I'm a Game Design student who works with Unity. AMA

José Ferreira Machado
Jul 7, 2017

[Edit: Due to some personal problems, I had to change the time of the AMA to some hours sooner. My appologies!]

I'm a Game Design student at EsACT - IPB in Portugal.

I droped out of Biochemistry at uni (FCUP in Porto), to study what I trully love: Game Design!

Feel free to ask me anything!

Twitter: twitter.com/josemachado_gd


Instagram: www.instagram.com/josemachado_gd/

José Ferreira Machado says:

This AMA will end Jul 14, 2017 3PM EDT

José Ferreira Machado says:

This AMA will end Jul 7, 2017 4PM EDT

José Ferreira Machado says:

This AMA will end Jul 7, 2017 12PM EDT

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Does your biochemistry background have any application to game design?

Jul 4, 5:46PM EDT0

Hi James,

Not really, or at least, nothing tat comes tom mind immediatly.

However, it was good life experience, and the path I had to take to put me in the direction of what I really love doing.

Also, there's always a chance I end up doing a game touching on the subject of science and biochemistry, so, who knows?!

Thanks for the question!

Jul 7, 7:16AM EDT0

Do you regret that you have spent some time for something that you don't like?

Jul 7, 2:22PM EDT0

Should game designers be held accountable for game violence effects?

Jul 3, 9:30PM EDT1


I personally don't believe in "game violence effects". That's just not a thing in my opinion, and from multiple studies I've seen.

People don't go around beating up and killing people just because they saw it in a video game. They do that because they're bad people or have mental problems.

Video games are not responsable for violence, the same way movies are not, and books are not.

We, as creators, don't encourage people to in real life beat up people. At most, we encourage it in the game, and even that is somewhat debatable sometimes.

However, you have to remember: games are entertainment, not real life. You don't go blame Star Wars for advancing the space exploration, because that's just a movie, not real life.

Same goes with games.

But, that's just my opinion.

Now, if you have a game that literally says "Go do this in real life, go beat up or mug someone", sure, that delevoper is a bad person and should be held accountable.

Thanks for the question!

Jul 4, 12:36PM EDT0

Of course you defend games because you're developer. Itdepends mostly on people will they do some awful things or not, but games has bad impact sometimes.

Jul 7, 3:38PM EDT0

What is your favorite platform for playing games?

Jul 2, 2:36PM EDT0

Hey James,

It used to be Playstation (I own both a PS2 and a PS3), but, I've been turning more favourable of the PC master race in the last couple of years...

Still really enjoy console playing though :P

Jul 4, 12:31PM EDT0

What are top five games that you prefer?

Jul 7, 3:50PM EDT0

Do you have any plans for incorporating biochemistry into a game?

Jul 2, 6:21AM EDT0


Hmm... Not for now, nothing concrete at least.

But, it has gave me life experience, and that influences the way I see the world, so, in a way, I'd say it will be a part of my design.

Thanks for the question!

Jul 4, 12:38PM EDT0

What are the challenges of creating RPG and real time strategy games?

Jul 2, 2:33AM EDT0

Hi Debra

The biggests challanges are definetly time and money, like all in life :P

It's really hard to do it alone, because it takes a lot of time to balance those types of games, and it's really expensive to do it as a team.

That's what I see from my prespective, at least

Jul 2, 9:58PM EDT0

What are the challenges of creating first person shooter games?

Jul 1, 7:19PM EDT0

Hi there

I'd say that, at this point, the greatest challange for creating FPSs is innovating.

We've fallen in a hole of "let's make another call of duty/battlefield/generic shooter!", and it's hard to pull out of it in terms of design "boxes".

Splatoon for example did a great work with the "shooter" genre by inovating, and I really do hope we can get farther away from the steriotypical shooter troops

Thanks for the question

Jul 4, 11:28PM EDT0

What are your favorite game-to-movie examples, and why?

Jul 1, 3:55PM EDT0

Hey Andrea, thanks for the question!

I have to be honest, I have not seen a lot of the most popular game-to-movie adaptations... So, it's not from a big pool that I'm pulling this answer.

At the moment, I'd have to say that it's the "tomb raider" series, for the sole reason that I watched them A LOT growing up, so the nostalgia goggles hit strong with me.

The new assassins creed movie, from what I hear, was not half bad either, so, there's also that, although I did not see it (yet).

Jul 4, 12:41PM EDT0

How did switching majors affect your time to graduate?

Jul 1, 3:37PM EDT0

Hey Tracy,

Well, at the very least, it will take me 1 more year than expected to complete it. But, the way I was going, I was not gonna do Biochemestry in the "expected time frame", so, I'd say it's somewhat the same, if not faster.

Jul 4, 12:42PM EDT0

What are the biggest challenges for game designers?

Jul 1, 1:51PM EDT0


In my opinion, is getting our message across, and making a game that people actually want to play, and actually enjoy.

You're not doing games for yourself (unless you are, but that doesn't usually get money to pay the bills), so you need to produce a product that has a lot of entartainment value, BUT don't sell your soul for that.

Making good games, I'd say, is a great challenge for us!

Jul 4, 12:44PM EDT0

What kind of game would you like to see created?

Jul 1, 5:27AM EDT0

Hello Melanie, thanks for the question!

hmm, I'd say I want games that people enjoy and that they can take something out of, created.

That's kind of a vague answer, I know, but I don't realy have a "prefered genre", so I can't go that way.

The thing I really care is that people enjoy the time they spend with games, and that they're influenced and moved in the best way possible by it.

Like, when you finish a really good book, you feel like you took something from it with you, forever.

