x.jpg Earlier in the week on GSW's sister education site Game Career Guide, veteran Crystal Dynamics game designer Jason Weesner was nice enough to post the next in his series on video game design, called, rather iteratively, 'On Game Design: The Designer' - and I think it's worth pointing to, since I'm not sure many people spotted it.

Weesner has been making games for 15+ years now, and this piece, for students and those wanting to get into the biz, is particularly good because it chats to industry originators like Howard Scott Warshaw, "a fantastic example of the early "proto-designer" whose role encompassed all facets of game's development", but also has Weesner explaining how formulating ideas for game design really happen when making games such as Tomb Raider Legend.

He explains: "Troy Mashburn, a senior designer at Crystal Dynamics, came up with the concept of the tea time. Tea time gets its name from the time of day that it takes place (usually around 3) and the presence of either hot tea or hot chocolate. Basically, tea time is a session (formal or informal) intended for the exploration of a specific idea. The format is roughly the same as a round table with scope being added to support the discussion topic."

To what end? "For example, the group could discuss different ways in which a jump could be used: object avoidance (variations on jump over or out of the way), object interaction (jump on to activate), jump traversal (interesting ways of using the jump to move around an environment), jump attack (the classic butt bounce), etc. The goal of the tea time is to walk away from the meeting with a laundry list of ideas at a brainstorm level which will later be filtered and refined to drive a feature."