Am I a game designer ?
I had a lot of these questions, mostly "how to design games?" in my mind. I'm still sure that I have some ideas, some elements that could make a great game, but how to write them down, how to create them ?
So, I bought Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design" (french translation made by Antony Champane, good translation for a computer related book).
So far, I'm only at chapter 6, so I'll talk more about it later.
It's a very interesting book, because it doesn't tells you everything. It forces you to think by yourself. There's no precise way to design games, there are mostly objectives : gamer's experience, objective of the game, the importance of theming...). Jesse Schell helps you think what are the objectives of your game, why and how you should think about it, by using examples, not only in video games, but in movies, painting, music... It treats games (not gaming) as an art.
But most of the time, he isn't right. He isn't wrong either, but, as he states, game design is an art, not a science. So, there are no "right" or "wrong". Everybody has his definition of "fun", "play", "game". Everyone has a different experience while playing a game.
But he helps finding your own definition, and qualities about games. What is a game, what am I creating?
For now, this book helps answer these questions. I hope that, later, It'll be more precise, but if it isn't, it still helped me think about why I am making games, and how.
Another plus side : it's really easy to read.
Should you buy this book ?
Of course not, you choose your ways to design your games. But it helps getting some self-confidence you might be lacking.