Should Web Designers Enroll in Game Design Courses?

Considering how important game design is to the development of a successful video game, a lot depends on the engineers, graphic artists and technical professionals who are part and parcel of the process. Game design involves designing content and rules of a game during the pre-production stage. During the production stage, it involves designing gameplay, storyline, characters and environment. Most web designers may benefit from understanding the process of game design.

computer game design
Photo: computergamedesign.org

How is web designing related to game design?
While designing for web and designing games may seem completely different, they are not very different anymore. As any web designer would know, he or she will need to be aware of various 3D animation techniques and graphic designing techniques that are available today. By honing ones skills to suit a gaming lab, a web professional will be able to bring gaming to web designing. A rather curious situation, video gaming and web designing may actually go hand in hand.

Here are a few reasons why web designers should get acquainted with game design and graphics:

  1. Most companies have begun to host websites that are creative, interactive and graphic-rich.
  2. Websites that are interactive receive more hits and record a longer duration of stay on webpages than websites that do not have any interactive features.
  3. Including mini-games within a webpage may encourage the visitor to interact further and find out more about a company or product.
  4. Companies and businesses that have nothing to do with video games can still incorporate some amount of gaming on their websites.
  5. Gaming need to consume a lot of data and pages can still load fast, if designed well by a professional.

Thus, it is clear that websites that are targeted at certain communities and demographics may do well if they have a larger number of interactive features. These interactive features like mini-games make a website ‘sticky’. More people linger around webpages for a longer time, leading to better ROI in the end.

Should web designers enroll in full-time game design courses?
Web designers need not enroll themselves in a full-time game design course but they can always add value to their web design agency if they also know a little bit about game designing. Game design and web designing feature a common ground that is vested in graphic design. If web professionals understand that it is an important way to make people linear around webpages, there is no reason why they shouldn’t add these skills to their existing accomplishments.

By attending workshops that help web designers to learn the basics of game design, especially character building and narration can go a long way in making websites more interactive and entertaining. The idea may see radical, but more web design agencies are opening themselves to game design. They may not start making video games for Xbox, Wii or PlayStation, but they certainly have begun to understand the value of short video game-like features on clients’ websites. In the long run, basic skills in game design can be a valuable asset for web designers.

Allie O’Shaughnessy is a web designer and consultant at a prominent web design agency. She has years of industry experience in the field of building interactive websites and has helped clients make their webpages entertaining. When she is not designing or consulting, she likes to read Irish literature.

 

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