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BGDL 8 - JR Honeycutt: Why Development Work Is So Important

JR Honeycutt, developer of SeaFall, goes into all the ins and outs of what game development is, why it’s important, and how you can become a developer.

People often don’t understand the difference between a designer and a developer. JR sorts out the difference and goes into the value of having a developer work on a game.

Check out the episode here:

http://www.boardgamedesignlab.com/why-development-work-is-so-important-w...

Comments

Another great episode!

Another great episode!

The way I see it, if you worked on a game... you worked on a game. I am not sure Board Games will ever "need" list credits, the way movies have, but that is one option!

Just as with "Films" the credits rank from Director on down... with board game design things are no different, but the director is the one who takes "top billing". In the case of board games the guy/gal with their name on the box is the "director".

The title and the job description don't always line up.

This was a good listen, keep them coming!

-Eamon

Some people said to me that I

Some people said to me that I should be more a developper than a designer, so I was curious to learn the differences.

I do have good skill to playtest, criticise games and give suggestion and solutions to solve issues. But most of the time, designers either ignore my comments or take them lightly.

Now there are various reasons for that, those I most encountered are:

- The designer dont understand the issue or why there is a problem with the game.

- I try to push the game in a direction the designer did not want.

- Designers are not willing to make changes, or want to make as little changes as possible.

If you asked me to make a better game out of the game I tested, I could probably do it. But the problem is that I will add my personal flavor and values to the game, which would not please the designer in the end.

This is why before giving my comments, I always say that the designer is the master of their game and they should decide to change or not their game. But I cannot force them to change their game.

It's like in psychology, I cannot just say the game is wrong, I need to make the designer understand by himself that there is a problem with his game in order for him to take actions. If not, he won't change anything. But unlike psychologist, we don't have the time to get 10 x 1 hour session to convince that mechanic A is wrong.

So a part of the process, needs to have a more open mininded designer which is open to criticism.

----------------------------------------------

Now I do believe that the pushing of the game farther should be made by the designer himself to make sure it's the vision of the designer that remains into the game. Now when you are designing, It might not be easy to see how to push it.

One method that I found is to give the game some rest. Do other things for the next 3 or 6 months and get back to the game. Relearn how to play your game, and many issues will come out again because your game will not be fresh into your memory.

As for the marketting and production issues, yes I think it's more a game developper's job. But still, In my latest design, I have taken production into consideration to reduce the amount of components as much as possible.

So the designer should still have to do some part of the rest of the process.

larienna wrote:Some people

larienna wrote:
Some people said to me that I should be more a developer than a designer, so I was curious to learn the differences.

I do have good skill to playtest, criticize games and give suggestion and solutions to solve issues. But most of the time, designers either ignore my comments or take them lightly.

I think a major point is that a true developer is paid for their work, playtesting, and criticism. It's just a scientifically proven fact that people place more value in things they have to pay for.

It's the difference between a designer taking what you say as a suggestion vs taking it as truth.

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