Ernest Adams: Game Design Workshop, 5th of October

Story and pics: Emma Kiiski
He's the founder of IGDA, a former programmer, game designer and nowadays a freelance game consultant. He's THE GUY every game developer should meet and participate in his lectures and workshops. This day was really interesting, fun and teaching! Mr. Adams [] is really a top professional in his field. Of course some curious and enthusiastic Score members showed up to participate to this awesome action!

Ernest Adams having a great lecture about Game Design

We started the morning slow with some small talk as everybody gathered in New Factory premises. Mr. Adams started the day with explaining the day's schedule. After that he held a lecture about game design which was basically all the information we needed to design the games in the workshop.

Enthusiastic game developers working in groups

We were divided into groups of 4 to 5 people, completely randomized. The task was to design a functional game that followed the given theme. The themes were dreams of someone: I wish I could... "be a top fashion designer" or "create a wedding".
Everyone got their own roles in the team; Art Director, User Interface designer and Lead Designer just to name a few. So the work could begin! The group brainstormed about their topics and came up with cool ideas about the concepts. Some teams had slight problems with their themes; all of the team members were guys and the theme was about designing a fancy wedding! I also as a girl had the nice chance to draw trucks and other vehicles; had basically never done that! So it was quite interesting and different.

After the lunch everyone would work individually under their title. Everyone had their own worksheet with different questions that could help sum up the topic. The Art Director would for example write down some initial aesthetic definitions like how the style looks like and how the lighting would affect the feel of the game and so on. Same time the Mechanics Designer would think about how the game works. It was really like a simulation of the game industry; sometimes you work in a team but there's also some individual work. We also noticed there’s never enough time to finish the project. It was good to notice these things in that sense that I haven't worked in the industry myself (yet).
The last part of the team work was about summarizing the information together that the Lead Designer could then tell all the other teams what their team had designed and the team got feedback from Mr. Adams.

Save the whales team showing their concept

We showed the concepts to the other teams. It was nice to see what the others had as themes and how they had pulled it off. We saw some awesome ideas about saving whales from whalers who tried to capture the animals with a plunger and a children game where they could drive big trucks and build stuff.

In amount it was a truly great workshop! I'm really thankful for Ernest Adams to come to teach us and a big thank you to those who invited him! Really awesome!

Some people (many of which are Score members!) just wouldn't leave
before having a nice little small talk with the living legend of game design.
Emma Kiiski is running Score Game Development Community, also a student of our Media Programme.