A lot of game designers when entering the world of games as a service become product managers.
They then go from working “in the product” to working “on the product”.
Probably in this way, they can access better salaries and not have to go through too many filters to see their ideas realized. Being a game designer in an industry where everyone interprets data in their own way is a big challenge. It takes a lot of patience and really trying to adjust to one’s view, even if it’s totally wrong.
I like to focus on the craft of game design. While I have my own way of looking at the data, I recognize that it is likely clouded by personal bias. So I prefer to focus on grounding ideas and bridging teams.
When a product manager tells the team that “we need to put our efforts into improving D1 retention”, the effect is like an orchestra of monkeys with trombones and drums. It means nothing in the mind of anyone who wants to know where to put the effort. The technical artist or programmer wants to know what they have to do, the numbers don’t make sense.
A game designer, on the other hand, knows that the product manager is referring to having a clearer core loop and a more powerful hook. Therefore, I will create a list of assets needed to unlock that technical artist. A series of configurations and flows to unlock the programmers.
For me, the step forward is not to become a product manager. The step forward for my career is dedicating myself to better games. But I will always remain a game designer.