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Morello @RiotMorello
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
A few things I’ve learned over a decade I want to share about game design. A lot of this is basic, but hopefully useful for anyone starting out or feeling stuck. Big thread inc
1) The best skill to learn and focus on is how to be good at being wrong. This is hard as it requires some hard and important components: self-awareness, humility and graciousness. Being a better PERSON is one of the best ROIs for improving at design.
1a) This is because proper game design is a service to players, and a service-oriented mindset puts you in the right place to do good work. Feedback, iteration, and shifting goals will change your design for the better. The cleverness and “uniqueness” of a design is worthless.
2) Rational thought trumps artistry. Don’t get focused on idea generation - that part is easy, fun, and not something design has any specialty or monopoly on. Frameworks, structure and strong, rigorous goals are the ways these ideas become workable designs.
2a) This isn’t the same as science - it’s just being thoughtful and intentional with how you make decisions. It’s attempting objectivity even when that’s not a realistic end goal. It’s being practical.
3) Be suspicious of feelings you have and don’t understand, and be very suspicious of internal extreme views. You can’t control your emotions, but you can control your interpretation and actions that come out of those.
3a) One of the best razors on your ability to do this is testing how to champion things you dislike (but serves players) or critique things you personally love but doesn’t fit or make sense. Flex this muscle often by analyzing things you like/hate and devils advocating your feels
4) Be strategic. Everything should be purposeful, and defining the purpose itself is a key design area. “Wouldn’t it be cool if...” is a fine place to brainstorm, but an irresponsible place to validate a design from. Why does this matter, how does it impact the experience?
4a) The skill here tends to be prioritization and weighing things against each other. Focus is a road to meaningful gameplay. “Kitchen sink” design is a dangerously seductive temptation. And no, your design isn’t good enough to not need that focus (See No Mans Sky)
In summary, be flexible, be thoughtful, and be decisive. Toe the line of strong vision and unwavering flexibility. Most of all, look of how to serve. If you do not want to serve players, this is likely a terrible career for you.
For rational thinking, check out @Rspodcast and @juliagalef - really good examples of this if it’s a new methodology for you. If you bristle at this being important, check yourself - you need this the most
Our topline design method philosophy is “Strong views, weakly-held.” Pick your battles, learn to listen and don’t be precious- you’re ahead of the curve of you’ve got that.
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