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I Get So Excited and I Just Can’t Hide It

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.

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It’s Infectious

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.

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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.

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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.

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It’s the End.

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A Cell Of My Own

scribblenauts

I’ve finally settled on where I’ll be working next, and I’m very pleased to say, it’s with the fine people at 5th Cell, in Seattle. They’ve created a lot of cool titles already, and are working on damn fine products. I’m proud to say that I’ll be in the mix with them, in just a few short weeks.

So what was the biggest draw? It was the people, and the products they create. Meeting the founders and the leads from 5th Cell really made me a believer that it’s a place where peoples’ ideas are fostered and allowed to flourish. They want to create products that allow the player to be creative, and most importantly, have fun. Those two things are crucially important to me as I continue forward. It must also be said, that this has been one of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated moves of my career to date. And that’s saying something!

Looking elsewhere, I really do hope the ex-Vigil guys manage to get the Darksiders IP, it’d be nice to see it land back into the hands of some of its creators. Failing that, a good home where the developers truly understand and love the genre and game we created, would be appreciated…thank you. If all else fails, then I’ll pour a 40 out on my old x360 for it…

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

That’s all I got for right now, as I’m in the middle of packing all our worldly possession up, ready for the move in a few days.

GO 5TH CELL!!!