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The first two sections of the book were designed to help you become literate in the structural elements of games and to learn the art of prototyping and playtesting your own game concepts. In this third section we will turn to focus on practical information that will help you to become a working game designer. To succeed as a game designer, you’ll need to be able to work effectively on a team, communicate with diverse types of people, and understand how the structure of the game industry can affect your project.
We start out this section with a discussion of how development teams are structured in the industry. We provide insight about the types of people who work on game projects, from the executives at the publishing company, to the QA testers who assure that the game is ready to release. Then, we look the various stages of development that digital games go through—from concept to completion. This includes an explanation of how to plan a production including scheduling and budgeting and how to keep that plan on track during the course of the production.
In addition to having a clear grasp of team structure and the stages of development, you’ll need to be able to produce the core deliverable of the game designer: the design document. The design document is the main mechanism through which the designer communicates her game concept to the entire team. We’ll show you how to create a document that accurately reflects the gameplay you have designed, prototyped, and playtested.
The final two chapters are about the game industry and how to get a job or sell an original concept. In Chapter 15, we explain the various parties that make up the game business, the platforms and genres that drive the industry, and the nature of publishing deals. The final chapter discusses practical strategies you can follow for getting a job in the industry, or pitching your own original game ideas.
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