Game design

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Game design for computer, app and video games

In the “Game Design“ category, we feature the latest brilliant computer, online and app games and examine what constitutes good game design. Gaming is regarded as a cultural technology that has occupied people for thousands of years – of course, for a long time only in analogue form. Since the first gaming console was launched almost 50 years ago in 1968, a completely new branch of games has evolved: video games and computer games. Some of these games have become an indelible part of the collective memory of an entire generation – just think of Pong, Pacman, Tetris, Super Mario Bros, Sims, Minecraft, Pokémon, Tomb Raider, World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto. Today, hundreds of new digital games are launched every year. We play all the time and everywhere – on consoles, our smartphones, tablets or PCs, at home or while out an about. These games have become part of the reality of life – at least among digital natives, the generation that has grown up with computers and digital media. Nowadays, even children of kindergarten age play little educational and dexterity games on their parents’ tablets or smartphones. Families gather around gaming consoles such as Playstation or Wii; young people arrange to meet online for multi-player games and compete with other adolescents all over the world; and a good proportion of the working population, at least now and then, treats itself to in a relaxing little game. There are games for every age and target group. But what actually constitutes a good computer, app or video game? Game design is an important part of the answer. Game design (UX – User Experience and UI – User Interface), in other words the concept and design of a game, is the deciding factor at the root of our fascination with a given game. That is because game design makes it possible to build whole new worlds that allow players to leave the real world behind for a certain period of time so as to immerse themselves in other spheres and roles (IxD – Interaction Design). The worlds that gamers enter are frequently photo-realistic, as soft- and hardware are so advanced that they offer unbelievable visual possibilities. When the jurors of the Red Dot Award: Communication Design meet to view the entries for the “Game Design“ category every year, they note every little detail – from the storytelling and the configuration of the characters to the lovingly made graphics of the settings, innovative game ideas, interaction and rules, as well as sound effects and technical design. The more attention designers lavish on the details of their game, the more players have to discover and the greater the spell cast by the game. The games that were finally able to win over our judges are small and large works of art in themselves. Many combine narrative and interactive elements to educate, inform or entertain. They offer users the option to learn while playing, to improve their dexterity, to take on challenges and overcome them and to experience many different adventures. Some of these games have the potential to be quite addictive. But, as the inventor of Tetris, Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov, once said in an interview, „Enjoy the game. Don’t be ashamed of playing, regardless of what your parents or friends or relatives or anyone else may say. Enjoy every minute that you spend playing!“

Game design for board games, party games etc.

You will also be able to discover lovingly designed classic board and dexterity games in the “Game Design“ section of Red Dot 21, as good game design is not limited to digital games, of course, but is also to be found in the realm of traditional games. These types of games – whether they be card games, jigsaw puzzles or board games – will probably never go out of fashion. They still represent the most sociable and family-friendly way of playing together. Newer games in this sector often have different elements and levels that bring a bit of variety to the game experience. They can include interactive electronic components or the inclusion of mobile devices to obtain additional information, select data or solve puzzles. Naturally, design has a central role to play with regard to the graphic layout. Imaginative game plans and cards, surprising details and a consistent game world are vital elements in make the game experience a good one. Just delve into our image gallery – there are plenty of classic and digital games to discover whose outstanding design makes them worth investigating. Have fun exploring!