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Cliff Bleszinski's Game Developer Flashcards

August 9, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

"Analysis Paralysis"

This is a commonly-used term for the technique of over-thinking things to the point where nothing is actually done.

"Why Even Try?"

In other words, "How do we even compete?" Intimidated by the immense competition in any given space, a developer asks this as a way of giving up before even giving it the "old college try."

"They Have N Developers!"

This is a phrase that is often used by a developer to cite a competitive team and how large their staff is on their game, and is used as a way of leading to "why even try?" The Epic Way has always been to put the best people on a task, with the best tools in the business, in order to work smarter.


"But this is how we've always done it!" In entertainment, and particularly in technology, innovation and re-thinking things is often quite necessary in order to stay alive. Becoming complacent and doing things the same way over and over again is a surefire way to induce failure.

Being a 20-year veteran of any regular business may be an advantage, but in technology, it can sometimes limit you. As a developer gets older, it's crucial to keep an open mind and to always be learning.

"But We're (Insert Studio Name)"

This is the battle cry of a studio that is ready to rest on its laurels due to a certain level of success and thinking they're badasses. The moment folks at a studio start saying this, one can count the days until the studio implodes, because a younger, hungrier crew out there wants what you have and is willing to dream and make it happen.

"We Tried That Before"

Citing a previous failed attempt at an idea in order to kill a new (and potentially workable) permutation of said idea.

"Too Cool"

Your idea is great! In fact, it's too cool and innovative. Therefore, we shouldn't do it, because it sounds like a lot of work.


This is when a developer uses forms of jargon only native to his discipline in order to win an argument with a developer of a different discipline, e.g., a coder using code-speak to an artist, or a designer using designer lingo to an animator.

"The Tribal Leader"

This happens when developer believes in his discipline (art, code, design, etc.) over any other in the studio, so fuck those other guys.


"That idea is great but isn't within the scope of the project." Sometimes, the best features are the fringe ones that sneak in under the radar and not on the original schedule, unfortunately.

"Playtest Grandstanding"

This is when a developer fails with a new feature or weapon and loudly suggests "balancing" it by changing it during a playtest, therefore often getting his way. Sometimes, people just suck with a sniper rifle and get destroyed by others, and that's okay.

"The Repitcher"

This is the person who hears your idea, seems like they didn't initially hear it, then re-pitches the same exact idea in their own words as their own, forgetting where they originally heard it. This ultimately doesn't really matter, as long as the cool idea comes from somewhere and is implemented well!

"Filibuster," or "TL;DR Guy"

This is the person who responds to a design suggestion or discussion with three-page emails.

Every time.

Without fail.

Eventually, you make a custom filter for this person.

"The E-Douche"

This is the person who almost always seems to come across as a total asshole in email, even when they don't really mean to because, frankly, email sucks.


This is a person who somehow manages to shut down all progress on an idea and comes up with his own completely new pitch that is subjectively better or worse, essentially trying to make everyone start over.

"The Doubter"

Someone who rejects an idea without having any sort of clear reason why: "I don't know about that..." Often useful against the...


A designer who has a rush of excitement about an idea, but hasn't thought through it fully in regards to its design and/or ramifications. Said designer simply expects everyone to have faith that the idea will wind up good instead of properly making the case for it. This is often common behavior with a younger, less experienced designer. Similar to...

"Captain Ahab"

This is when a designer refuses to admit that an idea just isn't panning out, while endlessly iterating on it, using precious code and art resources, assuming someday, one day, it will be fun.

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

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Daneel Filimonov
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Thanks for this compilation! Very funny, I may actually know some people who follow some of these patterns, better let them know. The illustrations are great as well. :)

Lalleve Julien
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I wish you had ended with a "Flashcard waver" who waves a flashcard to dismiss any objection ;)

James Yee
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Kris Graft
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I'd be happy to see game devs pop up here in comments with their own "flashcards." How 'bout it folks?

EDIT: If we get enough from the community, we could possibly compile them as a separate article on Gamasutra, just for fun!

