1.3. Playing Like A Game DesignerΒΆ

If you have ever spent any time learning and playing sports, you probably recognize that there is a big difference between playing a sport and learning to play a sport. You could spend spend afternoons going to a park with your friends and shooting hoops and never get very good at playing basketball - even after hundreds of hours. Certainly you would gain some skill, but the immediate concerns of winning games would take precedence over learning the fundamentals that would allow you to really get good.

As an alternative, you could spend the same time working with a basketball coach doing drills to learn how to shoot, dribble, play defense, box out, etc... A hundred hours doing drills may not sounds like as much fun as playing with your friends, but you would almost certainly become a much better player spending your time that way. This intentional practice - practice where you actively focus on developing your skills - will produce much quicker results than the unintentional practice you get by just playing the game.

Learning to be a game designer requires developing the habit of playing games with the intention of learning from them. These two Extra Credits videos discuss the idea and how to approach it: