Saturday, 13 December 2008

An Introduction to Game Design

Unlike the early 80s, video games are no longer the creations of one or two people in their bedrooms programming basic games. These days teams can number in there hundreds and budgets in millions; but the vision of what the game can become and the direction of that vision can still be in the eyes of one person. Hideo Kojima and his Metal Gear series are a good example of this and more recently Cliff Bleszinski with the Gears of War series. Both of these men created strong narrative driven games with stories that actually make you care about the characters and controls which ironically made you feel more in control and apart of the game. Another good point about these games is that the look and feel of both titles are very different from each other but are held together by good narrative and solid game play. This proves that design principles for different gaming genres can vary so long as the story and game play mechanics are strong enough to carry the title in the vision it was originally conceived. There have been many games in the past which have had great promise and stylish presentation but have lacked the fundamental control and story to make it worth playing. (Too Human on Xbox 360 is a good example)

In my opinion, I much prefer story driven compelling games than simple platform titles. I love how narrative based games can draw you in and make you feel more a part of what you’re experiencing as it happens and this makes you feel more a part of the overall experience. The most memorable moments in my gaming life are from games that made me feel a part of the moment that evoked emotion from me; made life and cry, get apprehensive or just plain scared. For me this is what gaming is all about and it’s something that a lot of people seem to have forgotten and would rather buy a game because it has superior graphics than another similar title. I feel sorry for them…

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