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Cliff Bleszinski's Game Developer Flashcards
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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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