The Best GDC Session You (Probably) Didn’t Attend

My MVP ses­sion this year was Jason Scott’s explo­ration of “Stu­dio Design Groups.” For good or ill, my own his­tory as a designer has been work­ing for big­ger stu­dios and pub­lish­ers. Each of those had a wealth of design tal­ent, but the tal­ent that was divided and nat­u­rally enough focused on indi­vid­ual projects. Inter­nal divi­sion does exactly what is promises. At the least, oppor­tu­nity was lost. More accu­rately, the results were frag­mented cul­ture, con­tests over resources, short-term think­ing, etc.

Scott pre­sented a work­man­like approach for tack­ling the prob­lem. Light on the­ory, heavy on prac­ti­cal application. As with any effort such as Volition’s, half the issue is the pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of project-based dead­lines. That’s ulti­mately the choice of the stu­dio and its cre­ative staff. Scott’s most sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion in that fight is sim­ply to point out the rewards that cross-team devel­op­ment groups offered him. The other half of the prob­lem is archi­tec­tural. What’s the best work to orga­nize stu­dio design groups and to focus their efforts? I wished for even more detail (maybe focus on fewer SDG rounds?), but what I got out of the ses­sion had value.

P.S.: I have been blog­ging, just not pub­licly. Sorry! I’ll try to drop by more often.

One Comment

  • The think­ing is that when ppleoe clum­sily fill or scrib­ble over the draw­ings next to theirs rather than tran­si­tion­ing, the divi­sion will be a lit­tle less jar­ring than it might oth­er­wise. In the worst case, it’ll look less like papers piled over one another, and more like postage stamps, or a quilt.Also, with hope, it will remind ppleoe to try and fit their work in, in what­ever way, to the surroundings.

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