Agate Academy Interview Series Part 3 with Nel, the Entertainment Game Designer
Once the programmer develop the codebases and the artist create the visual graphic, the Game Designer then take the lead to integrate them all. Yes, the Game Designer is a crucial part of a comprehensive team of artists and developers. Other than building the first prototype of the characters, levels, and storyline, a game designer may also typically have the responsible in managerial role as to manage the work schedule and project timeline.
In this third part of Agate Academy Interview Series, we will be getting some insight about the role of Game Designer with Nelson G. Wisana, or Nel. Under the Entertainment Game division that produces user-end games, Nel holds the role as the Lead Game Designer.
Hello, Nel! Would you please explain what is exactly the role of Lead Game Designer to begin with?
Looking at my daily activity, my role as the Lead Game Designer basically is to supervise all the team work to create the game from scratch. The range of my work mostly handle the managerial area, from writing the Game Design Document (GDD), conducting numbers of sessions and discussions with all the team member, to continuously checking the work of artists and programmers of the project.
In the beginning of the project, the Lead Game Designer is responsible to elaborate in details about the upcoming game that will be created to the whole team or partner. It can be in a form of presentation, sketch, or initial document. Having the title as a Lead also requires me to supervise or mentor Junior Game Designer.
Based on your experience, what does it take to be able to hold the role as a Game Designer?
The essential skill that is needed in order to be a decent Game Designer is the communication skill, both in verbal and written form. This has to be the main concern as the Game Designer has to direct the team into the same vision of outcome, even to exceed the initial expectation.
The Game Designer also needs to have the prolonged susceptibility to oversee the right quality standard of a creation in lining with the team’s potential. It is important for the game designer to recognise it since the game development is constrained to time limitation, budget, team’s ability, and so on. The Game Designer must have the ability to criticise, direct, as well give solution according to the existing constraint in order to maximalise the outcome piece.
It is also need to be remembered that game development is a team work which requires the sense of belonging from each and every member of the team. In order to cultivate this sense, the Game Designer has to be open to all ideas delivered by the team member. Thus after collecting the ideas, another skill that a Game Designer should also have is put to the test, the decision making skill. It is another definite skill that a game designer should attain to filter and sort all the incoming ideas.
Do you have any advice for those who want to set a career path as a Game Designer?
It’s actually an easy start. You can begin with getting yourself used to design any game in any medium. From a simple boardgame, code-based game, to even designing a kind of newest version of traditional game.
Expand your knowledge as wide as possible. Don’t let yourself stuck or even stop in a certain genre or discipline. Try to embrace many things, to become more critical and eager in finding how everything works in an objective manner, not only specifically while you are playing a game but also while you are watching movies, listening to music, everything. Continuously follow the latest trend and keep up with the change, specifically the game industry, both local and international. Also, widen you game library since it’s a Game Designer you would like to be!