Browse Definitions :
Definition

video game design

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Video game design is the process of conceiving, planning and directing the creation of an electronic game in which players control images on an electronic display. Video game design demands a strong background in logic, as well as a working knowledge of game theory and human psychology.

Just as a film director envisions how a scene in a movie should make the viewer feel, a video game designer must envision the conceptual, technical and artistic elements that will provide players with the desired playing experience. For example, the designer must consider whether some aspects of the game will require cooperation for the players to be successful, or whether the game will be competitive and require each player to act independently. Each type of user experience has its own challenges. To keep expectations realistic, designers must also understand the limitations of the hardware that the game will run on.

In addition to story decisions, the designer must plan out the pacing of the game and what part, if any, rewards and punishments will have. This requires the designer to map out every ITTT dependency, which simply means "If the player does this, then that will happen. ITTT mapping can be very time consuming if done manually. To ensure that all a game's dependencies are accounted for, designers often rely on a formalized design framework.

A designer who follows the Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics framework (MDA framework), for example, would typically start by determining which constraints will guide player behavior. This aspect of development is referred to as the mechanics of the game. Next, the designer will decide how players will be able to interact with the game; this aspect of game design is referred to as the dynamics of the game. Finally, the designer needs to provide a detailed explanation of what the user should feel while playing the game. The desired emotional response is called the aesthetics of the game.

Once a video game has been designed, the development team can use a game engine to build a prototype. Game engines are reusable components that developers use to code a game quickly, without having to start development work from scratch. Popular game engines include Unreal Engine by Epic Games and GameMaker by YoYo Games.

See also: design thinking

This was last updated in March 2019

Continue Reading About video game design

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and data integrity between two communicating ...

  • van Eck phreaking

    Van Eck phreaking is a form of electronic eavesdropping that reverse engineers the electromagnetic fields (EM fields) produced by...

  • zero-trust model (zero trust network)

    The zero trust model is a security model used by IT professionals that requires strict identity and device verification ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

SearchStorage

  • solid-state storage

    Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically ...

  • persistent storage

    Persistent storage is any data storage device that retains data after power to that device is shut off. It is also sometimes ...

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is an information technology (IT) architecture in which data is processed at the storage device level to ...

Close