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Feature: Do Developers Need To Be Players?
Feature: Do Developers Need To Be Players?
September 27, 2011 | By Staff

September 27, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

As part of Gamasutra's latest feature, notable developers Kareem Ettouney (LittleBigPlanet) and David Braben (Kinectimals) show a strong contrast in their opinions of whether developers need to play games to make them.

"Are there advantages to not being a regular player of games? I would say among designers, probably not," Braben tells Gamasutra.

Meanwhile, says Ettouney, "There are people who are great musicians and great writers and great storytellers who don't necessarily play much. I think that things that feed into development do not have to be direct. You don't have to make games and then play games -- you can make games and do kung fu and that will help your animation, or if you're a dancer, you understand elegance. It doesn't have to be literal."

On the other hand, says Braben, "It may be that they come at it fresh and not be influenced by the way people have done things, which actually is a fair point. But the problem is you will end up more likely than not just doing something in a game that was done umpteen years ago."

Still, Ettouney says, it's important that others on the team do have that in-depth knowledge of gaming. "We need those people. We've got people in the team who are fluent in all the on-going stuff and they show us as well."

The full feature also features commentary from id Software's John Carmack, Media Molecule's Mark Healey, Stainless Games' Neil Barnden, and more, and is live now on Gamasutra.

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