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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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4. Starting Practices

Be great in act as you have been in thought.

—JEAN PAUL

If I can relate only one lesson in this book, it’s that the way to become a game designer is not found in the pages of any book, no matter how well-written. The key to becoming a game designer is simply to make games.

When asked about their game ideas, students often answer with riffs on their favorite large AAA games. Their ideas are often about making the next Skyrim. That is taking an overly large bite. They subtly ignore the massive complexity of these games, which often have development teams that number in the hundreds.

Making games is a complex affair. Even comparatively simple mobile games can be really complex. Rami Ishmail, cofounder of award-winning developer ...

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