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Designer's Block and Troubleshooting

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Let's say you've gone through game design school and you have several successful games under your belt, yet, at some point or another, you get stumped for ideas.

Developing a game isn't an easy task, as it takes time to come up with ideas for a game and its many plots. It's easy to get stumped when you're trying to develop something, but everyone gets stumped now and then. Designers have a lot on their plate, as they have to compete with all the other designers and companies out there for that one game that will blow the competition away.

The game designer is the overall heart and soul of the project. In many cases designers are brought on board to bring life to a game that's been given the go ahead by an executive. Yet getting stumped can be a major headache, especially if you're on a deadline and you have to come up with something.

If you're currently in game design school or are thinking of going, it's important that you're able to come up with ideas that aren't emulating something that's already been done. It's very easy to fall into that trap and create something that upon first viewing will look like something you've seen a million times before.

After I had finished game design school, I was brought on to create a variety of games for a new studio. The basic elements of the game were there, yet after a while the team I was working with got stumped and drew a complete blank on how the particular game we were working on should progress. Let's say there were many hours of heated discussions and numerous avenues as to how to let the game flow, but it was impossible to come to common ground on many parts of the game.

Much of it was how derivative the game was in relation to other games on the market. I felt that even if a game borrows from another, then it should have its own spin and at least attempt to be original, while others on the team just wanted to rush things through and get the game out. That was a red flag for me, as I had learned in game design school to keep all your ideas as original as possible.

It's important to try not to appear too eager to just rush something out. A game should have integrity and most designers would likely agree. If you should happen to get stumped, stick to your guns and do your best to work it out. What also helps is to hold onto other ideas you may have developed over the years in case you should find yourself getting stumped. A lot of the time, these backburner concepts can give you inspiration to overcome any block you may encounter; so hold on to your notes!

Don't fall into the trap of just rushing something out because you feel you have to, even if you're under pressure. Game design schools offer the ability to explore different avenues in terms of troubleshooting and maintaining originality. This will benefit you in the end as you'll have the ability to concoct something unique and not just a carbon copy of something else that's already been done.

Source: EzineArticles
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