Reading Response #3
Leyth Toubassy
October 16th, 2022
Music 256a / CS476a, Stanford University

Reading Response: Visual Design
I don't have a lot of experience with the visual design of software, and from a practical perspective Chapter 3 was really useful to correct that, learning about techniques like interpolation and slew was super interesting. I'm not gonna talk about that today though, the book is not called practical design after all. Instead I wanted to tie these ideas to something that I've been doing for years, Production Design! Learning production design in large part turned me into the person I am today and it all started in 9th grade. In 9th grade I was required to pick an art class, now I had already been doing improv (comedy sports if you've ever heard of it) for two years already and thought it would be a no brainer just to use that to fulfill the requirement, I was a robotics kid and as a result hated everything artistic in the world (I'm exaggerating here but I was definitley a function over form kind of guy). Anyways, I was looking at the list of art classes that were availible and saw Production Design on the list. I picked it quite honestly because I thought it would be the most technical thing I could find and after going to class I realized just how wrong I was. After we spent the first class going over how to design with the 5 senses in mind I realized Production Design was not the loophole I thought it was, and since the class was so tiny I knew there was no way for me to get away with not paying attention in class. 4 years of production design turned me from an unfeeling member of the robotics team into the President of the thespians society and what a ride it was. Beyond just learning how to do production design also created my passion for game making.

Game making and production design are incredibly similar, and while this chapter of Artful Design focused more on the high level motivations of design in the reading, I think that production design skills transfer 1 to 1 to game making. The first question you need to ask youself is what world is your project taking place in, is it a tool to be used in our real world, or is it something contains a world of it's very own. You need to look at the societal conext that exists in this world, for somthing like Ocarina this would be taking in the world around us and what people needed back in the early iPhone days, for a game it may look like looking at the history of the game world. In order for design to feel realistic and immersive, a designer has to become an expert in these worlds, be it for a play, a game, or a tool, one needs an intimiate understanding of this context. Once this understanding is reached, one can begin to create things that work in this world. In a game, every item needs to work in the world of the game, it is often obvious when video game items were created with some function before being integrated in the world of the game, one needs to be able to use the context discussed earlier to make sure every aspect of an item fits in it's world (and if it doesn't, how can the world be changed to better support it). Outside of the similarities of this high level approach, there are also similarities on the more practical side of things. Because play's themselves are interactive, everything needs to be tangible. In a movie it's enough to have an actor hold a green stick and then practically anything can be placed in the hand, but in theater and games, you need some player (I'm incredibly proud of the double meaning here, but honestly the similarity in language only strengthens the connections between these fields of designs) to be able to interact with this object, the same thing applies to set design as well, you need a space that makes sense, a space that someone can walk through. I know this was kind of ramble-y, but hopefully these connections made sense.
TLDR: Because of the human interaction, the philosophies behind theater design and game design are very similar.