Gamasutra recently had the chance to pick the brain of game design veteran Ken Rolston, who you might recognize as the lead designer behind The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and its sequel, Oblivion.
During out chat, which was streamed live over on Twitch, we asked Rolston why, even when working on a huge project like Oblivion, he was determined to play a lot of games outside of the office.
The veteran designer explained he did that so he could pinch one or two ideas from the best, and that other designers should be doing the same.
If that's not possible -- because hey, making games isn't exactly a walk in the park -- you should talk to the person on your team who does get stuck in outside of work, because a lot of design problems can be solved by analyzing the work of your peers.
"It's true, [I would play a lot of games outside of the office]," he explained. "I think also another way to look at it is that, if you can't do that personally, make sure you know which person on your development team is the guy that does that kind of game playing, and can serve as an informant for you."
"Partly be your own informant, but assume that there's somebody more obsessive and more completionist than you are, and therefore knows everything about games, so you can steal ideas from them."