Ara Shirinian
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okay Kris I'll bite.

- "your design chocolate is in my art peanut butter" When an artist is disagreeable to incorporate a meaningful player feedback device, such as a visible wall or some other element, because they fear its incorporation will upset the visual composition of their work, even though both in concert should result in a superior gameplay experience.

- "god's eye designer" When a level designer tends to build the topography of a space to favor readability from their own eye and pre-informed perspective, as opposed to a player's eye and naive perspective, usually resulting in a space that is difficult for players to read, interpret and internalize. You can see this in Skyrim all the time where otherwise uncomplicated maps, especially from a top view, are quite difficult to avoid getting turned around in repeatedly- e.g. the dark brotherhoods' sanctuaries

Matthew Henry
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"The Eternal Percolator" - the person responsible for approvals who simply says "I'll think about it and get back to you" for all eternity, never actually approving or disapproving anything.

The evil, opposite of the Prophet - the "Anti-Prophet" who simply knows (but has no reasons why) the idea won't work. If you ask why, (s)he'll reply with "You didn't think it through enough" when the truth is (s)he hasn't thought it through at all.

"Agile In Name Only" - the producer who misuses Agile terminology, but never uses Agile development. So the project ends up with a traditional waterfall dev cycle, but everything is horribly mislabeled.

Aaron Casillas
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1) TechnoBabilist = same as a Jargonist, used by engineers to bedazzle management to conform to their ways or used to scare management.

2) Concept Art Dragon = when 3d art is exactly like the 2d art, knowing full well it would never work out technically.

3) The Naysayer = management wordsmithing to keep designers from telling them that x is not going to work.

4) The Do Nuthin = someone on the team that does nothing other than pass along your reports.

5) Pulling a Scotty = engineer that says x feature is going to take days, but does it in 10minutes.

6) Clown Patrol = a bunch of the wrong people in a meeting decided on a feature they know nothing about. Usually accompanied with the sound of Circus music when they walk by.

7) The Martyr = person who defends otherwise introverted developers.

8) IQ Drop = when a bunch of intelligent people all get together in a meeting and suddenly the IQ drops and nothing gets done.

9) The Analyst = person who claims a game has to be created via metrics and math only, yes if you had 10000 years (a new breed).

Aaron Casillas
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10 ) Zip Flopping = when people in the room are pulling rank on each other. Sound of pants zipper and flop.

Tyler Coleman
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"Trust me, I'm the ____"
When an artist, programmer, or designer uses their superior knowledge within their own field to avoid adding an element that may grow the scope within their department.

"It didn't work in the paper prototype"- Designer who focuses too much on the paper prototype, and refuses to believe it can work in a digital form.

To grow upon one of Cliff's...
"The Pesticide" - The person who did not like The Gardener's idea in its earlier stages, and now do anything they can to keep it out.

James Yee
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"The User Really wants this"
Those designers who insist this is what the user really wants but have never talked to, or did but ignored, what the end user really wants. (See First XBOX controller and every system ever designed for NASA EVER! ARGH!)

"It's Documented so that's enough."
When a bug report is "on file" so they can "get to it" but in the end never address the bug. (Again see every NASA system EVER. *Sigh*)

Vasily Yourchenko
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"The Clairvoyant"
A designer that works entirely via gut feeling and never sits down to do the math.

Greg Wondra
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This is awesome.

eli hanselman
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Hi Greg! You rock!

Greg Wondra
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Eli! What's happenin my man?

Jan Stec
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"General Patton"
The opposite of Analysis Paralysis. "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." Though it's always good to think things through, too much thinking can be harmful.

It's good to ask yourself: "Am I thinking about this aspect too much/little?"

Bryn Bennett
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Haha! A designer once told me a great example of the "Jargonating" example.

Many people would ask a coder for features at his old company, to which the coder would reply that it would never work because of "quaternions." He finally looked up quaternions and realized it had very little to nothing to do with any of the features. So good. I have to use that.

