Roy Caseley is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Games Design at London College of Communication. He describes himself as ‘someone who is fundamentally interested in how we can interact with computers to have fun and learn’.
Roy’s career began as a highly skilled tradesman in the print and publishing industry where he worked in pre press repro houses. Working predominantly on music, fashion, design and teen magazines such as NME and Creative Review, he gained a broad overview of the printing, design and publishing industries.
After migrating to desktop publishing in the early 1990’s, with a growing interest in interactivity, the internet and "making computers do smart things", Roy joined LCC in 2000 supporting multimedia and print courses, and later teaching on a Digital Media Design course. Finally he become Course Leader of Games Design which was initially offered as a short course, but proved so popular that it grew and developed into the BA it is today.
The art of the game designer is to make the goal difficult to achieve but enjoyable to accomplish rather than frustrating or insurmountable. Games are unique in a way nothing else is, in that they encourage you to learn. A child who may not enjoy a structured teaching will happily sit down and work out the mechanics of a game and won’t even see it as learning. They’ll be working hard and not even know it - it’s a unique medium. This uniqueness should be reflected in the opportunity for students to think originally when working on their designs.
The types of games we play are changing - we’re happier to try things out and players are more open-minded. There is a wider variety of tastes which are now catered for. We use games in different ways and the ways we interactive with them is also changing. For example, many people play games while commuting one handed on smartphones – types of games will change to keep abreast of technology.
Most important things you’ve learnt from students on the course?
Never underestimate anybody’s creative ability or their tenacity to develop a game that they know is good. The good games make themselves, a student who sees where the challenge is within their design and is receiving positive feedback at each iteration of testing will be motivated to complete their game to the highest standard.
Favourite game and why?
Space invaders – it’s timeless and brilliant. It has everything - it increases in challenge, different ways you can assess your own abilities and optional objectives, and it’s just a simple system - you never get bored of playing it. Tetris is another brilliant game, a real "killer app". People bought a Gameboy just to play Tetris.
Advice for potential games designers?
Make games as often as you can and in as many different formats as you can, physical, paper, digital – and you very soon start to see how things work, how to solve puzzles, and look at objects in terms of certain behaviours. It’s discovery. How could you not be excited about that?"