I want more games like that...

Jul 4, 12:46PM EDT0

Very poetically. More games are agressive now, don't you think?

Jul 7, 2:58PM EDT0

What are the least successful game to movie releases?

Jun 30, 4:35PM EDT0

Hey Thomas,

I mean, have you checked out "Super Mario Bros."?

Because my answer is definetly "Super Mario Bros."

Just... give it a look, and I think you'll see why...

Jul 4, 12:47PM EDT0

Ahah, speaking honestly, I wanted to hear such an answer. 

Jul 7, 3:20PM EDT0

What kind of hands-on experience did you get in game design courses?

Jun 30, 1:07PM EDT1

Hi there!

In my classes, we usually did a lot of prototyping, and design of various elements (level design, systems design, character design, etc).

And, we even did some small projects here and there.

Also, the student body (which you can check out at www.facebook.com/nedjd.ipb/ ) has made various Game Jams for us students to participate in, and with prizes and all! Also, we have a YouTube channel ( www.youtube.com/channel/UCvzAg8SKBzemYM1K2RMAMSw ) where we put the multiple talks from people form the industry that we offer and that we attend!

Thanks for the question!

Jul 4, 12:50PM EDT0

How does popular culture influence game design, and vice versa?

Jun 29, 10:40PM EDT0

Hello Mrs. Williams,

I'd say that designers take a lot of inspiration from their lifes and their surrounding into what they create, and pop culture is definetly present all around us all.

So, pop culture fills the designers with ideias for what they create, and I'd argue that games are part of pop culture, creating a loop of influence, where pop culture and games influence pop culture and games.

Thanks for the question

Jul 4, 12:52PM EDT0

Should game designers be censored for game content?

Jun 29, 4:03PM EDT1

I... don't know.

I'm still debating this internally, as I've been for many years while thinking about art in general.

On one hand, artists should have the freedom to express the ideias they have.

On the other, I don't really like the possibility of beating up, metaphorically, issues that should not have to worry about that, because they get touched on too much in the wrong ways.

As I stand for now is: if nobody is paying you to complete a job, do whatever it is you like to do, but do not try to force any platform to host your content if they don't want to, because nobody has that right. You have the right to speak, but people have the right to not listen or to not propragate what you say. However, if people are paying you to do something, follow their rules, or don't be surprised to be unnemplyed.

Thanks for that question! It was a good one.

Jun 29, 7:14PM EDT0

Everobody has the right for something. Do ge limits complicate the game creation?

Jul 7, 3:15PM EDT0

Do you have any regrets about switching majors?

Jun 29, 7:36AM EDT1

Nope. Not a single one!

I loved the people I met at Biochemestry, but I hated the sylabus... To be quite honest, it was probably the worst year of my life, on an emotional level.

When I switched, I felt a HUGE difference, much more happy, much more enjoying what I was doing, much more enjoying life!

And, I still keep in thouch with my Biochemestry friends, so, nothing of value was lost in the transition; only gained!

Thanks for the question!

Jun 29, 7:10PM EDT0

What is the typical demographic of game players?

Jun 29, 4:00AM EDT0

EVERYBODY plays games!

Hi Elijah,

The steryotype of "young white male teenager = core demographic" is a bunch of BS currently. Everyone, from babys to their grandmothers play video games. See those kids running around with their parent's tablets? They're probably playing some weird kid game. See those 40's married moms on the bus on their phones? Probably playing candy crush or something...

There is not, from the most recent studies I've read, a "typical demographic" for people who play games. Are most of them still teenagers or young adults? Yeah, kinda, they're most of the population, but not much over, say, 60%. Are they mostly male? Kinda, but it's like a 60% - 40% push at this point.

So, if you want to target some part of the population, choose, because you have that ability!

Thanks for the question

Jun 29, 7:19PM EDT0

How long does the entire game design process take?

Jun 29, 3:45AM EDT0

Hey Brent

Well, that's not really a question with a defined answer, if I'm to be honest... It really depends on what type of project you're working in, what type of team, what type of client/company...

If we're talking AAA studios though, it usually takes ~1 year, sometimes maybe more, from what I understand.

Jun 29, 7:08PM EDT0

What would people be surprised to learn about game design?

Jun 28, 10:17PM EDT0

We don't make the art! ....usually

I am not a "art person", I actually am not that good at drawing and such.

We make the game balanced, we define the art style, how things should behave... but we do not make the visual part of the game ourselfs (unless you do more than just game design, usually)

So, when people want "a game designer for some graphics and art", well, you actually want an artist, not one of us.

Thanks for the question!

Jul 4, 12:54PM EDT0

So if somebody ask you to draw somecharacter from your game you couldn't do that?

Jul 7, 3:28PM EDT0

How did you choose a school for game design?

Jun 28, 7:27PM EDT0

Hey Eric!

Well, this is the only "game design" major in Portugal, really. All the other ones are way more focused to game development and programming.

But, it was actually a colegue of my that first discovered this major! And she told me about it, went there studing one year ahead of me, and always said she loved it. So, I decided to join her, because it was something that really interested me!

Jun 29, 7:06PM EDT0

How do you differentiate yourself as a game designer?

Jun 28, 12:54PM EDT0

Hi Dawn,

Well... I don't think I do. Not for now at least.

That's probably not a good thing to admit, I admit (heh), but, it is the truth. I don't have any special characteristic that I think makes me stand out.

For now, I try to do the best projects I can, thinking what would entertain the player to most.

But, I'm still to put it a spin of my own...

Thanks for the question

Jun 29, 7:26PM EDT0
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