The designer (if not a member of the day-to-day team) needs to see
the current version to confirm that the product is in line with the cur
rent design specifications and the core concept of the game.
The QA testers report problems to the producer. The problems must
be categorized as major (crash, function or action not working), minor
(text misspelling, character movement too fast or slow, response time
feels wrong), glitches (sound or graphic problems), improvements
(add a new feature, improve the character’s interaction or behavior,
clarify a confusing aspect of the design or gameplay), a video game
standards issue (the triangle button does not perform as the standard
function definition), or multiplatform inconsistency (PC version vs.
Whether one person assumes the role of both producer and designer or
several people handle these tasks, there must be one producer whose
word is final, whose decisions are followed, and whose leadership is
trusted and motivating.
n Reader A comments: Having taken part in independent game develop-
ment for nearly a year (without any pay) I find these principles to be solid
and true. I have been doing work as a designer and a producer. It is very
easy to get the two mixed up. It’s good to separate the two aspects and des-
ignate individuals to their respective roles, and to make sure that each
has a firm grasp on what their goals and responsibilities are.
n Reader B comments: The first principle talks about the different roles
that are involved when developing a game. This delimits the role of the
game designer as the creative mind of the team, whereas the producer is
more focused on managing the team, and the financial and marketing
sides of the project.
Reader C comments: I found the first “Pedersen Principle” very informa
tive. It gave me a better understanding of the role of a designer and pro
ducer, how much they are involved with the productivity of the team, and
how much they depend on the team to actually get things done in order
and on time.
Principle 2: No Designer
or Producer Is an Island
Gathering information throughout the product development cycle and
knowing what to do with it is the trait of a great designer and producer.
Designers should research their subject matter and evaluate outside
suggestions and opinions. The audience demands and expects films and
books to seem realistic and accurate. The computer and video game audi
ence should accept nothing less.
When undertaking the development of a sports game (e.g., baseball), a
designer may feel that he knows the sport from playing it and viewing it
on TV. However, much more research must be undertaken to create an
The “Pedersen Principles” 19