Comments on: Designers, Programmers, and Bears. Oh My. Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:53:13 +0000 hourly 1 By: Darren Torpey Tue, 22 Nov 2005 14:54:00 +0000 A few comments:

As a programmer, you cannot count on a designer understanding what’s feasible to program for a game. Even more so, as a designer you cannot assume that a programmer really understands what ends their systems, algorithms, and heuristics serve.

So if one intends to work effectively in a team with someone from a different educational/skill focus, it helps a lot to understand the basics of the other person’s field.

As for what makes you a better designer yourself… I find the comment about directors in the Lost Garden quote particularly naive. The best directors aren’t necessarily camera men, but understanding how a camera works and what you can do with it is, from what I’ve always heard, essential to good movie making.

If the quote is referring to a “common” cameraman whose job is not creative at all, then the comparison is probably misguided, as programming is inherently creative (albeit to greatly varying extents). The better comparison is to directors who have a good deal of knowledge about how to operate a camera to good effect.

Film geniuses like Spielberg started with a home video camera making WWII movies (inspired by his father’s stories) in his back yard. I’m sure he learned a lot from this and I’ll bet some of the most important lessons were about the nature of the camera itself.

Of course, there’s a larger issue underlying the question of whether or not designers need programming knowledge or background, and it has a lot to do with roles and process in game development. Without stated assumptions about what the designer’s job is to begin with, we can hardly talk about what background she needs to fulfil her role.

By: Patrick Dugan Wed, 09 Nov 2005 00:27:00 +0000 I think a designer should be a designer first, a writer second, and a software engineer third, and maybe a marketer fourth, but thats debatable. Seriously though, I feel (notice how I didn’t say “think”) that a nesscary ingredient for game design to undergo a paradigm shift is to have more designers with artistic, humanities backgrounds, rather than problem solving oriented backgrounds like CS or engineering. That said “prodecural literacy” is essential; I might not be even a proficient coder, but I can understand system dynamics and how algorithms interrelate to creat gameplay and probable distrubutions of causation. However, its my crucible to view these typically cold mathematical characterisitcs as means of representation to a human audience.

By: solipsistnation Mon, 07 Nov 2005 21:51:00 +0000 How many audio design heroes do I have? Funny you should ask!

Eric Brosius, BABY. His audio ROCKS MY WORLD. Not to mention your friend and mine, RobotKid of I.T. (not Kool from Kool and the Gang).

But I might be a) a fanboy, and b) a big audio nerd.

By: Darius Kazemi Mon, 07 Nov 2005 18:05:00 +0000 I was not saying that coders need to be involved with design. Not at all! I’m just saying that the designers should understand coding. The designers should by all means be designers first and coders second!

By: Patrick Dugan Mon, 07 Nov 2005 17:45:00 +0000 I agreed there is a need for proficient coders to be involved with a game’s design, particularily at the level of balancing and the implementation of specific features, but are you at the same time dismissing the need for the designer/writer? Remember, the whole crux of the two cultures debate is that people tend to think in polarized ways: left brained folk are more reductionistic and mathmatical, while right brained folk are more holistic and aesthetic. Don’t you think a good game is dependant on design input from both hemispheres at different points in the project?