Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beginners "design" what they want to play

If you ask beginners to "design" a video game by writing a formal description (a game treatment), what you get is a vague description of the "really cool" game they'd like to *play*, usually overflowing with superlatives like "great story" and "great graphics". There's no recognition of practical limitations. It is "pie in the sky". Nor is there any element of real game design, which is about setting constraints and resulting problems, solving those problems, then solving all the problems that arise from the inevitable weaknesses of those initial solutions, and so on. There are no details, only vague ideas, and I (and many others) have already described how little value there is in ideas.

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"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."Mark Twain
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle