March 5, 2009

The Trap of the Designer

Filed under: General — bilbo @ 9:28 am

I have often seen other designers and have had myself tempted by the error of navel gazing. That is to say, the design for the cleverness of design. Originality for the sake of being original. It is an easy trap to fall into. You have the internet loaded with people who will be equally interested in why you, as the designer, picked these dice instead of those, that task resolution method instead of that one and it just is more satisfying when you can say “Because I am edgy and smart”. I am human and like this feeling. I have a rough time believing any designer who says they do not.

That said, I struggle always to remember it is not me who I am designing the game for but the players (including the GM). I always ask myself, is this the simplest way to do what I am shooting for? Can I make it easier? If I cannot, is it fun in and of itself? Yeah, arguments of “What is fun” aside, I often wonder if modern designers have forgotten that it is not about the next accolade but more about how entertaining is your game.  I know I have to keep reminding myself. 😉


  1. I call it the “Blog Trap” as infected designers take to writing blogs… :O


    Comment by clash bowley — March 5, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  2. It’s all about the ego baby!

    Comment by bilbo — March 5, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  3. Next you’ll be expecting us all to pay attention to you, and then it’s down that slippery slope to internet godhood.

    What will the squirrels think, Bill?


    Comment by clash bowley — March 5, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  4. That I am their god of course…silly mortal!

    Comment by bilbo — March 5, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

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