Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's Design?

When people ask me what I do for a living and when I tell them that I am a Game Designer, I am invariably gearing up for an explanation. It's a question that most definitely pops up. The profession is not as well known as say an actor or a doctor. So I tend to answer their question by drawing parallels with a better known field of movie making. 'I am the writer and the director of the game.' While this answer serves the purpose in a conversation, it definitely does not when writing a blog about game design. Here the audience is far more interested and one needs to delve deeper.

But before we get into game design technicalities, I would like to clear a few fundamentals. 

Design (in my opinion) is a plan or a blueprint to reach a goal. All of us are designers in some way or the other. We use design in pretty much every step of our life and every day. Let us take an example.

Step 1 - I want to watch a movie. (I have some direction here, but not an exact goal)

Step 2 - I want to watch a certain movie. (Now I know what movie I want to watch)

Step 3 - I want to watch a certain movie at a certain cinema hall. (The goal has become clearer than ever)

Step 4 - I want to watch a certain movie at a certain cinema hall. I will watch it on a Sunday. (This is a plan to reach my goal, but not a very well chalked out one)

Step 5 - I need to watch a certain movie at a certain cinema hall. I will watch it on a Sunday at 7.30 p.m.
So ultimately in step 10 or 12, I would have watched the movie and had some fun. Mind you, all these steps do not happen at the same time and one after the other. But a plan seems to be taking shape in our minds without us knowing about it.  When we do it in a conscious and planned manner, it's called Design.

Let this be some food for thought for those who are new to Design. I will cover Game Design shortly.


Phani said...

wow.. well explained.. waiting for more!!

Shirish said...

movie (concept) writer director = film-maker
game (concept)writer director = game-maker

your position is virtually like Guru Datta or raaj kapoor or bimal royy
.... lead film-makers

Purnima said...

Ah finally! Have been waiting for ur design blog for a long time now! :)

Abhishek Deshpande said...


anithinks said...

@Abhi: Good to see you writing :)

Well, I know my game designers. Hope to see your name among the Carmack's, Molyneux's and Todd Howard's (my fav) of the future ;)

Jayanta said...

It is one of those words that you think you know the meaning of, but don't. I think now I know what design means.