Carlo Delallana
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I'm terrible at jargon, and sometimes I feel really stupid when folks use it on me. Then i go back to designing and realize...hey i've been doing (insert jargon here) all along.

Christopher Brooks
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Carlo: The trick is to be completely unashamed to ask what a term means on-the-spot when someone uses it. Try it!

Jean-Michel Vilain
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Very funny, yet I do not see what I'm supposed to do when I identify one of these patterns with someone or myself.

Breno Azevedo
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Simple, simply use all of them to your advantage so your ideas get done, and quickly stereotype anyone that goes against your ideas by pointing them to this article - creditably created by the great Cliff Bleszinski ^_^

Frank Cifaldi
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"This is pretty good, BUT"

Otherwise known as "No Cigar," this refers to a phenomenon on the Internet where readers expect humor articles to serve as instruction manuals for life. See also: "How is this news?!", "Gamasutra has sunk to a new low".

Ole Berg Leren
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I like to think that Frank Cifaldi is actually the cat.

Jean-Michel Vilain
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Thank Frank, I think I got it now.

Frank Cifaldi
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Saul Gonzalez
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"Sometimes, the best features are the fringe ones that sneak in under the radar and not on the original schedule, unfortunately."
While *sometimes* true, isn't think exactly the way of thinking that leads to feature creep and schedule/budget overruns? Are you saying those are unavoidable?

Bryan Robertson
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Depends on how you schedule your project in my opinion. If you try to design your whole game up front and then schedule on that basis, then yes that's a recipe for slippage. If you plan your project with contingency for iteration and "finding the fun", then not so much.

But obviously there's still a point where you either have to cut a feature, simplify it, or move the ship date.

Duncan McPherson
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Saul, you bring up a good point.

In 3rd-party development, a common reality is that you _must_ schedule as much of the project as possible up-front. The publisher wants to determine what will be delivered when, and how much that will cost. That must all be negotiated at the start.

In that type of development, which is relatively common, it is imperative to remain on time and on (or under) budget in order to remain competitive as a business.

And that's really it right there. Are you running a business, or are you simply making games (and may the FSM save the people who need to make a living while making those games)? If you are running a business, feature creep and schedule/budget overruns are obstacles to be overcome, not organic parts of the creative process.

If you can _sell_ the publisher on including iteration and experimentation into the schedule, then you have top-notch negotiation skills, far beyond what most people in any sector of the entertainment industry have. It's difficult to sell someone on the experience they _might_ get, if only you give them the time and resources. It's far easier to sell them an experience you know you can deliver, given the known constraints.

Can you trust a team to simply take on an interesting idea and sneak it in under the radar? Not really. Even the most talented team of seasoned veterans can quickly burn themselves out on that "cool idea," especially if they're still accountable for the actual milestone deliverables. Of course game developers will initially rally around a chance to make a cool idea, but that idea can quickly become their albatross, tanking efficiency and morale for the rest of the project. It's even worse if the publisher sees the idea and says either, "no, I don't want that in my game," or, "if you guys can go the extra mile for this feature, I want to see features A-Z in there as well!" It's a great way to lose by winning.

Hey, if you're a first-party developer with the bankroll and the right project, I applaud your ability to express your passion in a way that results in a better, more fully-featured game. Just recognize that's not a development reality for a significant portion of the industry.

Matt Robb
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If you can break your features up by priority/value and price them accordingly, you can mitigate a lot of these issues. That 37th gun may be fun, but it can probably be pushed into optional late development/post release patch/DLC/expansion territory. Money men like this kind of choice.

Mark Kilborn
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I've worked with half of these people, easy. Thanks for the list.

Here's two I deal with:

"Selective Deaf Guy"

The person who insists that the audio dept. dramatically increase the volume of whatever thing he's working on (new weapon, destructible object in the environment, whatever) even though it throws the rest of the game's mix out of balance.

"Solider With Headphones"

The person, usually a designer, who insists on having big, exciting music for whatever area of the game on which they're working. This is requested without consideration for how music is paced and contrasted throughout the level and the game as a whole, and can often be a crutch for bad design. Bad gameplay will always feel at least a little better with great music underneath it.

