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  • Level-Up As A Game Designer: Improve Your Technical Skills

    [05.15.18]
    - Karl Morley
  • Game Designers that possess technical skills are in increasingly higher demand from game studios. In this blog post I explain why I encourage every Game Designer, including those seeking their first Game Design role, to develop their technical skills in order to...

    • Be more valuable to your team
    • Better understand the scope and limits of your designs and tools
    • Communicate and prove your designs more effectively
    • Stand out from the crowd

    1. Its the best way to prove your designs!

    Lots of designs sound great on paper but it is often tricky to know if your design is good enough without getting hands on with it.

    Being able to prototype features/systems on your own or as part of a small team will...

    • Save time by filtering out bad designs.
    • Highlight the main risks with your designs early in development.
    • Help you better communicate and sell your designs to a multi-discipline team.
    • Make it easier to cost/scope the feature/system.

    2. Your designs will be more thorough and considered!

    The more knowledge you have about different disciplines, the better informed your designs can be. Understanding the basics for how a feature might be implemented by a programmer will help you...

    • Be more thorough with your designs - You might consider more edge cases in your designs (and the solutions for them).
    • Design to better fit your project scope - You will better consider the workload involved in developing your designs. This will help you concentrate your team's efforts into the most important development tasks.
    • Be more confident in your designs - This is aided by being able to prototype a design before passing it off to be developed.

    3. You will be more confident and approachable when communicating with other disciplines!

    Communication between different disciplines can be greatly improved by having a better understanding of each other's work.

    By having at least a basic knowledge of technical methodologies and jargon, you will find it much easier to talk to other disciplines about their work. But, equally as important, they may find it easier to communicate with YOU. This can make it easier for your team to discuss a design with you or raise issues and concerns they might have, without having to think too much about translating what they are trying to say.

    You may also find it easier to empathize with people from other disciplines when creating your designs or listening to issues and feedback. Having more knowledge about the work that is involved from their perspective can help you keep your priorities and scope in check. This empathy can help make you more approachable to your team, since you are able to understand things better from their point of view.

    As your technical skills grow and you use them more during development, you will gain more confidence in your ability. This confidence will become more visible to your team over time, which will increase the confidence they have in you and your ability. You will be much more approachable to other disciplines if they have confidence that you understand what they want to talk to you about.

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