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  • Book Excerpt: Designing Character-Based Console Games

    - Mark Davies
  •  [Chapter 1, "The Console Design Process," is printed with permission from Charles River Media. Designing Character-Based Console Games by Mark Davies.]

    The Console Design Process

    Not all that long ago a game design could have been scribbled on the back of an envelope. Simple games with simple mechanics gave birth to the industry, as the lack of technological power of the machines facilitated the need for abstraction. Even the role of the game designer is relatively new. Games were generally the work of one individual-a lone coder creating the design as he went along.

    Things are very different now. Projects cost millions of dollars and have large teams of people building them. The designer is now a dedicated individual whose only concern is the design itself.

    Game design is tricky to explain to industry outsiders. There are many common misconceptions:

    Guy on Street: So you make the graphics?

    Game Designer: No-that's the artist's job.

    Guy on Street: Ah! So you write the code!

    Game Designer: No-that would be the programmers.

    Guy on Street: Oh! You play games all day!

    Game Designer: I wish . . .

    There are several facets to the design role, and not every company regards design in the same manner.

    In this chapter we will learn about several aspects of the designer's role in making a game through the life cycle of a project:

    • Conception

    • Turning ideas into reality

    • Production

    • The Console submission process


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