People don’t usually ask me why game design. But I do ask myself though. I’m quite introspective after all.
So why am I interested in Game Design? One reason could be because I’m interested in gameplay programming/engineering. From my one semester at ETC and my conversations with ETC alumni, I’ve come to realize that having a strong sense for game design can make me a better gameplay programmer.
But is there more to my interest than just becoming a better gameplay programmer? To be honest, I’m not sure because I’m quite new to the field. My uncertainty is one of the many reasons I’m taking Jesse Schell’s Game Design class. During class, we actually talked about why people learn game design. Turns out, many of the reasons resonated with me. One student said she has always enjoyed games and wanted to learn game design so she could understand why she enjoys them. I’ve played many games myself and have always wondered why I like it. In high school, I took AP Psychology and determined that things like positive reinforcement were why I played games. But there’s more to it than that. Why would I care about virtual currency, items, and rewards? What about the game makes me value rewards so much? These are questions best left for another blog post.
Class has only met twice but I have really enjoyed the lectures and material so far.
Gearbox’s CEO, Randy Pitchford, said that, “Of all the pursuits, the one to create joy and happiness is the noblest of them all.” I learned of the quote from Trey Davenport, who came from Gearbox to give a talk at ETC last semester. It stood out to me. Personally, I’ve always been more of the joker amongst my friends. Is it because of the attention? No. On the contrary, I don’t enjoy too much attention. From what I can tell, I like to joke because it’s funny. Jokes make me laugh, laughing makes me happy, laughing is infectious so my friends laugh too. As a result, everybody laughs and everybody is happy right? There are probably some logical fallacies there but you get the idea. I’m not trying to be noble, I just want myself and others to be happy. So in a similar vein, if I create a game that people enjoy playing, then I would be happy right?