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Educational Feature: 10 Trends in Game Design

Aspiring game designer and 3D artist David McClure considers ten top trends in game design that are gaining popularity, from co-op to dystopias, as part of a new feature posted on Gamasutra sister web site GameCareerGuide.com - list within...
Aspiring game designer and 3D artist David McClure considers 10 trends in game design that are gaining popularity, based on how and where they have been used -- primarily, in games that have seen great commercial success. His article, “10 Trends in Game Design,” has been posted on Gamasutra’s sister web site dedicated to educational and career-related issues in game development, GameCareerGuide.com. McClure, a fairly recent university graduate based in London, argues that games are likely to evolve much more rapidly than other media, and that as a result, new trends and concepts arise continually and quickly. Keeping an eye on these trends and looking for them across popular games may help aspiring game designers keep pace with the professional industry and therefore be better ready to integrate with it come job interview time. The 10 trends McClure cites include: "1. Making games more accessible to a more diverse player base 2. Open worlds 3. Co-op mode 4. Companion characters 5. Forcing players to choose between undesirable options 6. Using mini-games in place of or to facilitate action 7. Retro sci-fi dystopias 8. More varied game worlds 9. High-brow influences 10. The mixing of different genres and different perspectives." In this excerpt from the article, McClure discusses genre-mixing: “Compared to games that have come before, the genres games fit into and the perspectives they are shown from are much more fluid. Mirror's Edge is a game based around free running presented in a first-person perspective. Fallout 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and Oblivion are RPGs played from a first-person perspective. Portal is a highly entertaining and successful first-person puzzle game. The Paper Mario series are 2D side scrolling platform game RPGs. Gears of War, a multi-million selling third-person smash hit, was originally conceived as a first-person game ... This crossover between various game types is proving extremely interesting and should hopefully prevent games from becoming stuck in pigeonholes with little chance of artistic progression.” You can now read the complete feature article, which cites examples of games that include these trends from Paper Mario to Shadow of the Colossus to Fallout 3, at GameCareerGuide.com. [For more essential information about working in game development, visit GameCareerGuide.com's Getting Started section.]

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