All you need to know about game design and its elements

Game designers job is to bring out their inner artistic skill of exquisite and elegant designs to interact it with in-game components and elements.

Game designers just don't design the game-world,they make us believe the life-like environments to be truly immersive and beautiful.

So let us first split-up the elements incorporated into Game design and talk about them briefly.

1.Character Design

Generally when we talk about designing, the first and most fundamental requirement is - character Designing, because there's no game ever developed or created without a basic character by that I strongly mention it is immaterial,why because - it can be a tiny block of Square or Sphere, Human or Robot character, Animals to Mechs (transformers - like Bumblebee),simply it can be any entity with its own attributes.

character design evolution
source © devianart

  • Character's are not just skeletal objects they convey emotions of empathy, fear, anger, joy, sadness.
  • In general characters are basically 3 types - GOOD, BAD, NEUTRAL ones depending upon their role and responsibilities.
  • A simple character describes about its personality, uniqueness, nature, position, status.  
  • In recent times, characters have become CULT figures. Ex: Anger Birds, Lara croft(Tomb raider), Agent 47(Hit-man), Link (Zelda hero) etc which further led to the rise of cosplay contest and events .

2.Selection of colors 

No matter how a character is described - spooky, gore, adorable or beefy one just like Kratos in God of war, all are created by following a simple effective parameter - COLORS. colors play a major part in any game design they are not just straightforward colors like common blue, yellow, orange.
Color spectrum
source ©

Colors posses their own individual parameters 
  • Hue
  • Tint
  • Shade
  • Tone
source ©

 By Colors we convey
  • Sense of pain, injury as RED to blood.
  • Experience of emotion with vibrant shade colors like teal, turquoise,amber etc. 
  • Neon spark of colors to guide us for certain information regarding environments, object pickups or pop up assets.
Colors also play crucial role in blending of lights which further enhances our sense of immersion into particular scene, backdrop, situation, atmosphere.

3.Menu system

we all know about Menu options in games,if not, they are nothing but set of options or commands given to user to perform certain actions. Simply they're "grid of buttons, list of details or view of icons" which makes the user to perform certain actions - select , deselect, move up-down, quit etc. Depending on their style they represent "Introduction of information concerning to particular Game."

Minimal menu system
©  Far Cry3 (2012) 

  • It is a interface between user and the particular software.
  • Ideal menu system is one which is to be aesthetic rather than mediocre.
  • Menus provide "presentation of information" contained in particular game.

4.Font selection

Fonts help to promote art and technique of arranging alphabets, numerals, special characters to turn written language legible to read and at the same time appealing to reader with artistic style 'n touch.Fonts came in various typeface selections generally they are compelled to be BOLD, ITALIC, ROMAN and other regular formats. These are further divided into many styles like Arial, Times Roman, Georgia etc.Fonts have certain measurements & dimensions - size, height, width, depth etc.

List of font typefaces
source ©

Now, comparing it with Game design, they evoke attraction and lure our eyes and mind with immense aesthetics.

Few font style list
source ©

  • Good font selection plays better role in determining its art, creativity involved in game design.
  • Great font choice just makes our eyes pleasing unlike, bad ones which immediately turns off our mood to interact to design .

5.Camera movement

The way the camera work/view is represented creates the mood to the player. Camera movement  also plays major in immersion into game world.

source ©

Camera views are further classified as,

  • First person view - This view of camera movement involves the person(self) interaction to particular objects and environments by visually representing self eyes to the world, meaning it does not involves the whole body view.It represents all dimensions - length, breadth, width, depth,& height.
First person view in Cs:GO
source © valve

  • Third person view This view is where you look at certain surrounding/object with the vision seen through from the eyes of other people (I know its bit confusing). Generally here you watch the world with third person vision meaning it involves the whole body view.It also represents all dimensions like length, breadth,width, depth, height.

Third person view in Witcher3
source © CD Projekt
  • Top-down view - Top-down view is 2D view where the user observes the world with dimensions like length, breadth but not height. Here it lacks of depth. Eg. Many Rogue style games.

Top-down view in GTA1
source © Rockstar studios
  • Platformer view - This view is generally 2D but due to modern game engine advancements they posses all basic dimensions, length, breadth and partial blended delusional of depth & height.

plaformer view - Mario series
source © Nintendo

  • Isometric view - Isometric view is visually the view of  watching 3D objects into 2D dimensions.This kind of view is generally limited in video games but vastly followed in engineering drawing field.In games this view is approached when the environment involves with mazes and labyrinth for exploration purposes. 

Isometric view - tanks of freedom
source ©

6.User Interface (UI) - User experience (UX) design

User Interface in game design involves interaction of user with in-game applications like score models, aiming and targeting with a weapon.User Interface mentions about control movements of mouse and keyboard where UX mentions on experience possessed by the user with no calculation of time.simply UX enhances our immersion into games for better involvement.

Artistic UI/UX

UI mod map of Watchdogs
source © ubisoft

Minimal UI/UX
source © tom clancy's the division

  • Ideal UI/UX is one which is minimal and not complex to understand for the user.
  • Poor UI/UX simply turns down our mood of interaction and sometimes it can confuse a user with inappropriate instructions which is hard to decode later. 


Animating a character in games is pretty different when compared to movies,because in movies there's no control for the user/player to provide instructions for character.But in games we interact with character, we make it run,jump and leap depending on user requirement.And in movies we just linearly watch the whole documented scenes created by director.

Evolution of Lara Croft - animation faces
source ©  Tomb raider
  • In games animation characters possess skeletal and anatomical subjects.

Motion capture technology
source © Uncharted series

Face capture technology
source © L.A noire
  • To animate in games - we use motion capture technique which is documented in green and blue mats simply it is computer generated (CG) graphics. Best example is uncharted series,last of us,L.A noire they all used this same technology for rich body mechanics to be real and life like,whereas L.A noire also used face capturing technique to achieve photo realism at its best.


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