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2 Down, 4 to Go, and Finding a Sounding Board

April 30, 2008

I finished another design on Monday for my “The Mechanic is the Message” installation. When I say “finished” what I really mean is “I have it mostly figured out in my head.” I plan to prototype this game as well as the first when I visit Ian Schreiber for the upcoming Digital Downtown Arts Festival May 7-9 in Columbus, Ohio. He and I are putting on a Game Design Improv workshop, so if you’re in the area, be sure to come down.

As a side note on that, every designer should get themselves someone with whom they can regularly discuss design. As most of you probably know by now, Ian’s the guy that I go to. He knows my design style, knows my typical flaws, and is completely comfortable telling me when something isn’t working (in at least 10 different ways). This makes his positive feedback all the more valuable. What you don’t want as a designer – or as an artist in any medium, really – is a peer that just says, “Good job” or “Yeah, that’s okay.” It’s not valuable feedback. Everyone can be better. Everyone can improve their process.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2008 11:30 am

    When is the game design workshop? I’m less than a mile from CSCC most days, I’d just need to take a long lunch if it’s one of the noon/afternoon sessions they list on their site.

    Looking forward to this! Exciting to see something in Columbus.

  2. April 30, 2008 12:28 pm

    The other half of this, of course, is to actually let your sounding board know that you appreciate it when they rip your idea to shreds. This takes a certain kind of humility that a lot of people don’t start out with, although it can be developed with practice. (To Brenda’s credit, her students seem unnaturally good at this skill.)

    After all, if someone points out the flaws in your design and you just get defensive or offended, the other person isn’t going to be as willing to help you out in the future.

  3. April 30, 2008 1:14 pm

    @Joe – it’s from 9 – 11. Hope to see you there.

  4. April 30, 2008 4:13 pm

    Gah! Yet one more person who’s less than a mile from me… someone who makes games… that I’ve never met and we haven’t heard of each other? Brenda, how is it that you find these people, when the IGDA can’t? 🙂

  5. April 30, 2008 6:00 pm

    See, now that I am on the board of the IGDA, the IGDA gets credit for the find.

  6. April 30, 2008 10:35 pm

    Looks like I’ll be asking for Friday off.

    Hopefully, I’ll be there.

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