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When the boss gets in the middle

Every game designer has experienced at least once in their life the horrible feeling of being deprived of their ownership.

You design a new game mode, a mechanic, a progression, an economy. You spend your attention and energy on it, perhaps for weeks. And the person in charge of the project, a producer or product manager, changes everything without warning.

It’s hard, I’ve even left companies for things like this. But it happens. It’s a huge lack of respect disguised as “sorry, but the project needs this“, “the data speaks clearly!“, “I wasn’t convinced…“.

The reality is that there are very few true creative leaders and changing numbers on a spreadsheet or in-game setups requires no skill. The pressure that some people feel leads them to this disastrous behavior. So what to do?

Seeking an agreement and understanding the problem is the first step. Many people want to be successful, others want the team to be successful. Some think more broadly about the entire company. We need to understand what motivated the choice.

This is a wrong choice, in every sense. A serious mistake. But we do it too, let’s remember this. I therefore recommend staying calm to make the correct decision.

Making games is hard…

Published inGame Design

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