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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I think "Soldier With Headphones" hints at a larger problem that I've seen (someone better than me at naming things can name it :) ) -- not taking global pacing into consideration to properly design your level. If everyone is just trying to dial their chunk of the game up to 11 or ignoring the player's mindstate as they transition from the previous level to yours, you end up with an exhausting and/or incoherent mess. I find this happens at studios that have a culture of focusing more on individual clout than how the full package applies to please the end user, and should be addressed and monitored regularly at meetings. You wouldn't have people independently write chapters of a novel with no thought to how they will interconnect, but for some reason this doesn't seem as obvious a flaw yet in game development.

James Yee
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How about "Ignoring the Forest for the Trees" there Jeffery?

Curtiss Murphy
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"Die'ing on that Sword' - the dev who refuses to back an idea, no matter what. Passively (or actively) works to prevent it's success, even when the rest of the team is moving forward. Is often a response to ideas from the 'Prophet' or 'Gardener'.

Carlo Delallana
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I love being "The Gardener"

Jason Weesner
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"The King Of Persia"

A creative director (or other King) who maintains an air of silence about any sort of creative framework in regards to what they want while lowly designers pitch ideas Scheherazade style until something magically sticks. Some designers may have their heads forcibly removed in the process.

Bryan Robertson
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Oh god "edge blocking" is one of my pet hates.
One online game I worked on a few years ago suffered really badly from it.

"But if we implement this feature, someone could potentially grief someone else in [x convoluted manner]. Therefore we should implement the feature in the most bland, sterile way possible, to guarantee no one can ever grief anyone else"

I learned a lot from that though. Trying to fix every possible edge case that might happen up front in a design is usually a bad idea. Making games is an exploratory process, it's not like engineering a skyscraper.

Carlo Delallana
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The thing about fixing every edge case is that you run out of edges. There was quote in a documentary about Origami/Paper Folding that really stuck with me:

"Take your art to the edge of something because that's where the most interesting things happen."

Arturo Nereu
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Wow, thanks a lot for this. I have experienced some of those situations in my life.

My personal favorite: "It's just X+Y". Sometimes we don´t see the potential of simplicity.

On the other hand, I think the "Jargonating" is one of the worst situations, it can break up an entire conversation. It is great when you learn new stuff from your peers but it´s clear when you are just starting the Tower of Babel.

Aaron San Filippo
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Oh man, this is an awesome list. I think we've all played some of these roles at one time or another.

A few more:

"The Box Dweller" someone who immediately dismisses an idea because it wouldn't work within some other (often easily changeable) current constraint in the game. Example: "We could never let you throw more than one grenade, the explosion overdraw would kill the framerate!"

"The Kindergarten teacher" Someone who dismisses any idea that would be supposedly too complicated for the 'lowest common denominator' of the game's target demographic.

"The Deflector" The guy who refuses to take responsibility or suggestions for his own work, citing mysterious but non-specific external sources as the reasons: "look I agree this thing I implemented kinda sucks, but I'm just doing what the powers that be tell me to."

"The Man Month Eater" A person who always turns what should be 5-minute meetings into 60-minute ones by constantly going off on tangents unrelated to the meeting's purpose.

Dragos Inoan
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This is great! Sometimes I'm guilty of some of those myself, but you can only try to do your best and remain objective and focused on the project :)

Bart Stewart
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I was chuckling until I got to page 2, then I got depressed and started wondering how anything ever actually gets done.

Most of these descriptions fall under the general category of Idea Assassins. They're not bad people, necessarily; they're just wired to see the risks and constraints of any possibility. In moderation and at the right time, that kind of negative analysis -- when it's backed up -- is a necessary part of a development process.

Most of the remaining descriptions (like the "TL;DR" guy I've been called) fall into the general Enthusiast category. Again, these folks can be useful. They can help identify additional benefits in an idea, and it doesn't hurt to have people around who, you know, *like* what you're trying to do. But they also need to be managed so that their enthusiasm doesn't divert a project to low-value work.

