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Tag: myself

Avoid the scarce mentality

Many talented people have been unfairly laid off. You can start thinking: “Hey, there are seniors from Blizzard open to work, they will never hire me. I am completing my engineering grade!”.

Let me tell you this is a fallacy. When we look at job openings we see very few positions for juniors or for people who didn’t work on a TOP game. Still, the possibilities are many.

The games industry is smaller than you think in number of people. But the games market is huge, opportunities are much more than you believe. Companies often don’t have to publish offers because internal employees know reliable people to hire.

You need to build!

Build your network, build your games, build your career. The job market is not meritocratic at all, it’s not the best that gets the job. The job market is a lot about being in the right place at the right time. Instead of spending your whole day doom-scrolling layoff news, build your future!

Please, stop it

People are complaining on a platform owned by Microsoft about the bad decisions that Microsoft made in many people’s lives. This is SO 2024, right?

We need to evolve as a collective. I don’t know the solution, but I think we should first state the problem well. It’s not a black-and-white situation. There are lots of nuances, posting a quote from Satoru Iwata doesn’t reveal the real problem.

The problem is not just greed. There is a whole situation to consider, we spent the last 3 decades experiencing dramatic shifts. It’s easy to lose the big picture. Easier to point the finger.

We need to evolve and think of new forms of collaboration, and different ways of financing projects. We need to improve our way of treating others like we are still doing.

The first step is to stop complaining, feeding the algorithms belonging to the same people that we are criticizing. That’s ridiculous, we are looking like the Pals! A clone of something already seen, now repurposed to serve as milking cows. Stop doing that!

Are you an artist or an entertainer?

There is a World crisis and our beloved games industry is not immune from that. 2024 just started and we are already seeing many people losing their jobs. Everyone is worried, someone wants to help with suggestions and experience.

One of the most common messages is “Have you lost your job? Build your own thing!”. I am not sure I agree with that statement. I have learned the hard way that you are either the artist or the entertainer.

In case you are an artist, you will tend to obsess with something. You can get lost in small details, but there is great news: you have the chance to become very wealthy. If you want to make money with games you should do your games.

In case you are (like myself) an entertainer, I am afraid that is better to work on projects made by others. Help them land down their visions. Facilitate the right tools to decide how the game will be. My bank account will never have seven figures like that, but hopefully, people will remember me as a great guy to work with.

Not any tips are good for us, the first thing is to understand who we are deeply. And to do that you need to try things out. Can I be an entertainer and an artist? Or, can I be 5 years an artist and 10 an entertainer? Who knows, maybe I can.

Answers that matter

Every time I say to someone that I design video games, the common question is this. “Can you show me the game you made?“. And my answer is that I can, but my games are not Mario or Quake.

this is one of the games I helped make. Probably the most successful one, for sure one of the dumbest

Others in this industry would give the same answer. It is what makes an industry, in the end. You don’t ask a car worker “Can you show me a car you made?“. The worker is one of the dozens who worked on a car. Still, you ask that to a game designer because we have this idea of a very personal thing. Which indeed is true, but reality is deeper than that.

The reality is that you hardly work on a project you love. And the few people who work on those projects are the ones that achieve recognition at a certain point. I mean, if they insist and persist in their goals.

I want to celebrate everyone that is building in this moment. Because you will be the future of the industry. You decide to build something in which you believe. You can be an indie or a new team inside of a big corporation. Many sides of an industry that permits different exits.

I cannot really show anything, because I have always worked on games belonging to ideas and vision which came from others. Maybe that is the right answer to the first question of this article.

Top game design voice badge

I have been on LinkedIn for 14 years. I use that platform a lot because of my personal branding activities. When I was fired from Digital Chocolate, because of a bad relationship with my direct manager, I decided to become the best game designer I could possibly become. Part of my strategy involved starting to share my ideas and discoveries of this complex micro world.

In fact, you need to explain things to others to become a recognized expert. It’s not just walk the walk, you need to talk the talk. Also, the language of business is not my native one, so I needed a tool to improve my English. I needed to find my own voice.

And the results are good, I have a healthy small business with my clients. Also, when I go to local meetups often I am reached by people that I don’t know who thank me for something related to my writings and videos. I can say that I feel I am in a good way. Of course, many things can happen and I can screw everything up with a mistake. In fact, pushing your ideas out there is no easy task.

Collaborative articles

For all this, I have never received any badge of any sort. But then LinkedIn published a new feature, called collaborative articles. That feature is probably meant to substitute experts in certain fields in the future. I honestly hate it. So I decided to take action.

Every morning I do this:

  1. I select randomly 5 collaborative articles on Game Design
  2. I copy one of the questions, also a random
  3. I paste it on Bing AI
  4. Then I copy and paste back part of the answer

Tadaaa! In just 10 days I got my badge. It was just grinding, nothing more. These social networks don’t care about the true value of their content.


Data speaks clearly. In 2023, the game that I absolutely played the most was Vampire Survivors.

