Making Great Games: An Insiders Guide to Designing and Developing the Worlds Greatest Games

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RB: Being a nice person, open to criticism and diplomatic and funny, are very important characteristics. You have to work with your team very tightly, often for long periods of time and sharing work and tasks, so you need to be able to get along. Far and away ahead of confidence and genius, the ability to contribute to the team and the culture, to show up on time and produce solid work, to be reliable and nice to have around, are the most valuable things to a potential employer.

PT: You really need to have self-confidence in a particular way to be good at making games — both coding and designing. Game art is about communicating function to players. How do I use it? Where is it in the physical space? Will it hurt me? Most of game design is about communication - making sure the player knows all they need to know immediately, and can get straight into that unique thing that makes your game special.

SP: Everyone needs to learn to code. Not necessarily to a professional standard, but to be able to understand what is going on under the hood of the project. Artists, designers, level builders, audio and even QA guys really need to understand how coding works generally, and how specific aspects of the game are working — streaming data, collision detection, memory allocation, etc — in order to do their job properly.

Top 10 Ways To Come Up With Game Ideas

The first is the most important. Think about what actions the player performs, what the interactions are within the game, and what feedback the player gets. LB: If you love making games, it is consuming. I grew up playing games, but I got into the industry because I discovered that the problem set of making games was almost addictive for me. I probably would not have encountered those games on my own before.

Anyway, just be advised that a transformation takes place there that you should expect.

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I used to think that other game developers, once they became more experienced, knew everything there was to know about games. In reality, this medium is so new and so ever-changing, that everyone seems to be flailing around some less than others trying to figure out what to do next. Just try it out and see what happens. This is an industry where risks and innovation are celebrated, so just start making things. You need to have practical evidence of your skill.

The reality is, a degree is effectively gravy compared to an actual portfolio. If you have time to game you have time to work on a portfolio. At university, on forums, etc, there are a load of people in the same position with multiple disciplines: put together a little team and you can work on one project between you that sits on all of your CVs. The best way to show people you can make games is to make games. RB: Make stuff, make stuff, make stuff. The most important thing to do is to try. Knock up demos and concepts, get things moving on screen.

But there is great value in finishing things and getting used to how difficult that final 10 percent of the game development process is. The fact that you have tried it though, shown love and skill for it, and want to do it more will be far more useful than a good academic record — although that should also not be undervalued. There are many areas of the industry that still love a solid redbrick university degree. SP: The hardest part of game development is finishing, so finishing a small project is way more valuable than plans and work-in-progress for a big, ambitious project, or tech demos or even portfolio work.

I think finished, polished projects, regardless of platform or format — even something like a little Tetris or Space Invaders clone — trump everything else. Allison S: Passion and experience still carry a lot of weight in the game industry. Everyone should have a portfolio to show in interviews.

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But if you are leaning towards being a software engineer I do highly recommend getting a bachelors in computer science. Increasingly, AAA game development is going the way of other software industries where one of their base requirements for software engineering is a CS degree or equivalent experience.

A great portfolio might overrule this requirement but it is a great fall back. JS: For newcomers a degree is definitely helpful, especially if you are looking to go into mainstream games. A lot of companies are looking for candidates with a solid educational background and passion.

People that already have years experience in the industry can probably get by without a degree, as long as they have worked on notable titles. In the independent world there are a lot of people who are self-taught, learning by doing.

Making Great Games: An Insider's Guide to Designing and Developing the World's Greatest Video Games

This works great for people who are driven and good at self teaching. What unites all game developers is a passion for making games, and this is pretty much the number one requirement. Books, tutorials, lots of practice. When I hire developers, experience, attitude and portfolio are far more important than what - or if - you chose to study as a teenager. LB: I think that being able to show what you can do is the most important, and experience and passion are a way of getting there, and school is just one way of getting that experience.

There are a lot of things to consider when making that choice. Is the trade-off for tuition worth it? The answer will be different for everyone. Treat everyone equally and with respect. If you see that people are not giving you the same courtesy, look for other opportunities until you find a place that is right for you.

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Most importantly though remember that we are making games for people and not gender stereotypes. SF: Never give up, and never doubt yourself because of your gender. Gender is mostly a cultural thing. Allison S: My experience with working in AAA development was that my co-workers were far more welcoming than the gaming community at large. I experienced far more discrimination and harassment during my time in college then I did while working in AAA. My other advice would be try to find and create a network of support from both other women and men. Reach out to other women who make games and are interested in making games.

Some places to start might be some of the groups organised around women in games — for example IGDA Women in Games special interest group , Dames making Games or Women in games International. I have been extremely fortunate to work at an amazing studio and have never faced any horror stories personally, but that stuff is out there and very real. You never see those! I know that most times people are exclaiming that because they are generally excited to see that women are in technology and love that an example of diversity is right in front of them - but in reality it makes me feel like an exotic zoo animal.

