An Eighties Vision of the Video Game Designer

In the eighties, I realized that at some point I would like to make an attempt at being a video game designer. Being a native kid, with no real understanding of how to proceed, I did what I usually did in that situation. I would read magazines that mentioned video games and how they were designed and would cut out art in those magazines and hang them on my wall or put them in a book. As if by the act of passive observing and collecting would make it happen.

During my teen years I made several attempts to create board games and RPGs. Usually they were derivative works with little in the way of innovation, but occasionally I would do something that I was proud enough of to share with my friends. Sadly as soon as they started spotting flaws (which were plentiful), their criticism, even when it was not harsh would destroy my enthusiasm for the project.

Despite this, I never stopped thinking that one day it would happen and the seeds planted in the eighties would eventually bear fruit when I would land work in that much dreamt about industry.

I am very happy that I had the opportunity to work in the video game industry for a while. It was very much a dream come true. So if you know someone who has an interest, please consider encouraging them. Oh, and if they have a middling RPG game about Flying Circuses in 1920’s American, try to make the criticism constructive (even if the economic system is oversimplified and under-researched).

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The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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