Quotes for Game Designers


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Do weird and difficult things.

      Masaya Matsuura, Game Designer

      Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.

          E. F. Schumacher, Economist

What game is worth doing that's not creatively risky?

      Tim Schafer, Game Designer

What works is better than what looks good. The looks good can change, but what works, works.

      Ray Kaiser Eames, Furniture Designer

      We wish to create a world as real as, but other than, the world that is… This is why we cannot plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine. We know that a genuinely created world must be independent of its creator; a planned world (a world that fully reveals its planning) is a dead world. It is only when our characters and events begin to disobey us that they begin to live... What has changed is that we are no longer the gods of the Victorian image, omniscient and decreeing, but in the new theological image, with freedom our first principle, not authority.

        John Fowles, Novelist

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Pilot and Novelist

      One of the most striking testimonies to the quality of the English spirit is the English love of sport and games in a classical sense and their genius for inventing games. One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive values.

        Carl Gustav Jung, Psychologist

I'll take an Grade A individual with a B idea over a Grade B individual with an A idea.

      Georges Doriot, Dean of Harvard Business School

Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.

      Michelangelo Buonarroti, Artist

      "What's new?" is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream.

        Robert M. Pirsig, Philosopher

Woo the muse of the odd.

      Lafcadio Hearn, Writer, quoted by Bruce Sterling

      It's misleading to suppose there's any basic difference between education and entertainment. This distinction merely relieves people of the responsibility of looking into the matter. It's like setting up a distinction between didactic and lyric poetry on the grounds that one teaches, the other pleases. However, it's always been true that whatever pleases teaches more effectively.

        Marshall McLuhan, Media Theorist

Focus groups tell you what people like, but they don't tell you what people want.

      Ron Gilbert, Game Designer

      Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low. It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault is aware. To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it.

        Judge Richard A. Posner, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Play testing by people outside of the development team typically comes  too late to have a major impact on the final product.

      — Jeff Orkin, Game Researcher

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