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“It’s never been done before.”

May 7, 2008

… and there’s probably a reason for that.

Here are some other lines that make industry designers flinch:

  • You know what I didn’t like about your game?
  • My kid has a great idea for a game. Let me get him.
  • “Dear sir, I’m applieing for the design director job.”
  • This is my first time as producer.
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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2008 2:26 am

    My pet peeve is when someone says,

    “It should be easy for you to implement [my pet feature]!”

    I think part of this is because our job as game designers and developers is often to make the game experience streamlined. Because of this, most people don’t realize that, yes, it actually does take quite a bit of work to implement a change. Especially for an online game, a “5 minute” change (which ALWAYS takes longer) might require a team meeting to get approval, a significant documentation update, a multi-hour project build, a multi-day QA test, a several hour patch process in the wee hours of the morning, and possibly many hours of CS time to explain that, “no, the change is not a bug” to people who didn’t read the forum, patch notes, etc.

    Even on the indie level where I’m the producer, designer, and programmer all in one, it still takes a while to implement a change and make sure it didn’t break something horribly. In the specific case of Meridian 59, you also have to factor in the care required to not break a 10+ year old codebase.

  2. May 8, 2008 3:29 pm

    Heh, that last one hist a little too close to home.

    I think that line makes everyone flinch, not just designers. I’ve had some really nasty experiences with first time game producers, regardless of production “rank”, and even when they’ve been in the game industry before. Watching someone getting their feet wet in production is just not something you want to be around for 😉

  3. May 8, 2008 7:10 pm

    “My kid has a great idea for a game. Let me get him.”

    Oooh, that one made me grin. I thought this kind of thing only happend in the TI and web industry… ;p Where everyone has a “twelve-year-nephew with super-l33t skills to make home pages with microsoft frontpage!,”,and of course changes 1/10 of what a regular worker would charge…

  4. May 8, 2008 9:35 pm

    “This is Bobby. He’s the studio head’s nephew, and he’s now your junior designer.”

    Friends and family perks are usually painful.

  5. May 8, 2008 10:59 pm

    “We should make a game together sometime.”

    That one is even worse than the “My kid has a great idea for a game” one.

  6. Chris permalink
    May 10, 2008 4:20 pm

    Here’s one I got in earlier years before game design academia emerged in colleges…

    “So wait, do you want to program?”

    I kept saying I wanted to do the drafting, the coloring, the level design, and write up design documents!!! But I still kept hearing “do you want to program?” It always bothered me when people confused “game design” with “game programming.” Granted, you’ll often find game designers who dabble in a lot of the other fields – especially programming – nobody understood the concept of someone just designing games.

    The irony is that I majored in Computer Science (but I got a minor in Studio Art, too, and that always raises an eyebrow).

  7. May 11, 2008 11:59 pm

    The one I hate is “wow, it must be fun to play video games all day.”

    Yeah, it must be. I wouldn’t know. It’s not what I do.

  8. May 12, 2008 2:54 pm

    Haha, I’ve heard the first 3 first hand!

  9. May 12, 2008 9:49 pm

    Some other favorites that make designers flinch:

    “Can you make it multiplayer?” (said at Beta)
    “Marketing wants you to add…”
    “We got Sony’s feedback for the alpha build…”
    “… and that date can’t slip.”

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