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Game Developer Flashcards: The Gamasutra Community Edition
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Game Developer Flashcards: The Gamasutra Community Edition

September 24, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

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 rejecting anything. - Matthew Henry

The Skull Build. A programmer who knows the mechanics and code base 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 10 minutes. - Matthew Downey

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 Brotherhood's sanctuaries. - Ara Shirinian

The Martyr. A person who defends otherwise introverted developers. - Aaron Cassillas

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. - Tyler Coleman

It's All About the Meetings

If you work at a game studio, there's no doubt that a big portion of your working life will be sucked away by meetings -- some of them totally pointless, of course. The next five definitions speak specifically to personalities and phenomena that arise from this harsh reality.

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

IQ Drop. When a bunch of intelligent people all get together in a meeting and suddenly the IQ drops and nothing gets done. - Aaron Cassillas

Compulsive Scheduling. Scheduling formal meetings even for very small matters that could be resolved by a quick one-minute chat at someone's desk. - William Ravaine

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. - Aaron Cassillas

Instant Expert. A designer who, participating in a meeting, assigns themself 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". - Phil O'Connor

Omnipinion. A developer who tries to agree with everyone. - Matthew Downey

Selective Deaf Guy. The person who insists that the audio department dramatically increases 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. - Mark Kilborn

First Runner Up. An idea that only gets approved because it came after a crazy idea that got rejected. - Jay Anne

Concept Art Dragon. An artist who makes the 3D art exactly like the 2D art, knowing full well it would never work out technically. - Aaron Cassillas

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. - Jason Weesner

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. - Aaron San Filippo

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