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Often in the course of making a game the idea you THOUGHT was going to work often doesn’t.  The thing you thought was going to add player value to your game proves that it does not.  When I was a rookie I hated seeing my hard work discarded, I suppose this is true for a lot of devs.  However as I matured in my career I became less and less enamored of my little babies, and could shoot them with abandon.  Now that I know a thing or two about making video games, I don’t get uptight about discarding work, I get uptight about when work is discarded.

Making a game should be in the service, always and at all times, of the player experience, whatever that might be.  The shorthand way of saying that is “find the fun.”  If the game fails to achieve this objective then the game will fail, nobody will want to buy it…. nobody except maybe your mom.

Its important to test your assumptions then, to figure out if the things you think are going to add fun to your game actually do that.  These assumptions can be tested at any point in the dev cycle, but its cheapest and most efficient to do it as close to the beginning of the project as possible.  The reason being is that if your idea is crap it will need to be discarded.  If you have spent just the bare minimum of resources necessary to determine the value of some component, and that component is determined to be crappy and will be chucked, then you are throwing away very little money…. IF however, you’ve expending a whole bunch of resources on a portion of your game and THEN discover its lousy, you will be throwing out a lot more money… plus the later in the dev cycle this happens the less time you have to figure out a better solution….

So feel free to kill your babies, just do it early.


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