Posted by : Jameson Durall Thursday, October 06, 2011

Our first question is from Terry Vallo who asks: "What is the biggest thing that changed in your life once you landed your first gaming industry job?"

I had a lot of things that changed in some way or another, but there was one change that I wasn't prepared for that impacted me greatly.  For about the first 3 years that I was in the industry, I couldn't actually enjoy playing a Video Game.  I had spent so much time in school focusing on how to make a game, that I then was so concerned with applying that knowledge and continuing to develop it.

Every time I played a game I would be analyzing every bit of it trying to decipher how they made special events happen, how they were able to get the enemy density with good frame rate, or thinking about the level layout and why it was effective for the combat it contained.  The only game that I could play and not experience this was Dark Age of I did that A LOT.  It was a frustrating time for me...not being able to enjoy what I'd loved all my life.

It actually took me a while to realize it was even happening, but once I did I slowly was able to begin pushing my "Designer's Eye" to the back and could enjoy games again.  Now I've gotten to the point where I can play games like I used to, but as soon as something interesting happens I can analyze it and then get back to enjoying.

I'm not sure if this change happens for everyone, but I have heard similar stories from Game Design friends through the years.  At the very least, it's something to keep an eye out for :)  If anyone has followup questions for this topic, send them my way!

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2 Responses so far.

  1. loki86 says:

    You couldn't have hit the nail on the head any harder! I have had the same thing happen to me. I can't finish a single game since I went through Full Sail! Every time I play a game I'm breaking it down, trying to figure out how they pulled off effects, trying to figure out their AI's decision trees. I find that once I'm done breaking down the game, it's combat and as much tech as I can, I'm bored of it and can't keep going. The only genre I found myself playing consistently anymore was MMO's but right now even that's at a lull.

    I just graduated about 8 months now, been working for 7. I really hope that I can learn to put that "developer eye" aside to learn to enjoy games again.

  2. I have to agree as well. I think it comes with the territory once you figure out the entire process as a whole.

    It may just have something to do with the entire "developer mentality".

    I believe it was Warren Spector who said he could not play the video games he designed. So my follow-up is can you play a game you created and enjoy it-as a player not a designer?

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