Small team, simple idea, true indie gem. Simplicity at its finest. Nothing more to add, this was my personal GOTY.

Happy New Year everybody!

Wishes and hopes for 2024

I want to spend two words to write down my hopes and desires for 2024. I will not write any forecast, those are for non-creative people. People with no vision, people who look for an impossible low risk. A forecast is something to convince people to give money to other people, nothing more. I am a creative person, I don’t believe in forecasts and I prefer to write my wishes.

First of all, I hope that next year will be at least the start of a new way of making games. Companies should think of new kinds of contracts and compensations for their employees. Currently, a professional contributing to generating billions will eventually fall in a round of layoffs. Imagine, you create a new character like Spider-Man and other people will get lots of money. And then you are fired. The others, instead, will continue to make money forever. This is plain absurd. Since job stability does not exist, also contracts should adapt.

I hope to see new fresh concepts for mobile games, as second thing. Currently, the industry is trapped in concepts that have nothing to do with actual game design. Good game design is about understanding an audience and its needs. The industry, instead, is talking about “User Acquisition”, hybrid casual, web3, and things that are not interesting for the Players. I hope to see more fresh concepts, with a renewed interpretation of genres.

Third, I wish to see more people building businesses that last 100 years. We are too much immersed in the mentality of fast success. When we see the most successful businesses, they are built in decades, not years. All these people that have been fired this year, plus the people that will be laid off next one, could build awesome things. They have also the power to let fresh energies enter the industries. Start from team building, maybe creating content for Fortnite or Roblox. Start from the team, while you build a strong vision.

The web shops are popping out, so I hope to see more platforms that will help create a community among gamers. This is my fourth and last wish. Things like Steam but not so focused on PC games. Something that relates also to mobile games. Maybe letting the Players add mods and content to some games. That would be awesome. Too much AI bullcrap this year, the best content comes and will always come from real human beings!

Have a great year y’all!

New Year resolution #1: dealing with my perfectionism

Yesterday I was thinking about my personal projects. I never closed one in my entire life. Why am I procrastinating so much? Some of them are still interesting to me. Yet, I cannot manage to finish them. That is a problem I want to solve, take this as my first New Year resolution.

Probably one of the problems is my perfectionism. I started these projects from the simple concept of Ikigai. Ikigai means “the pleasure you have in doing things every day”. But then my perfectionism kicked in and somehow I got burnt. For some projects I had also some other people involved, waiting for me to close them. What a shame!

Well, I announce today that this has to change now. Less perfectionism and more acceptance of my limits are the way I intend to take.

Things I cannot accept anymore

Many game companies after the first interview send you an assessment to complete. You have usually between 4 hours and 10 days available to complete the assessment. Some company gives you free time, as long as you complete it.

There was that TV show on Netflix called Vikings. Among the many storylines, there is one about a person who has a serious handicap. He manages to use his disadvantage to become the king.

I have never passed a single test. Every time I get these assessments my mind goes automatically in “you are working for free” mode. I sent the result of my assessment and someone (I imagine her with a bored face and a cup of horrible machine-made tea) skimmed my assessment. And of course, it was a no. My bad will meets with the bad will of the reviewer, what do you expect? That is one handicap I have. And I made it a strength in recent years!

I have developed and hired outstanding designers for companies. True talents. Within 3 hours with a dashboard and a laptop with a game engine running and a spreadsheet, I can run a complete interview. The people I have hired are still there, crushing it.

When I am on the other side, nowadays I want the same. You send me an assessment, I say you “give it to me”. Then I read it carefully and write down exactly what I should do to complete the exercises and a time and cost estimation. I send everything via email, it’s better than simply rejecting the task. Writing all of this down often takes me 2-3 hours.

Again, nobody pays me for that. And of course, it doesn’t work. Don’t follow my suggestion if you really want that job. I am in a different position nowadays. I am not “open to work”. I work as a game designer every single day, I just don’t let anyone decide if I have a job or not. I want to work with you if you want to work with me, simple as that.

Assessments are free to work that no one pays. They are made to filter people out. They do not consider diversity and they are made to exclude. Companies love to claim “diversity and inclusion”. Well, this is part of it.

I am quite happy as a freelancer, a “warrior without a king”. Still, I don’t close myself up to any opportunity. But I need to feel that the company wants me, not the other way around!

Freelancing is not a therapy

When a client hires me usually is for a whole project preproduction. It can be the startup for a new game or the research stage for a new feature of a live game. I help them during the whole process of finding the right formula. I work per day, every day is one slot. Every client can get from 1 to 3 slots per week.

Happens that during my service I realize that my help is not needed. It may happen for a lot of reasons. Sometimes I see that the team is on the right track and I am slowing things down. Other times I see that the client that hired me didn’t want my help with game design, so that I am useless.

In any case, my business is not like a therapist. When I realize that I am not needed anymore, I let go the client. I speak with them and explain any reason. It was a pleasure to be there, please leave your testimonial. You will not lose your money, I will not lose my time. Everybody wins.

(and very few of them leave the actual testimonial)