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The artistic science of game design

Yesterday I had an online discussion with a fellow designer that is following a trend. The trend is to think in game design as a mere science. Like you can be able to exactly structure and predict everything by using the right approach right from the start.

I listen to everyone and I respect this colleague, but to me great games are never made like this. Game design is not science, also if it uses a pseudo-scientist approach for some of its activities. Make an hypothesis and run experiments. But then, the theory (of fun) you get is constantly challenged by innovations.

To me, instead of make prediction, the best way to fix retention is to see back. To see what you did. You do this by:

  • Playtesting your game every day on your own, every week with your team, and at least every milestone with common people
  • Measure your results and work to improve them, without worrying too much about estimation
  • Learning from your mistakes, you will make a lot of them

This is how I educated myself as a game designer. Game design has also something in common with art, in the sense that you need to develop your taste, your craft and most importantly, your process.

Happy Easter, everybody!

Published inGame Design

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