Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Lost Art of Game Design

Computer games used to be simple, where the focus was on the design of the game as an interactive media, where the designers were there with no armor on the arena ready to battle the huge magical monsters of making a game fun.

Many layers have been added these days to games including detailed graphics, cinematic sequences, polished music compositions, surround audio effects, physical simulations, visual effects and etc. which are actually armors and weapons that the designers can wear and these all together can help and bury some lack of game design talents deep under. Not to mention marketing hype which is quite influential in itself and can mesmerize a player into thinking that they like something.

Game used to bring the thrilling moments to the players every second but it is quite hard to achieve that in most modern games.

Some recent examples, Darksiders, while great at character design and ok at graphics and wonderful visual effects and sound and very polished game play mechanics, the game design throws you out of the immersed world a lot of times and you feel the silly repetitive tasks they have put in there just to increase the length of the game which becomes offensive sometimes. When a game becomes complex in story and features and visuals, then the game designer needs to be much more committed to issues such as the cohesion of all these elements around the element of fun, which is not quite like balancing the game of pac man but more like understanding user emotions, psychology, gaming history, technical issues and lots more. This should be the modern day game design, a highly evolved task, something much much more than level designing.

Assassin's creed, great technically and wonderful visuals but the wide array of possibilities for the player needs exponential design thoughts as how to bring the non stop fun for the player which clearly this game has not been able to provide.

Prince of Persia 4 is another big failure example for game design in my opinion. If the designers had improved half of what the other departments have achieved, then we would have experienced a breath taking product.

Batman, Arkham Asylum, great in many aspects such as a cinematic experience and animation and physics but a very simple game where you do not sense the challenge you usually expect from games and nothing bold in the area of game design, the feelings experienced are much closer to what you have while watching movies than what you used to feel playing Space Invaders.

There was a time when game designers did not have a position in game development and it was all programmers making games, they showed up and helped make better interactive media, they are gone once again today, although not gone int he credits, but really gone and they need to come back and help the industry, they need to come back many many times stronger than what they were with multi-disciplinary knowledge, talent and courage. They need to take our all the superficial armors and weapons of technology, story and cinematics and show that they can be a warrior without all that and bring the gaming to a newer level.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The event

The event at Amir Kabir University went quite well.

Here is some more information:

Monday, February 08, 2010

Gang at Polytechnic

The dev dudes will be at Amir Kabir University (Polytechnic) on 3rd of Esfand. The session will be geared towards the development process of Garshasp inclined towards the technical aspects.

More info can be found here:

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Aldous Huxley:

"Who lives longer: the man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or the man who lives on roast beef, water, and potatoes till ninety-five? One passes his twenty-four months in eternity. All the years of the beef-eater are lived only in time."