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September 21, 2017
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GameDev Thoughts: Should You Waste Your Time Reading Game Design Articles?

by Daniel Doan on 03/16/17 11:33:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Game design has a plethora of resource materials available for anyone interested in game development. I personally have read hundreds upon hundreds of articles online, and dozens of books on the subject matter. What I soon noticed though was that a lot of them have the same sort of content, and I found myself questioning whether reading re-hashed material would be good use of my time. Obviously this repeated content is helpful for the uninformed reader, but once you’ve read one article, it’s fair to say that there’ll be a lot of overlap in the content that you might consume later on.

However, I’ve come to realize that no matter how much content is repeated, every resource has its own unique take on it, and those unique “gold nuggets” are what separate each article from each other. Even if you’re reading something that you may already have heard, it still helps you reinforce the things you already know. Getting to the “gold nuggets” is simply a matter of sifting through all the materials you can, but not at the expense of your general knowledge. After all, if the content is repeated in most resources, then it probably is important.

You can visualize this concept through the conversations you have with coworkers, or other people around you. A lot of the time your greeting is practically the same day by day, but the content that follows afterwards may or may not be something you already know. This helps expand your breadth of knowledge for future reference.

Important Takeaways: Just because a book or article or other type of resource you’re consuming is telling you something you’ve heard plenty of times before doesn’t mean that it won’t tell you something that you haven’t later on. Even if it does end up being completely uniform with what you already know, it’ll help reinforce those concepts, and perhaps revitalize them if they had been forgotten or nearly forgotten.

In the best case, that particular resource will show a unique perspective and give you another potential way to go about your game design. Finding articles that are of value is a mixture of finding that they reinforce core concepts effectively, shine a new light on older ideas, or both, with an article that has a healthy mixture of both being the best. Don’t dismiss the river that you’ve looked at over and over again, because each time you look you might find a few gold nuggets that you didn’t see before.

If you’ve found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends on social media!

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Thank you so much for reading my article! I’m Daniel Doan, the Co-Founder of Black Shell Media. We're a publishing and marketing firm dedicated to helping indie developers succeed.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter, or stalk me on Instagram for more game development and design tips!


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