Gamedev and professional deformation: how to save the gamer in you?

Redboon
2 min readNov 20, 2023

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Game designer thread.

Hi everyone. My name is Ksay and I am a game designer in a small indie studio. Recently during the meeting we had a conversation with colleagues asking if they still play video games while being involved in gamedev. You know, when your hobby becomes your job and it’s not your hobby anymore.

For me the answer is simply clear — I continue to play games. I’m still a quite inquisitive person, keeping an eye on the industry trends and also involved with exploring new games of different genres.

But this conversation made me think long and hard about the impact of game development on me as a gamer. In truth, I couldn’t escape the professional deformation after entering gamedev. I started to pay regard for details which were considered insignificant earlier.

And now I understand deeply the reasons for certain decisions, whether they are determined by engine limits or they are just the team’s omissions. I also notice more tricks applied by developers and then think: ‘How did they do that?’ This encourages me to use similar tricks, but more applicable to my projects.

Have my standards for other games and gameplay been raised? Well, for me personally it doesn’t matter how the game is done if it brings me joy. However I admit that others who notice every little detail and are also involved in gamedev like me may raise their standards.

But in the end the gamer in me is saved, he’s maybe a grown-up now, but still curious and has a passion for everything new and unknown.

I think that a game is a piece of art, able to bring magic and inspiration to our lives.

Guys, what do you think about it? I wonder if solo and major companies developers differ a lot?

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