A game designer is usually in charge of the whole or a part of the design process.
The design process is an iterative loop. A strong and effective design team is one that can run through this process smoothly and quickly.
Observe what players are doing in the game, absorb feedback and identify problems.
Eg. The game designer runs a playtesting session and interviews the players about their experience afterwards. They find players don’t think the score they got was fair.
Eg. The data analysts flags players are not using an item in the game. The game designer finds players don’t know what the item is used for.
Data is usually collected by a data scientist or user research team who then present the information to the game design team. In smaller teams, this role might be delegated to the game designer.
They’ll use tools like external/internal playtests, data analytics, community feedback and market research to find answers to questions like:
The design team will break down the findings into problems to solve. Eg. Players are not talking to each other, players are getting lost in the woods level, players are getting stuck in the onboarding, etc.
Ideate and find a solution to the problem. This can be done in a group or individually.
There are usually two steps to finding solutions:
Game designers come up with solutions to the problems identified in the observe stage. They can do so either on their own, by thinking deeply about a feature and detailing its design, or as a group through ideation workshops.