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While working on the latest challenge, I’ve been inspired to write a little piece on the game designer.  Not to toot my own horn, but there really is something special about the game designer, programmer, and creator.

The modern game developer is very much a renaissance man in as many ways as possible.  We really have to be a Jack-of-All-Trades AND be specialized in a given field.  We have to be part political activist and part social reformist.  We have to be both driven and lazy.  We have to be not only structured, rigorous, and perfectionist, but creative, flexible, and adaptable.  We have to be able to stand on our own but also be able to network and communicate well.  We have to be part businessman and part philanthropist.  We have to be physicists, historians, zealots, and pragmatists.  We must remain individual while assuming the roles of so many.  We have to have be well versed in our given area, but also need a myriad of experiences and contacts.  In every way I can think of, the game developer really is the “everyman” of the 21st century.

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3 Comments

  1. Maybe your game for your 10 challenge can be a combination of the last 3 posts. Just off the top of my head, I imagine a game that requires the player to be a “good” citizen of the world to win. It should require the player to do a bit of juggling between managing hunger and education and population and reducing conflict between countries all the while a second, underlying requirement is to protect the planet (without Mother Earth we all die). I would guess the ultimate goal is “utopia” or building the perfect planet. The whole basis of the game should answer the question “Can you please all of the people all of the time?” Heh, there is a simple dance to do!

    • Roucis Kyle
    • Posted April 7, 2009 at 12:06
    • Permalink

    I had a (mostly) finished game for Challenge 10 that was a cut down, and simpler version of that idea. It involved the players trading food resources to make sure that everyone had enough. This was to demonstrate how trade was the best way to peace and that we could solve hunger issues if we tried. However, upon further inspection, the game was shallow and unremarkable. In light of that, I will probably be revamping it to something a lot more along the lines of your suggestion. Thanks! It’s a great idea. It’s going to be pretty complex, but that seems to be my forte when it comes to board games :). Thanks again for the suggestion! I will probably have the results up by late tonight. Keep suggesting and thanks!

  2. Kyle,

    Sadly, I think a lot of this comes from the tools we have to use to create games. Game design is difficult enough to begin with, but only in so much as say painting or writing. The difference is, you can paint and write with simple tools in comparison with digital games, which requires code, art, and design (as well as sound in many cases). If you lack one of those three, then you will not be able to design a digital game easily.

    I hope this will change once we get tools that are more democratic. Programs like Scratch and Game Maker are good starts because they help eliminate the code barrier, but I continue looking for something more durable. Drawing pads are also helpful, but are still expensive and not standard. Otherwise, I think we would have a more democratic medium, which means anyone could create a digital game as easily as we can make a board game. That would be my vision for the future.

    -Devin Monnens


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