Both of these styles are captured pretty neatly as the Black Hats and Yellow Hats, respectively, in Edward de Bono's "Six Thinking Hats" model of idea management. It's a good resource for project managers in creative fields.

E McNeill
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I've definitely been guilty of being an idea assassin, especially in (often non-game) contexts where I'm not really invested in the subject. It's easier to shoot down flawed ideas than to help reach good ones, and I get a sick sense of superiority from it. Gotta remember the ol' "yes and" advice.

Juha Kangas
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I have one that I have been thinking about lately;
"Let's Try It" - Someone who does not have good arguments for their idea and simply says "come on, let's try it" to override any counter-arguments.

Bryn Bennett
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I hate that guy!

Freek Hoekstra
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sometimes a simple idea is better to be tested than debated about for a long time,
Gamejams prove this, although a 4 hour brainstorm process goes in front testing ideas is the most important process in gamedevelopment in my vision.

*it does not have to perfect a kismet mockup by an artist is great to bring to a meeting for example.

OT: great article, I think I might have played some of these roles myself, and will try to do so less and warn some others of the iritation and feature kill they might be causing.

Tiago Costa
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I think that depends on the size of the idea. Sometimes it just bad communication skills from the part of the "try it" guy.
Next time just sit around with him for 15 mins, a say "I'll give you five minutes to explain me this idea", when he explains it, just deconstruct it on your mind in order to perceive the actual idea. If you cant (or dont want to) in 15 mins then give up on the idea. But actually try to understand it.

Joe Morton
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Isn't X+Y exactly the same as the Pattern Matching one?

Ole Berg Leren
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X + Y is the simplest form of Pattern Matching. Examples below.

X + Y: It's just Gears of War meets Portal!

Pattern Matching: It's Gears of Portal: Assassin of Duties!

Leonardo Ferreira
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Brilliant article, but the best part is of course the Moses Jackrabbit.

Taure Anthony
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The Gardener sounds like me so much.

Aaron San Filippo
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Everyone thinks he's the gardener :)

Ole Berg Leren
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I feel like Ahab the Prophet :|

Andy Lundell
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Ne'er do Well : "I've never seen that feature done before, or done well. Therefore, we shouldn't do it.""

Actually, I think this one is a compelling argument. If everybody else has failed at implementing a certain feature, then you probably shouldn't proceed until you've come up with a convincing explanation for why it failed before and how you will avoid that failure.

There are a lot of ideas that are traps. They seem good and/or easy, but aren't.

"I don't know why all those others failed, but I don't see any problems with us doing it." is a major warning sign.

Jonathan Jennings
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being a junior programmer and the youngest / most inexperienced member of my team has lead me to be involved in multi-boss situations quite a bit. granted my team is awesome at communication so a simple conversation between them fixes most problems .

Jeremy Alessi
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I've experienced every single one of these. Love it!

Justin Lynch
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Great list! I've only been working in the industry for less than 2 years and I've already encountered most of these. In fact, I've done some of these as well. :(

But I guess that's the point of the article. Learn to identify the mistakes we all make when developing games and make sure that they don't happen again.

Keith Burgun
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>Obvious and clear fixes such as the gameism of "fast travel" can easily solve this issue, allowing for huge worlds.

Oh yeah. Except now you basically don't have a huge world anymore.

Sean Danielson
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Well, just look at Morrowind. Last I checked, you didn't have "fast travel" in that game, so I ended up having to use the Console to give my character a high run speed so I could get from Vvardenfell to Mournhold in two minutes.

Bart Stewart
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Sean, you could also use the in-game enchanting spells to craft the multiple pieces of a "jump suit."

Wearing that, you could leap nearly across the continent in one go, waving at cliff racers as you go. You just have to be careful to use something like Feather just before landing to avoid deceleration trauma.

