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Game design is facilitation not tactics

Game design is not a narrow world with stable structures. It is an activity where you cannot apply tactics and win the game somehow. You need to think broadly. You need to understand the culture and the past of the genre you are working on. You need basic psychology knowledge to understand human motivation.

That’s why it’s so hard to build and keep a video game company. The successful ones in the past managed to change things, reading the needs and the behaviors. Today you can recognize a bad company since the hiring process.

When a company sends you a technical test, they want to see if you know the formula. They have no time (they think they don’t) to interview you properly. To me, a designer needs to receive a technical test: but live!

That’s because game design is not about tactics. I mean, good game design. The issue is that when a company is led by business people, as it always happens, they look for formulas. They want to just express their vision and you, the designer, apply the right formula to move the project forward. And then the game reaches poor results, but it’s a market issue, Apple changed the rules, and so on.

Good game designers are professionals who know how to walk into the adventurous world of game development. We are facilitators, we facilitate the act of game design among a team. We want to change the culture, somehow.

When you call us just to make money, well… you get the kind of game designer that later in the career becomes a product manager. Nothing bad, of course, it’s just that I don’t fit in all this story.

Published inGame Design

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