Words/phrases can get adopted as jargon and begin to mean many different things depending on who you ask. I tend to be more verbose than catch-phrases (ex: Data-driven Design) cause I hope to keep what I’m tryin’ to say clear. When it comes to game development in my brain I’m rooted in the catch-phrases of “Data-driven” and “Systems Oriented”, which to me are philosophies I feel that are important. Combined and with buy-in I’ve both experienced and witnessed within entire teams…
- Less code, more content
- Larger creative box for ingenuity
- Improved re-usability (within game, or across games)
- Lower development times
So these benefits are pretty vague and generalized right? I can’t tell you that your team (or in my current case, solo-endeavors) will be 10x more productive, or that you’ll only need 10% of the workforce to accomplish the same output as [points at other team]. You won’t be able to magically shrink schedules by a determined amount by changing your philosophy, which is generally the priority when working in a corporate structure.
No, I don’t have metrics on these benefits, but I do have over a decade of anecdotal observation. Also, and more importantly right now, I have a personal story.
Last lil’ bit I’ve been working on my first personal project, Read Play Game. We’re together… basically almost always, so my partner is privy to many of my thoughts as I’ve been workin’ on it. Generally that flows something like:
Me: “I’m excited about this thing! It’ll mean this, and that, and because of these things I get to take advantage of…“
Partner: “That sounds neat, but also most of this isn’t sticking with me, is that okay?“
Me: “Yeah I just wanted to share out loud…“
Partner: “Cool, long as I’m not gonna get quizzed, keep going“
It wasn’t long til I had something to actually interact with (and now a demo available!) and all those ramblings I exposed to poor Angel connected some dots when they could be experienced. Out of the blue
Partner: “Do you think, using what you talked about, I could do … [idea]“
Me: “Totally, easy-peasy, the systems don’t know or care that all I want to display is text, you could easily have images, animated bits, anything, it’ll all stack on top of each other – choices could be images too, frankly you wouldn’t need a single line of text anywhere and still use all the same underlying systems“
Unintended consequence: My partner would like to make a thing with the framework I’ve been building for my own thing.
Angel is not a game developer, has no formal training in anything computer science or art, but with what I’ve built and what I’ve shown what it would take to create it (data for behavior, some tools for making the art), feels confident they can bring their idea to life.
I think that’s super cool, so I’m going to spend some time setting up an environment with examples.