We are game designers, and when we introduce ourselves, we often hear the following in quick succession:
“Game designers! That’s so cool! So you do the art?”
“No, we work with artists.”
“So you do the programming?”
“No, we work with programmers.”
“Uh… then what does a game designer do?”
The short answer is that we come up with ideas for kids games, including how the game works and the rules/logic of the game. Then we work with developers to turn these ideas into apps, web sites, or console games. And, yes, it’s pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves.
It’s taken us a while to get here. Carla comes from the world of children’s publishing and interactive products, and Anne is a veteran of many a preschool television series. That we’d find ourselves starting a game design company together is not so strange in this “transmedia” age, but our backgrounds lend us different perspectives in how we approach design. We love the challenge of balancing education with fun to create compelling interactive experiences for children.
Since joining forces as No Crusts Interactive, we’ve designed a number of games and learning experiences, including the recently released Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover! We’ve designed web games, iPhone apps, games for Nintendo devices, Kinect, and all of those little machines that beep behind you too loudly on the airplane, the subway, even your favorite restaurant (but please don’t blame us for that – that’s just bad manners!).
Over the course of this blog, we’ll fill you in on everything from how our different backgrounds inform our process, to our thoughts on adapting existing properties, to using research as an inspiration, to what completely child-unfriendly games like Left 4 Dead can show us about how to design a good kids game.
Please join us as we tackle the epic question of “Why games?” We have plenty of thoughts on the subject, and we suspect you do as well. We look forward to hearing them. Meanwhile, we can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.