When preparing to experience something new I always tend to look back on something different that I have experienced in the past. Then I try to combine these two things to make the most of what I am about to experience in the near future.
Tomorrow I am going on a trip to Russia, thus I remembered some interesting game-design related articles and videos which have kept me motivated for long. Some of those articles spoke about Character Design in Japan and how that is a really big thing there. Game designers wrote about Japanese game characters, how they leave the TVs and PC monitors and continue living together with the players in forms of toys, books, street art like graffiti and how they become symbols for new generations.
The videos spoke about human interaction abroad. A game designer shared a story about a Japanese woman who has helped him reach a bus station and catch a bus on time. He then explained how this can be seen through a game designer’s perspective.
He was in Japan, that was a new world for him, he found a woman from that world with whom he shared his goal. The woman helped him get around in this new world so he can reach his goal.
This was a simple story, but it explained almost every aspect of games. Many introduce new worlds to players in which there is a player controlled character, this character has a goal, but a problem that needs to be solved in order to reach it. Through some in-game help and interaction with non-player characters, players learn to “play” in this new world, get better and finally reach the goal.
This is what I like to call “the eyes of game-design“. Let me elaborate on this: Many game designers don’t have any education about game design, they only have their long gaming experience, their creativity and love towards game engines. I personally have finished a course in game design and would do it again if I could, but it is not the course which gave me THE EYES it is the loooong time I’ve spent with games. People who don’t play games, regard playing as lost time (my parents thought so too at one time). Through playing however, you not only learn to play better, but you learn to stop. That’s right, STOP for a while and look at games. Look at the beautiful landscapes, listen to the music, feel the smooth animation, get deeply involved with the story…these are the moments when your eyes are not just gaming eyes anymore, they are evolving into GAME DESIGN eyes.
This is the moment where questions come in. Wow! How did they made this? Wow! How much time did this animation took to make? Wow! How many layers are there in this 2D background? Wow! How long was this story when it was on paper? Questions you can answer by learning about game design online, or just by actually making games yourself.
But the best part of THE EYES is that once you get them, they remain yours forever. And then when you go out with your friends to a coffee club everywhere you look, you see potential games. Coffee making games, restaurant games, catching the bus on time games, conversation games, walking, sleeping, dreaming, singing, drawing, writing, everything you do…everything you are….everything can be made into a game.
And this is exactly why, we will see more and more unique games in the future!