3 Video Games that Inspired Me to Learn Game Design

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As I progress through the game design course on Coursera, one fellow student asked us to name our 3 favorite games. The responses were very interesting and brought back memories. I grew up playing video games so I had some trouble limiting my list to only 3 favorites. Here are a few video games that sparked my interest to learn game design (and programming in general).

I loved playing Super Mario World on Super Nintendo when I was a kid. Though the game follows a simple, often-used plot for its story. I loved this game for its uniquely designed game characters, enemies and in-game music.

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past featured two worlds – the Light and Dark. Its storylines meshed well with the level design and gameplay and introduced me to the concept of navigating the game’s UI and managing inventory…LOTS of inventory. Sometimes collecting and upgrading all available gear is a game within itself.

I’ve been a fan of the Tombraider franchise since ’98. Tombraider: The Last Revelation is one of my favorites from the franchise definitely for its ability to traverse the platform and the use of platform puzzle solving elements in its level design.

The Last Revelation made excellent use of its game environments from vehicle chases, shoot outs, and timed jump puzzles – that, if ill-timed, could lend to a game-over was pretty cool. It weaved in its storyline via cut scenes and quick-time interactions ability to explore a game’s environment as well as some interaction with the game characters via cut scenes.

Most of the games I’ve played are from a different era before next gen consoles and fancy graphics. But as a I progress through my game design course, I find its less about fancy graphics and more about finding creative ways to build intriguing game levels and engaging narratives. As a beginner, I’m no where near that yet. But I look forward to the day I can build the kind of games that inspire the next generation of gamers.