What is Game Design
Game Design is designing or planning out how a game or activity will look, feel, and sound.
What are key elements to games?
Lets start with some basic things a good game has:
- Audio - Audio that immerses a user in a specified ambiance
- Video - A unique look the game has to complement the gameplay
- Game Logic - A game needs to have stuff to do
- Ease of use - A game needs to be easy to install and easy to interact with
- Balance - A balance of features ensures fairness and a level playing field
- Small Things - It is the little things that make some games huge and others not so much
Games have specially designed audio capabilities (Wwise) to let 3D environments accurately distort sounds. 3D sounds allow for a user to identify the location of a sound and in turn they become more grounded in a game.
Games today look good, REALLY good. It is hard for indie developers to match AAA quality. They instead search for their own unique style of graphics which further enhances the personality of a game.
Games are often questioned for their preposterous notions of physics. However you can use this to your advantage because games are escapes from reality allowing one to do as one pleases. Create your own simple twist on how a game should be. FPS? Modify basic physics to psych people out.
Ease of Use
How do you install most games? Through a 3rd party client like Steam or Origin? Or do you buy direct and install from an msi? A developer must choose a path to take. If you choose the former, most will be managed for you. The latter route will force you to create your own installer and use your own vendor for selling. But don't worry, much of this is easy to do.
Never give the opponent the upper hand and keep your games as fair as possible. People like to develop skills and can do so best in an environment in which the playing field is equal.
There are small things in games that can brighten a player's day. Easter Eggs, hidden routes, inside jokes, and references to popular culture all are great ways for a player to enjoy themselves in a world you created.
Create games with simplicity and originality in mind. This doesn't mean to redefine a genre (which you can if you want to) but to add your own unique twist to something you love.