Different studios work differently, but at my studio most of our designers have come in as a coder or artist, and then transitioned to a design role after working for awhile and having shown interest and aptitude for design issues and tasks.
Engine architecture is different from game design. For sure, it's worth knowing something about engine architecture, but if your goal is a game designer position then you should focus on game mechanics and gameplay programming rather than engine programming. Don't just discuss with yourself what you would do differently from a published game you see - actually prototype your idea. Implement the mechanics in code - don't worry about visual quality / presentation, make it with gray boxes if you have to, but get your desired behavior working in a playable form.
Don't just play computer games, either. The good designers I know have an understanding and appreciation of card and board games as well.
Also see this video
- required watching for anyone who wants to be a game designer.
Awesome video ... especially liked the part of the "Should haves" since im hitting almost all of them
The thing is. I'm really trying hard to find some "basic 3D game" engine. The ones I could find were either very limited(completely graphical, limiting the idea I had), were not 3D(I'll probably step back from that, but I'd really love to do 3D games instead of 2D ones, at least atm) or costed money (even for testing)
What I meant with "Engine Design" (probably not the right term here...) was what engines I could use for a game. Not like which is the perfect one, or how could I build one myself, just some basic thing, that works, and most of all, gives me a lot of possibilities. And yea I'd love to just start and design with grey boxes or horrible own models. I just can't find out how.
Atm. I'm wondering if I should just create some games via the Starcraft 2 map editor. Would solve a lot of problems, but also again limit my possibilities, especially if I don't want to create an rts like game.
I just love math (the math in game design, not the one in school:)
and am interested in cultural studies.
I really hate board games. Maybe thats just cuz of the (in my opinion, "unfun") design of the classic ones, where it's like 90% dependant on the roll of the dice. Card games on the other hand would be an idea. Though I wouldn't call myself "as excited".
So I might be wrong when I call myself "game designer material", but I'm pretty sure I'm not just a regular gamer, dreaming of his own super game, that may once rule the world.
What's bothering me most atm is, how would you actually make the step into professional game design. When you say the most common way is through Art or Coding. Art is out of the question for me, I just kinda suck at creating stuff that looks good.
So how would you become a game programmer? Most companies I've seen had like a "You need at least X years of experience in the gaming branch"-policy. Is that a very common policy? Since I wouldn't know how you could actually enter then.