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Anthony Hart-Jones

Much as I agree with you in theory, I feel compelled to offer a counter-argument.

Moving out of your comfort zone is good for any creative person. Passion is easy when you are a FPS player working on the new Call of Duty, but it can make you lazy. You get used to certain conventions and habits, never challenging them because they are comfortable.

I am a British man who plays RPGs and puzzle games, but the one game I am most proud of was aimed at young girls. The core mechanics included shopping and the story was focused on getting a date to the prom. I have never been a girl, never been to a prom and shopping is torture for me, but I ended up writing some of the cheesiest dialogue of my career and writing AI for showing how much a boy loves the player.

It was painful, confusing and frustrating, but the game was (according to many of the girls who played it) actually quite awesome because it was not like other games they played. We had no preconceptions, no templates and no experience. We pushed ourselves and found a way of making a game we never would have considered if it hadn't been forced on us.

I admit that it started as a job, not a passion, but I think having to work at finding that passion made us better developers in the end and made the game that much more interesting to play.

Account Deleted

Hi Tadhg, i came across your blog from like a month ago and as a game developer/designer have to say your writing is really interesting! (I'm kind of devouring your posts). About this entry, I'm surprised to an extent how you summarized my own thoughts about how to react to testers feedback. Sometimes testers come and say things like "this is friggin' hard, make this easier" when the real problem is you haven't introduced a play feature correctly beforehand, or something else needs tuning. I think is a matter of understanding what you target user experience is, there i tend to find most of my answers.


Hi Anthony,

That's a great reply. Two things I feel I should note in response.

First, I don't mean "only games that you've loved before". I think it's implicit (but maybe not) that anyone who makes games has a broader wealth of examples of draw from, and therefore has the capacity to conceive of new things.

Second, I completely accept that it's possible to make something you wouldn't play. I'm just saying that from my experience it's tougher to keep the enthusiasm for such a game going.



Thanks Brian!

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