Sunday, May 25

Push it Further

My brother York is a potter. He throws, glazes, and fires pottery then sells them at craft shows. At craft shows, he gives each piece a price tag and sets each up for sale. Yesterday, I asked him, "do you ever negotiate price, lower a pot's price point if a person is too wary of spending what's on the tag?" He answered, "never." He explained that this is a standard for all potters and crafters. When he talks with other potters, all of them say that their work is too fine, too unique, too precious to compromise price. If anything, York says, we would push our prices higher, charge more. You can't compromise art.

And this is like game design. Our work is an art and science. We must be confident, sure in our design. We must have confidence in the quality of our work. Don't compromise your art. Don't compromise your vision. Don't dilute your design to meet player standards. Don't adhere to genre specifications if it doesn't fit your game. If anything, push your design further. Say, "no. My design will not be watered-down. I know what my game is. I know what it can be."

Your game may be different. It may be quirky. It may be odd. But also, it may be innovative. Your game might push the boundaries of what a game can achieve. Your game might not fit the limitations of a genre. Your game might not feature what players consider essential to a genre. Game design sure as heck doesn't evolve through standardization. Push it further. Don't compromise your art for other people's opinions. Do listen to what they have to say. Listen to their thoughts and ideas. But be sure to evaluate how their ideas will affect your game. Analyze the positives and negatives of any change in your game before implementation. Just be sure to not compromise your design for what people consider necessary. Be confident that your design can do better than the standard.

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