A game is a systematic, organized form of play, normally undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool as well. Games are very different from work, which typically is carried out primarily for remuneration; work is carried out to improve job satisfaction and build up employee moral. On the other hand, games are mainly played for entertainment, often for relaxation and therefore are not primarily meant to be undertaken for professional improvement. Nevertheless, games have managed to find their way into the educational system and many teachers still incorporate them into lesson plans. Game concepts can be introduced into curriculum at grade levels and even universities have started offering degrees in game design and software engineering.
A game designer will create a game environment by developing an abstract conception of how the game should be arranged and designed. The game designer will usually work with one or more core programmers who will create the basic idea and drawing the characters. The programmers will implement the game’s logic and skill sets, together with the interaction of players and the game environment using computer programs. Students learn to create a game by studying programming techniques and the art of visual communication.
Game designing also requires the students to develop and fine tune technical skills. Students will be expected to work with textures, meshes, culling, lighting, reflections, skeletal systems, collision detection and many other details which may sound complicated but are actually quite simple. Technical skills required to become a game designer will also include working with sound, graphics, scripting and network programming. As game designers are expected to be highly creative, they often go on to create character stories and novel-length scripts. Writing skills and having an understanding of English are also important requirements.
Game testing occurs when a player submits a game and provides feedback on its overall performance. This feedback is essential in identifying bugs and other problems that may occur. To become a successful tester, students learn to collect game information and test their own and other players’ game. They are also exposed to the design process and learn about different types of testers including visual, auditory and kinesthetic. In addition, students learn how to read and analyze information and use it to improve the quality of their game designs.
After completing a formal game design and prototyping program at a college or university, students can turn their ideas into real game projects. These projects may involve a small game engine or a full-scale 3D interactive game. In most cases, game developers start out creating game prototypes to determine if their idea is feasible, but they also want to test the game’s simulation and scalability. Often, game prototypes are completed in a single weekend. Most student graduates have an opportunity to become full-fledged game designers by enrolling in game design schools and obtaining formal degrees.
While game design and prototyping are important parts of the game development process, students are often unsure how to pursue a career as a game developer. Many students attend art or design schools to obtain formal degrees and gain experience for school assignments. However, many students pursue a career as a game designer by taking classes at a variety of technical schools such as computer programming, ITT Technical college and the Game Design Institute. Both these options provide game design classes and will teach students how to effectively create and maintain games.