What Is to Design a Video Game?
Many people in Spain still confuse design with graphic arts. However, design has existed for a considerably longer time. When you are deciding what to do today, you are designing your next few hours. When you are thinking of where and how to spend your holiday, you are designing. There is no way you can stop designing and planning, no matter the task you are tackling.
I started studying architecture, and there is no doubt that career required designing, as design can be defined as “the conscious and deliberate process by which elements are arranged intentionally in the space-time continuum, with the goal of achieving the desired result.” When I am devising a building, I am being conscious, I have an intention—a goal that the project must accomplish. Therefore, I structure the building in a certain way in order to get a result that fulfills the goals I want to attain.
Later, when I enrolled in the graphic design degree, I had to make art, but it had a practical goal. Selling a product using an illustration, guiding the user through a website or conveying an idea using a well-produced logo. During a graphic design project, all resources are devoted to ensuring that the message is delivered and the goal is accomplished. People can confuse all these things with art, but nothing could be more different than art and design. Art does not pursue a goal beyond itself, while design’s purpose is always beyond its own limits.
The same rules apply when you are designing a video game. It is indeed a conscious process to achieve an emotional goal, arranging gameplay elements in the space-time continuum. Our goal as game designers is to provoke a certain emotion in the player, placing game mechanics in specific places and moments, guiding the player in the direction we designed.