
 
2012-07-09 03:15:27 PM
Did someone already cover that Game Designers almost entirely as a group don't know how to code? Good.

The closest we have here is a Designer who majored in CS but then changed professions when he realized coding was hard. Do you know how to use level editors and have a basic idea of what scripting is? Congrats! You are qualified to be a game designer!

/Game Engineer
 
2012-07-09 03:26:03 PM

t3knomanser: Perlin Noise: its just that even after all of that, it's still "same game, different developer".

I think the important factor is really just execution. The idea wasn't new, but it was a perfectly executed version of the idea. It's the same reason that, despite all of the Tetris clones, nobody's ever made a version that has the same addictive nature as the original Tetris.


Every genre of (fill in any form of human creative endeavor) has already been done. What defines seminal works is that they do something unique within the context of their genre (a Stradivarius violin) or are such a progression from existing works as to demand a new categorization (Jazz vs. Classical music).


So whenever a developer says their new game will redefine the history of gaming in a way never before seen...they think their game is:

obsoletegamer.com

but it ends up being:

farm6.staticflickr.com

We can only judge in comparison to everything else that has gone before and if you set out to make the best game possible, you will. If you set out to redefine gaming as the world knows it, you will fail. This is just one more tool to let good games be made. Lots of bad games too, but that happens anyway.
 
2012-07-09 03:29:09 PM
I design games and I don't know a thing about coding. But then... I'm not designing video games...

/Yes, people still design board games
//No, I haven't gotten anything published yet
 
2012-07-09 03:44:59 PM
haha shearight. I am an ideas guy. This is how it works- I get an idea and then you make it happen. I get all the credit because it was my idea. Awright?

Yeah, it pisses me off when I go to the Empire State building and they tell me about the guy who designed it, not the names of the bricklayers who put it together.

/most people think they know how to design a game. They don't
//game designer
 
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