New Year’s Resolutions For Game Developers

As we approach the start of a new year, many people make New Year resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as losing weight or donating more money to charity, beginning from New Year’s Day.nHere are some suggested New year’s resolutions for game developers, whether they be programmers, designers, artists, producers, or some other position in game development and production.


  • Read Gamasutra every day.
  • Observe, analyze, and interpret the games you play.
  • Aim high but stay humble.
  • Fail at least a portion of what you do.  Otherwise, you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.  Take risks.
  • Never assume an idea is good until you’ve tested it.
  • Never rule out an idea as bad until you’ve tested it.
  • Always know which audience you’re working for. Know who the stakeholders are.
  • Don’t assume your players are male. Or white. Or straight.
  • Keep your design document up to date.
  • Plan for localization and porting early.
  • Resolve the unknowns first.
  • Make it scalable.
  • Comment it.
  • Proofread it.
  • Back it up.
  • Get someone else’s opinion.
  • Shut up and listen. Really listen.
  • Don’t argue with playtesters who say your game is confusing or boring. Because they’re right.
  • When you get feedback, act on it.
  • Use deodorant. Personal hygiene is not a lifestyle choice in an office environment.
  • Finish it on time. Unless things are really high stake, in which case finish it 24 hours early.
  • Test it before delivering it.
  • Don’t count on royalties for your development profit. Most games never earn out.
  • Take time out to attend user groups, trade shows, and other game industry events.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Share what you know with other developers. That’s how communities work.
  • Don’t badmouth anyone you’ve worked with. It will come back to bite you.
  • Keep your resume, gameography, and portfolio up to date.
  • Always leave a professional and lasting impression.
  • Don’t post anything on social media you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.
  • Read books, attend plays and concerts, visit museums, travel, learn a new (human) language, volunteer. There’s more to life than video games.

What resolutions would you add to this list?


About David Mullich

I am a video game producer who has worked at Activision, Disney, Cyberdreams, EduWare, The 3DO Company and the Spin Master toy company. I am currently a game design and production consultant, a game design instructor at ArtCenter College of Design, and co-creator of the Boy Scouts of America Game Design Merit Badge. At the 2014 Gamification World Congress in Barcelona, I was rated the 14th ranking "Gamification Guru" in social media.

Posted on December 28, 2015, in Career Advice, Game Design, Game Production and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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