Friday, July 22, 2011

On My Mind: Why game designers are both the most and least important piece of the puzzle

Sorry, still not the second part of "Let's Make Up Achievements: Resident Evil 4", it's definitely taking up more time than I had wanted. So instead, let's extend my last post a little but more.

Some people would say "don't shit on where you eat", and I'm about to do that in the following post. As a game designer myself, I would say that game designers are pretty much an unnecessary part of development. This fact finally dawned on me as I continue plugging away at working on an iOS game.

Let's look at small, indie development. Let's say a 1 man team. What would you want? An artists? It's going to be difficult, but you can probably find really really basic coding tools. A programmer? You may suffer from "programmer art", but nothing that prevents from shipping a project. A Designer? Well, you're boned. Even when you scale up to a two man team, the dynamic of programmer/artist/designer still doesn't change. You're still probably better off with a duo of programmer/artist, programmer X2 or even artist X2 than any team that has a designer. In fact, even as you slowly scale up to bigger teams, as long as you have programmers and/or artists who has enough common sense, then you're still going to be fine.


...doesn't paint a pretty picture for my career of choice, does it? Well, yes and no. For the sake of argument, I'm strictly speaking about designer from a creative (and not management, scheduling perspective) standpoint, and there are still definitely points why designers are pretty damn important. While a project is on it's way to completion, you're artists and programmers will be fully immersed into their own field; your dedicated designer will be your best bet at catching issues, coming up with ideas and solutions, etc. Ideally, your designer should be someone good enough to see things and advise on direction before sinking resources into features.


Sorry, I've rambled on as I'm pretty frustrated at the tremendous amount of work as a designer in a one man team. I'll go back to being a half-baked artist and a half-assed programmer now. See you monday, hopefully the actual Resident Evil 4 article you're looking for.

1 comment:

  1. Errie that this was posted as recently (and I didn't read it before hand):