Copyright by Scott Rogers

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Chapter 4. YOU CAN DESIGN A GAME, BUT CAN YOU DO THE PAPERWORK?

A Japanese game director once visited the studio where I worked to impart his wisdom to our team about his philosophy of game design, which mainly had to do with how much money his latest game had made. As he was leaving, he asked our team a cryptic question: "I believe making games is like fishing" he said. "When I return, you will tell me why this is so." If he had been wearing a cape, I'm sure he would have swooshed it mysteriously as he left.

YOU CAN DESIGN A GAME, BUT CAN YOU DO THE PAPERWORK?

I spent a lot of time thinking about just exactly how making games was like fishing. In the end, I decided that making games is nothing like fishing. Fishing is quiet and slow and involves waiting for something to happen that may never happen[50]. I also decided that this game director was full of crap. So I developed my own analogy.

Making games is like making chili (bear with me—it'll make sense). Like making chili, you first need a recipe and that recipe is the game's documentation. Having the right recipe is important. You are not making soup or stew. You want to make sure your documentation not only covers what is in it, but how it can be made: just like a recipe. Be sure to follow the recipe, but be mindful that it will have to change, especially if something doesn't go right. And, just like making chili, remember that you can season to taste. Some parts of the game will ...

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