Great game design advice! Not great English, but great advice.

Taking a break from re-writing Chapter 0 of my second novel, I was reading through Gamasutra when I came across Andrii’s post (“15 practical pieces of advice, stuff that I learned the hard way”) which really resonated with me.

There were good reminders in every one of his 15 points.

The first one that made me say, “Wow!” was in #10. This quote has been my whole LIFE this year:

Agile is great for iteration, but it’s not very predictable, when you have strict development schedules and deadlines, predictability is a much more better option.

Not sure what I’m going to do about that yet, but. . .

And, yeah, all of Number 15:

Don’t waste your time reading advices on internet, learn from the source, explore world around you. Learn at least basic physics, chemistry, biology, history, sociology, psychology, pop-culture, other games.

You need to use your own free time to increase your knowledge base. To create compelling interesting experience you need to have as much knowledge on as you can find and not only about subject but beyond it, innovations are appear on where different science disciplines collide.

When researching any materials, go straight for source, instead of wasting time reading distilled articles that people write about look for what they read and seen, look for references. To create their own vision they spend tons of time researching and reading materials, don’t expect that their vision based on that data will match your own. Study and research by yourself and you will be able to create your own vision that will be much closer to you.

Here’s the summary [all misspellings are Andrii’s–honest!]:

  • Designer is an engineer that should solve problems
  • Good design is one that solve all given problems
  • Presenting new feature, keep it interconnected and supporting core pillars
  • Cutting features is not bad, and often requried
  • Don’t forget about feedback for any player input
  • “Borrowing” ideas and mechancis is not bad if done right
  • Holding players hand in open world game sometiems helpful
  • Overpowerd items/skills/features are not bad design if handled correctly
  • Narration and storytelling should not block gameplay
  • Creative burnout doesnt mean you cant work (if it’s not very bad)
  • Cross disciplinary knowledge sharing sessions are helpful
  • Using agile or waterfall is based on needs and goals of production
  • Ignorance is number one enemy in onboarding process
  • Keep team out of unclear expectations and responsibilities
  • Disputes should not block production, period
  • Interpersonal skills are more important than expirience(still required ofc)
  • Think for yourself, dont relay on advices from internet

Thanks for sharing, Andrii.

p.s. The person who said that you don’t share enough practical advice and prompted your post was right. Heh.