Digital Dragons 2016 – Design Hierarchies by Chris Avellone

Being at Digital Dragons 2016 in Cracow was an interesting experience – both from the business point of view and also from the development perspective. Currently, I’m during holy crusade of looking for the best producers to learn how to work and lead game designers/game directors to know how they’re thinking about creating products and working with a team on a game vision. And I found Chris. This guy is a veteran that understand how a game production process works and how to manage a large team to achieve a high-quality goal.

You should spend with him this 45 minutes if you want to know what it means to be a lead game designer and how to organise your design team to give everyone responsibility and fields to work on their own. I made some notes after third iterations of this talk:

  • it’s excellent when everyone in a team acts as a producer
  • set the pillars of your game to understand what is the most important
  • it’s good to get things done when a team knows who the vision holder is. He makes all calls in case of any doubts regarding the game
  • no matter who the lead is, it’s important that a whole team is responsible for raising any issue that can harm the game
  • the team has to carry out the game direction
  • a lead game designer needs to listen to people and address each issue in a positive way
  • a lead game designer also has to communicate game vision among the whole team
  • for his experience systems goes first – then level design and story at the end
  • higher in a hierarchy you are less content you create
  • as a leader use your authority to create a better game
  • it’s important to lay out the expectation to your teammates
  • employ only passionate developers
  • communicate decision with reasons
  • trust your team!
  • in a case of problems use the phrase: leave it for DLC 🙂

It’s superb to find someone to follow 🙂 And if you just don’t know how to manage your design team – take a look and enjoy!

More details about Digital Dragons: http://digitaldragons.pl/en/

Senior Producer @ ATGames