Game design sophomores start an intricate unit on what makes a great video game

Students have been learning the secrets behind successful creators


In order to learn more about what it takes to make a video game, students are watching video lessons from Rockstar Studios and the work they put in creating RDR2. After the video lesson, students will be taking an assessment to end the unit. “A great video game has to be graphically driven,” sophomore Hai Tong said. “If the game doesn’t have amazing graphics nowadays, it can’t be considered a top game no matter how good the story/controls are.

Gamer” by ulricaloeb is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

Farhad Yazdani

Designing a video game can be a long process, considering how many elements are involved, such as graphics, theme, setting and much more. 

To learn the basics of designing a video game, Ronald Barranco’s Digital Game Design students are starting a new unit designated to teach students about what it takes to make a great video game. 

“I feel like a great video game is hard to make nowadays,” sophomore Simon Tolentino said. “Designers today leave out a lot of things that would take a game from good to great, but every now and then you do come across a phenomenal video game, such as RDR2.”

Starting off the unit by learning one of the most important components, graphics, students are taking their time to thoroughly understand the many characteristics that come with it by viewing the way real gaming studios work.

“It doesn’t matter to me how good a game’s mechanics are and how well the storyline is developed, if the graphics suck so does the game,” sophomore Andre Beleci said. “I think video games like RDR2 and Cyberpunk 2077 are heavily dependent on their graphics, which overall make the game great and by learning about it, you can tell which game put effort and which didn’t.” 

Along with graphics, students are also familiarizing themselves with the setting of the game, which is a key component in tying the theme together. 

“For me, the setting matters a lot in a video game and by going over this in Game Design you can start making connections. For example, in Batman Arkham Knight the setting takes place in Gotham which overall really sets the tone to the game,” sophomore Hai Tong said. “You get the feeling of adventure throughout the game and when you finally finish it you feel accomplished.”

By understanding the many components of a great video game, students will be ending this unit with a test.

“I feel like a phenomenal video game doesn’t come around too often anymore,” Barranco said. “A perfect video game doesn’t exist in my books, but students can make a great video game if they follow a plan and structure.”