I actually agree with Keith on the whole "instant travel considered harmful" thing, but that's just my playstyle preference. In a huge world, gameplay (quick access to fun content) probably slightly edges out world/setting (the perception of the world's hugeness). Unless you can figure out how to guarantee that novel fun always emerges wherever you happen to be, instant travel in a large world is probably a necessary nod to general gamer expectations.

Nick Harris
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@Bart Stewart

The solution is to intercut between multiple characters, as in the TV show:

"Game of Thrones"

Rob Allegretti
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This is so awesome. Hilarious and true. Thanks, Cliff!

Jacob Crane
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Really great post. As said, some of these are valid, but in the wrong location can be suck for a situation. Some of these techniques are dirty, but some are useful when not abused.

Jacob Johnson
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OMG the Obvious Bug Guy! lol I HATE him! "Now that checkerboard're going to take care of that right?"
Great writeup Cliff, keep em coming! I'm guilty of some of these items, and I didn't even realize it until now! Thanks for taking my head out of my a$$. haha

William Ravaine
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Hehe nice list, I recognize myself and quite a few past colleagues in these :)

Here are a few more:

"Compulsive Scheduling": scheduling formal meetings even for very small matters that could be resolved by a quick 1 minute chat at someone's desk

"The Dinosaur" : that guy who's been in the studio since before you were born but never really moved up the corporate ladder, and categorically refuses to work on stuff he is not already familiar with. This refusal to adapt and evolve can often lead to extinction.

Alan Wasserman
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"Always room for jello..." Typically used by a Lead Designer (or Producer) where they 'deprioritize' a desired feature below another in the hopes that the required resource wants it in so badly they'll work it into their schedule.

Albert Diaz
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Thank you for the post, I loved it!
These achtypes can definitely be applied to any industry, but here they seem to be even more hilariously dead on, can you spot those that apply to you? I know I had a few for myself haha.

Sean Watson
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I've encountered a type I had many names for, the nicest being "The Puppet" - this particular developer has a roll with responsibility to the game but allows his or herself to be pushed around by people above them that haven't played a game since minesweeper. They due,and their team implements designs that no one agrees is even the slightest bit decent. Some times they've got a hand so far up their ass the design team can't even suggest alterations to improve an idea without getting snapped at.

Kellam Templeton-Smith
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Great post-Juan's art was especially fun (Devan Shell?!).

Dave Hoskins
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"The Lazy Web Addict"
9am coffee, chat, 9:30 sit at desk and fire up internet. By the time they've gone around all the usual web sites it's time to update TwitFace, then oh, it's lunch time!
After lunch it's time to have a look at Gamasutra, and post a comment or seven.... ... .. .

Glen Watson
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I play the "Future Release" card, not because I don't want to hurt feelings, but because it was a brilliant idea, but just to lazy/to much work to implement it right now.

Sean Danielson
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One of the solutions the new studio I'm with has adopted is that we have an internal document listing every possible jargon, and it's accessible by all development team members. This eliminates the potential embarrassment of looking like you're out of your element when you ask about what a word means.

This also allows us to specifically define elements of a game design without confusing two completely different gameplay mechanics for the same thing.

Like, say, in our current project, that used three different categories of attacks, we couldn't just keep calling them Attack Type A, B, or C. We needed something that clearly defined the attacks' role and purpose. So we went with Standard Attacks, Technique Attacks, and Special Attacks. That information became enshrined in our "Project Definitions" document.

You might be wondering what this has to do with the article: it mitigates the confusion that comes from some of the examples described by some of the posters here, as well as in the article.

Nick Harris
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"Molydeux" : a combination of "The Promiser", "The Prophet" and "Captain Ahab".

abhishek deshpande
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"The Guilty Saint" - The one who reads such articles, chuckles and says "I've met these people in my career." without admitting to the fact that "My God. That's me."

Phil OConnor
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LoL...these are right on the money. How about:

"Armchair Quarterback" = Brand new designer who thinks your idea doesn't fit into the game, but has never worked on this kind of game before or even shipped anything.

"Instant Expert" = A designer who participating in a meeting assigns themselves the mantle of expertise in the genre of game that you are working on by virtue of having "played a lot of these kinds of games".