This is a wonderful industry full of wonderful people, but be prepared to feel uncomfortable with yourself and with others. AA: Juice It or Lose It is one of the best talks ever, showing how adding all kinds of audio-visual responses to your game can make it come alive.

Making Great Games

JS: The GDC vault has a really good selection of sessions from all areas of game development and a good portion of these are free. It is also worth looking outside of video games, how do industrial designers work? And so on. I would also recommend picking up the accompanying deck of cards, A Deck of Lenses. PT: I have to toot my own horn and plug my own YouTube vid about making your first game. Read books, watch documentaries, go skydive. Do things. Live life. Creativity depends on your breadth of knowledge and experiences. AJGS: You need to play everything you can.

You may hate games like Candy Crush Saga but you will learn both good and bad lessons from playing them. Play Mario 64 if for nothing else than the control system — that game in my opinion is the perfect feel for controlling a character. JS: I think it is important to play games that fall out of your comfort zone. It is easy to get caught up into that little bubble of games that match your tastes and opinions. To grow as a game creator it is important to be able to appreciate, respect and understand games of all types and genres.

I do not know the answer to this! RB: I always recommend a few classic console games for study:. It exemplifies the power of the A button, when combined with creative minds and feedback-obsessed programmers. By the late s, most RTS games had native Internet support, allowing players from all over the globe to play with each other. A specific subgenre of strategy video games referred to as multiplayer online battle arena MOBA gained popularity in the s as a form of electronic sports , encompassing games such as the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III , its Valve -developed sequel Dota 2 , League of Legends , Heroes of the Storm , and Smite.

Massively multiplayer online games were made possible with the growth of broadband Internet access in many developed countries, using the Internet to allow hundreds of thousands of players to play the same game together. Many different styles of massively multiplayer games are available, such as:. Xbox Live was launched in November Initially the console only used a feature called system link, where players could connect two consoles using an Ethernet cable , or multiple consoles through a router.

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With the original Xbox Microsoft launched Xbox Live, allowing shared play over the internet. A similar feature exists on the PlayStation 3 in the form of the PlayStation Network , and the Wii also supports a limited amount of online gaming. Nintendo also has a network, dubbed " Nintendo Network ", that fully supports online gaming with the Wii U and 3DS consoles.

As the World Wide Web developed and browsers became more sophisticated, people started creating browser games that used a web browser as a client. The development of web-based graphics technologies such as Flash and Java allowed browser games to become more complex.

These games, also known by their related technology as " Flash games " or "Java games", became increasingly popular. Browser-based pet games are popular among the younger generation of online gamers. These games range from gigantic games with millions of users, such as Neopets , to smaller and more community-based pet games. More recent browser-based games use web technologies like Ajax to make more complicated multiplayer interactions possible and WebGL to generate hardware-accelerated 3D graphics without the need for plugins.

MUD are a class of multi-user real-time virtual worlds, usually but not exclusively text-based, with a history extending back to the creation of MUD1 by Richard Bartle in PvE is a term used in online games, particularly MMORPGs and other role-playing video games, to refer to fighting computer-controlled opponents. PvP is a term broadly used to describe any game, or aspect of a game, where players compete against each other rather than against computer-controlled opponents.

A battle royale game is a genre that blends the survival, exploration and scavenging elements of a survival game with last-man-standing gameplay. Online gamers must agree to an End-user license agreement EULA when they first install the game application or an update. EULA is a legal contract between the producer or distributor and the end-user of an application or software, which is to prevent the program from being copied, redistributed or hacked.

Players could receive warnings to termination, or direct termination without warning. In the 3D immersive world Second Life where a breach of contract will append the player warnings, suspension and termination depending on the offense. Where online games supports an in-game chat feature, it is not uncommon to encounter hate speech , sexual harassment and cyberbullying. Recent development of gaming governance requires all video games including online games to hold a rating label. A scale can range from "E" stands for Everyone inferring games that are suitable for both children and adults, to "M" stands for Mature recommending games that are restricted to age above Some explicit online game can be rated "AO" stands for Adult Only , identifying games that have content suitable for only adults over the age of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 24 September Arcade video games Best-selling video games Best-selling video game franchises Highest-grossing video game franchises Most-played video games by player count Most-played mobile games by player count Highest-grossing arcade games Video games considered among the best Game of the Year awards Video games notable for negative reception. Main article: History of online games. Main article: First-person shooter. Main article: Real-time strategy. Main article: Multiplayer online battle arena.

Main article: Massively multiplayer online game. Main article: Browser game. Main article: MUD. Main article: Player versus environment. Main article: Player versus player. Main article: Battle royale game. Video games portal. Multiplayer video game Massively multiplayer online game History of online games Voice chat in online gaming List of video game genres. Fundamentals of Game Design.

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Prentice Hall. London: Routledge. PC Magazine. Retrieved October 6, Retrieved October 12, Computers in Human Behavior. Entertainment Computing. Next Generation.

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