Game designer tribal warfare

In the first post in this series, I described 4 (rounding up from 3.5) tribes of game designers, each tribe with a core value system that its members shared. Of course, like any categorisation, these tribes are somewhat arbitrary and necessarily forced, but I find putting things in boxes helpful, as it brings clarity to both the box and the thing you’re putting in it. This post, I’m going to take the concepts of the tribes and mix them together, not just because the real world doesn’t neatly fit into the 4 discrete boxes, but because this will actually be helpful. We’ll find that some tribes share values that interact harmoniously and that designers taking ideas from both of those tribes can create some really fantastic games, but other tribes have values that are mutually exclusive and that trying to design while adhering to the beliefs of both tribes can lead to troubled development and a troubled final design. Personally, I often find myself at the dark crossroads between two of these opposing tribes and thinking about this has definitely given me some clarity, and I hope this post will help you come to terms with your own game design tribal identity. Continue reading

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