Stories from the front line

I spent a happy couple of hours this afternoon at two lectures, organised by the Computing & Mathematics department at MMU, on computer game design from the perspective of an industry professional, given by two speakers from Rare Games. First, Duncan Botwood talked about creativity and design, followed by Louise Ridgeway on characterisation in animation.

Although they were effectively recruitment talks, they were none the less interesting for that, and the turnout was impressive for optional lectures last thing in the afternoon. Duncan made some interesting points on the skills required to be a game designer (creativity, communication, passion, and methodical…ism…ness) and how to increase your creativity (test your comfort zone, read wisely, and exercise it – try writing ten game ideas in thirty minutes). He also plugged Warren Spector’s blog and, in particular, his ideas on reactive and blank slate creativity.

In all, I found both talks entertaining and enjoyable, but the particular nugget that stands out for me was Duncan’s advice (in relation to media engagement): “don’t be an arse in public”. One to take on board more generally, I think.

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