Originally Posted by DreamsOfGrandeur
Hohums, if you're still here, any chance you could give some insight on what Game Designers do on the job?
I'm sure many people have asked, including myself, but they never give a straight answer...
I'd just like to know what a work day would be like for a typical lower-ranked game designer, so I can grasp whether or not the job is right for me.
Currently, if I think Game Designer, I get a mosaic of activities ranging from concept art, to hand-coding mechanics... Which doesn't seem all that realistic. (Please don't tell me Designers really are geniuses capable of such versatility. I'd rather not know)
Game designers don't do concept art, although they do have a say in its direction.
I think most new game designers at Riot would start off on the champion team or live design team. They work with tools and files to make champions actually work. Here is a very rough example:
Champion Base stats.ini
Speed = 20
Attack = 50
AttackSpeed = 130
Model = Death Bringer
For Each Champion Spell Hits
ApplyDamage(50, Magic, Champion)
It is really a simple form of programming although its not typed. It can also be used to adjust things like minions and towers. There is also things like figuring out what the champion says, balancing the champion with lots of tweaking and fixing bugs with champions as they arise.
These designers also go to a lot of meeting to figure out champion direction, skins and provide design feedback about new champions.
There are other designers than champion designers. Like designers that help with level design, UI, things like the tribunal and pretty much any other player facing feature. I think a lot of what they do is generate a vision for a particular aspect of the game and hold that vision. It keeps things consistent across the product.
There are also tech designers which are a hybrid programmer / designer. They don't work on super huge programming problems however they aren't 100% committed to designing either.
At the top level you get experienced designers like Tom Cadwell and Morello. These guys hold the big picture, they steer the ship.
Lets say I've been tasked with adding game tips to the loadscreen and we've decided it's a priority over other features. Well, where would it go? What would we move around. A UX designer would help me with that as we iterate on the feature.
I might decide that this is taking me to much time and create some tools so the UX designer can do the loadtime tweaking herself/himself. Note that before our champion creation tools existed, I was originally responsible for putting some of the champions together although I didn't design them.
Anyway I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more great questions like this :P