Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Better

Continuing to reference the “James Portnow School of Design” presented in the first post, the next major trait that a good designer possesses is the capacity for self-analysis, the ability to be aware of yourself and your actions, to be able to edit yourself, to be able to look past your emotional investment and see what works.

That resilience is something I’ve had to rely on quite a bit in my professional life to date…

Every day, my Day Job requires me to examine contracts for errors. I am a key part of a wall protecting my company from a massive, expensive, and investor-terrifying audit failure. Because of this, overconfidence and sloppiness are my biggest threats. If I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing, and how I’m doing it, it could cost our company significantly. My role is one where it pays to be paranoid.

Alongside this, my experience in Writing and Game Design has kept these skills honed even away from the office. Iteration, editing, and revision are key elements of producing works of fiction and written adventures, and these products demand that I re-visit decisions time and again, to ensure they’re “still working.”

More deeply, I find that this is part of my Personality. As an awkward, analytical kind of person, I find myself looking at my own decisions and movements in an effort to quantify and edit them. This is part of why this blog exists — to examine elements of myself and see what I need to improve on, what skills I need to develop, and what notions I might need to exterminate to become a great game designer. I’m not always comfortable in my own skin — that’s due to my self-analysis. Furthermore, I’ve internalized the idea of iteration as a life philosophy. Though I don’t always have the luxury to fail, it is something I spend a lot of time doing, because it builds resilience and makes the surviving qualities better. I believe in personal evolution — I was not created to be something, I must work to be anything.


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