010 : “Truly Unique” – An Open Response to a Crazy Letter

Game Design Zen : Episode 010

It never fails. I’m chatting with friends when I stumble across the Newbie Letter. It’s full of wild ideas, crazy ambitions, and most telling, the 5-year plan for a game that is ‘truly unique’. This episode is an open response.

  • Something Different
  • The Letter (01:45)
  • Truly Unique (05:30)
    • Ira Glass – My Taste Is Killer
  • We Know What Good Is (08:00)
  • 5 Years of Motivation (09:15)
  • Making Progress (17:35)
  • Once We’re Done (18:45)
    • Don’t Tell
  • People Can Say What They Want (21:10)
  • Zen Moment (25:30)
    • Anything Can Be Accomplished

Game Design Zen is the intersection of game design, life, and the pursuit of excellence. It is the #1 resource for developers, artists, and designers including the art, science, and business of better games. Level up to zen.

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This is great... I don't know how many in times in passing I've heard similar stories but have never been able to effectively convey what people need to hear.  A passive medium like an article or a podcast ensures at least some reception of this message without just waiting in opposition.  Of course, no one in that position will actively seek out this information due to confirmation bias like you mention but if their interest in game design has brought them this far in your series then they've just received a golden nugget.

Ramin Shokrizade
Ramin Shokrizade

I actually attempted to do something very similar to what the person you are talking about described. It was something fairly simple, but no one had ever done it before. I thought it would take me a year (with no feedback) when I started, but I really had no idea since no one had done it before and I had no idea what solution I would come up with. Well it took 4.5 years without feedback, and really a full 9 years before I could deploy to the point where I got public feedback. It would be a bit of a long story and I don't want to hijack your thread, but I think a lot could be learned by what went wrong and right in my journey to develop virtual economics to the point where I could solve "the gold farmer problem", starting in 2005. Let me know if it would be cool to share that journey here and I will post it.

gigiwoo moderator

@Ramin Shokrizade My interest is definitely piqued. Do tell!

BTW - love your work on Gamasutra! Consider me a fan :)