Matthew Downey
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"That's Not What [Blank] Is!" - A designer who would disagree with a non-Newtonian gravity mechanic because that's not what gravity is.

"Omnipinion" - A developer who tries to agree with everyone.

"The Skull Build" - A programmer who know the mechanics and codebase of a game by memory. Given a glitch (s)he will often immediately and matter-of-factly point out the source. When this programmer's computer crashes and an hour of code is dropped, (s)he nonchalantly re-codes it over the course of the next ten minutes.

"Never Surrender (in a War of Attrition)" - A behavior of finishing what's started no matter how costly, inopportune, or impossible.

"Choose Your Battles" - A mentality of getting meaningful and feasible tasks done at record pace. The opposite "Never Surrender".

Daniel McDeavitt
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"The Gardener"

Heh. Not me, no...

Taner Baubec
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I tried the Gardener once.. it didn't work :))

Alex Boccia
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Cool article. I've seen a lot of people let the smallest things ruin their game experience, it's kind of sad.

Daniel Erickson
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Thanks for the re-run. Missed it the first time around.

Jorge Molinari
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Cliff there is something I’ve always wanted to ask you: Now that you are no longer with Epic, will you please indulge me with a sincere answer?

Back in 2006 before the first Gears came out, you were “selling” the Gears gameplay as “pop and shoot”. You made some good points about how in a real war soldiers don’t go jumping vertically into the air but instead go moving from cover to cover, taking up flanking positions. I was delighted with how seamless this all played out in the single player campaign and subsequently on the coop modes in the sequels. However in the multiplayer this did not work at all simply because every player is equipped with a shotgun and is endowed with the ability to roll however many times he wants. With rolling making the enemies a lot harder to hit from a distance, and the shotgun being a one shot affair, this made the GOW multiplayer essentially a 5 on 5 shotgun duel; the “pop and shoot” gameplay went out the window essentially from day one. Epic (you yourself maybe?) tried to remedy this on the 2 sequels but the outcry from the fans was so large that the changes ended up being superficial and the multiplayer gameplay has continued to be a shotgun duel to this day.

So my question is: Is this assessment correct or did you really want the Gears multiplayer to be people rolling around with shotguns? If your intent was to have “pop and shoot” multiplayer, did it bother you to see the multiplayer portion of the game never played as you intended? It seems to me like Gears was too successful for its own good, and just like with Mass Effect, the fans in the ended wrested the creative freedom away from the developer.

(and I’m not even going to ask about the wall bouncing thing since I KNOW that can’t have been part of the design intent.)

On last thing…
When you get back to making games, please consider making another 3rd person cover shooter. This genre is under-represented, and the best multiplayer shooter is still staring at us in the face, waiting to be created by someone with your pedigree. Simply stated, that would be a game with the camera and cover system of the Gears series (best in the industry), but with the large maps, player count, vehicle diversity, and focus on objectives from the Battlefield series.

Best wishes and I hope you enjoy your well-earned rest.

Jorge Molinari
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Aw crap. I just noticed this article is from August! There goes my already slim chance of getting a reply from the author.

Christian Nutt
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And in case you're still looking for an answer... He kinda tackled this in his Reddit IAmA when he announced his new company! I didn't cover the answer here, but it's got a link to the Reddit thread.

Jair Wallace
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Heres two more:

The senate: Those people that need to be confronted about their contributions/ lack of contributions despite constant assurance it's coming.

The Blind Train Spotter: When a 'project manager' doesn't have the courage to confront the senators immediately and the cycle continues.

Emil Lindgren
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I'm on my second year of my design education and I'm already recognizing many of these techniques. Fun and informative article.

Karthik Kumar
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The Jazz Jackrabbit Prophet is just Awesome! :)

Filip Lizanna
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Oh man. This article was amazing....and i'm going to thoroughly enjoy reading through all of the follow up card contributions from everyone.

Alonso Garrote
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I can see myself in some of these, thanks for sharing!