Here’s why my current project has me energized me as a designer.
It Scares Me
It’s scary because there’s no reference point; no latch holds to start from as it hasn’t been done before. This in turn means I’m working on things I’ve never done before……and it feels great, because if you’re not worried, you’re not trying.
A little fear will keep your senses keen, and your drive strong to its challenge.
As design elements click together, there’s a certain inner designer that punches for joy, and when there’s enough of them all punching together, they burst out and hit the people around you. It’s hard not to talk about things, be animated and driven by them as they keep forming. This process generates excitement, because enthusiasm is infectious. You can’t buy or force enthusiasm, but you can pass it on.
When you start to gather enthusiasm from other sources than yourself, it also galvanizes direction choices, team strength and drive in a way that other development processes cannot replicate.
It’s in the Secret Sauce
If there’s one thing I hold dear in development, it’s the people I work with. This is not a sloppy, bullshit tagline, it’s the honest opinion of somebody who cherishes talent, but also understands the vital importance of a person’s character; an enjoyable working atmosphere builds cohesion, this can only be done with the right mix of people.
Sure, we’ve got experienced people…you want a designer from all three Metroid Primes? Sure, you got it. You want a programmer whose written papers that are internationally regarded as the de facto way to certain processes? Sure, we got that, too…but we’ve also got exceptional new talent and a collection of personalities that work well together.
Good team dynamics can take something average, and make it great, or make a difficult situation all the more easy to tackle. These things are vital due to the working pressures of game development.
Never under-estimate the power of happiness between co-workers, it’s potent.
And if you have to ask why having approachable, good-humored people to work with as a designer…then you’re already lost.
It Can’t Fail Quick Enough
There’s a lot to do since we’ve started from a clean slate (team, tools…everything), so tangible results take time, but it’s that content, the prototypes and processes that give us failure, thus it gives us progress and understanding of ways to do things better. I want to fail, because it’s a sign of growth and eventually, it yields success and a sense of self-satisfaction that can only be obtained by true effort.
Be happy because you can play it; be ecstatic about the million ways you can make it better.
It’s the End.