Advices to design games without gaining a weight in return

In: I develop | I design | I design of levels | Game Business | Indie | Opinion

On July 19, 2009


To work Pro Bono is one of the most viable options to obtain experience in games design (and other disciplines) nevertheless be able to return in a nightmare if you do not take the suitable measures. Pro Bond means to work in a voluntary way for the government property, without obtaining an economic remuneration. The best example of the industry of games happens in the field of the mods, in the independent scene or in projects initiated by fanatics to re-live some of his favorite outstanding figures.

With a methodology that there implies landing a project viable (realist), calendarizarlo and forming a team of work with the responsible and awkward people, working for love to the art can be the only experience. Regrettably most of teams trump in one or several points therefore the projects become eternal, dreamy and even some they generate polemic on having used intellectual properties without the due authorization:

What to do then so that your project does not stay in the limbo for the centuries of the centuries? Are here seven recommendations.

1. Be honest

This paragraph not only applies for the work but for your life in general; you have to be honest with yourself and with other persons. The honest being implies in being conscious of what you can do and how much take in realizing it, this will help you to define a viable project, to execute it in his times and this way to avoid hours of anxiety trying to solve something that you do not know.

A habitual practice that is to say that you know everything to take part in a project, the problem is that however much you can use Google and have self instruction spirit you will be losing your time and that of other members. He remembers that the fact of not gaining a cent does not imply that you can play with the time of other persons.

2. The project is the nearest to you

I learned this phrase in the final project of the University and it gives him very much weight to the first point. The project is the most nearby as for your tastes and skills, also as for your times and expenses. If you are for interfering in the design of a chance game for Facebook and live to yourself through it criticizing your friends for playing Mafia Wars perhaps it is not good to lose 3 months of your life designing it.

If there is a vacancy in the team of mods for an Artist Conceptual and you draw of the carajo, it is not worth while, however much the project has to do with Aliens and you are a fan of H.R Giger.


Moleskine IV (exp #34) (c) maxcx (Flickr)

3. It is time to use an agenda

The agendas are not exclusive interviews of monotonous alive sutties and blue shirt; an agenda is the best friend that you can have when you turn to the world of the multi-task. To be employed at a project Pro Bono implies that you have another activity that remunerates you economically, it is possible that you are studying or flatly you have a fiancée who absorbs you (the time) as leech.

To take a double or triple successful life it is necessary that you organize your times, do not rely on the memory because you can lose focus in any of the activities for being think about what you have to do the rest of the day. It aims at your earrings, drink a tea to yourself and relax.

4. Prepare yourself to do sacrifices to yourself

The life is not simple and if out spawn would give it, so prepare to sacrifice yourself some things if you embark in a project of this nature. It is important to want to do the things and even many persons say to you that if you want, you can; what they do not say to you is that not everything is to want and to do mental jackets to him, it is necessary to materialize all these ideas and for that you need to dedicate part of your time. Is here the point where to be provided with an agenda becomes vital, you have to do a balance of the time that you spend in your activities and machar the daily or weekly hours that you will dedicate to the project.

To do sacrifices does not mean that you are going to remain cloistered in your house and avoid every invitation of your friends to become an alcoholic or to see a movie. Not everything is a work and if you have no time to amuse yourself, are going to end up exploiting to half a project, the pleasantry here is to be able to balance it. To design games does not imply that all your life you have to be with a control in the hand; big part of the inspiration comes from the nature and the human relations, so it fits your time in such a way that you do not neglect your life.

5. He keeps your ego in the drawer

If your ego is so big as the nipples of sure Sabrina you will gain yourself more than one insult on the part of your team-mates. If you decide to work only because you have the complex of unincluded artist or because nobody is more responsible than you, of equal way you will have to keep this ego. He remembers that you design your game for a public in specific and in some moment you will have to put it to tests; the arrogance is the worst enemy of the designer and it is evident often in projects Pro Bono with the excuse of as I do not gain silver, I do what comes to me in desire.

Finally he remembers that a high ego can provoke blindness and erectile malfunction.


6. He avoids the projects based on other games or movies

It is common that in full rally someone you get ready the typical idea of “doing a remake of such game or movie”. Suddenly it turns out that they all in the team are Lord's fanatics of The Rings or End Fantasy and start being employed at the dreamed game. 99 % of these projects is located in the unreal plane, take years of development because the team tries to make it perfect and at the end of accounts they crumble for the called phone companhy of a pair of lawyers who say you have 72 hours to eliminate the content or we will put a kilometric demand to you. There is nothing that it frustrates more that to see years of work thrown to the garbage through the fault of a bad decision to the beginning of the project.

7. Do not be late too much in a project

If you are a beginner and want to design games the worst thing that you can do is to embark you in projects that last an eternity. You need foguearte with small projects that you could execute in period not bigger than one or two months, be already alone or with a limited group of collaborators. If you have no idea where to start, there are good references to realize prototypes in record time in Gamasutra. The best thing of this is that you will have many projects to experience different jugabilidad proposals and hence you will gain experience with the step of the months.

If you begin in level design generate one or two quarters to try scripts; boceta multiplayer's small levels becoming attached to a classic deathmatch jugabilidad, it is not important that you use the textures that come for default with the game publisher. The valuable of the process is that you familiarize yourself with the design mechanics and finish the map.

In both cases you will have many variants to be showed in your briefcase at the time of asking for work. In case of level design it has major weight to show the way of tackling different problems of jugabilidad than of offering a gigantic map that took you 3 years in realizing (and only it includes a game form).

Finally …

As soon as these points were contemplated it is time to begin working. If you live in a country of Latin America that a mother costs him the games design (like Mexico) do not be afraid of sharing your work with the rest of the world, or of there look collaborators who speak another language.

You will need cold and great head confidence in your work to go out forward in a project of this type. The beginning is the most difficult thing but he remembers that the success comes of cagarla repeatedly without losing the enthusiasm.

2 Responses to Advice to design games without gaining a weight in return



July 19th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

This is quite a hand!



July 19th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Thank you DON D. is very interesting the way in as you raise everything, and land to the interested parties in this of the GAME DESIGN. Real and not dreamy expositions as you say.

a MUST READ this post.

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