But Amor, what do you DO?

Amor, what do you do?

I play Hearthstone at my desk all day.

Not really.

I work as a game designer for a video game company. It’s my dream job, and I’m still amazed by what I’m able to do on a daily basis.

When I explain what I do for a living, most people aren’t sure what to make of it. “Game Designer” is a confusing title – it’s unclear. Some ask, “Oh, so you program it?” which is the general assumption. Other people think I just play games all day.

Side note: I  don’t think my parents know what I do.

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I often think of what game designer, Liz England, wrote in a post of her own. She goes on to explain how a game designer addresses a set of questions . It’s a great read; and paints a wonderful picture of the type or work that I do.

But Amor, what do you DO?

I think about the game – what it should be, what it is, and how to make it. At the beginning of the project, a large part of what I do is brain storm with others on what the game will be. What’s the premise? What do you do in the game? What’s the goal? What are the rules? How do you play it? Who is it for? Game Designers figure a lot of this out.

We start with sketches, brain storms, physical prototypes, one page pitches… a number of things. We figure out all the details of the game from start to finish.

It’s up to the Game Designer to figure out what it all means to everyone that touches the game – the artists, the programmers, the other designers, and of course… the player. We transition from answering questions to ensuring the game becomes the thing we see in our own heads (and those of our team). We do this by helping with implementation and creating the content – whether it be making the layout the for a level or writing the dialog of a character. Responsibilities of a Game Designer vary based on the studio. Some are specialized in doing one thing (level design, systems design, puzzle design). Some designers do a bit of everything.

We champion what the game should feel like (I know, isn’t that subjective?) and we help shape it as the game itself grows. It’s… both a creative and technical undertaking.

I could go on and on about what I do, but I think this is a good stopping point.

I promise this isn’t porn

I realize the title is questionable, but stay with me.

Some time in November of 2002, I wrote journal entries and posted them online. A few posts later I actually learned what blogging was. I wrote mainly as an exercise and it turned into a way for friends to keep up with my life. At that point I was in college and found it hard to stay in touch with people. I was never really good at calling, instant messaging, or emailing. I’m STILL not good at those things. I would write a quick entry and let my webcam snap a shot. Boom! Done.

The blog captured summaries of my day as well as streams of consciousness. It captured a lot of thoughts young men have – romantic pursuits, immature call outs, and a fair dose of college adventure.

I updated amorsaid.com on a regular basis for over a year. The blog saw traffic from friends, and eventually I built a small community around it. For a time it became a message board and even a community blog. It was a lot of fun, but ultimately I stopped maintaining it. I let the website slowly fizz out, and didn’t mind. When it came time to renew the domain, I just… wouldn’t.

I checked on the domain a couple of months later. To my surprise, amorsaid.com forwarded to porn. I guess it helped drive traffic to some porn site, who knew? It was one of the funniest things – imagine friends who hadn’t been to my website in awhile finally visiting again. They would type the address in or click the bookmark and BAM, boobs. Maybe penis, it depended on the day.

Here we are, almost ten years later. I typed the address in out of curiosity – I was really expecting boobs. Nope, nothing. It looks like amorsaid.com was up for grabs. I haven’t written in a blog in a long time. I’m a different person and a lot has happened. I want to use this space the way I used to, though.

This blog is just an honest perspective from me, Amor. So, let’s get caught up, shall we?

A blog by a guy named Amor