Defining “The Game Design Debt”

This is the “Game Design Debt”: you need to build the core layer of foundations of the genre before being able to iterate on the genre.

Hades is another good example on this topic.

  • The market level is higher, so market entrants (aka beginner developers) will have a harder time, so the market is more favorable to experienced developers. It will be harder for new developers to make a living with games.
  • Getting a quicker result was previously mitigated by having better tools, but Unity & Unreal have reached a threshold. The new versions give new tools, but they’re only a margin faster.
  • Some genres have weaker layers and can get done quicker (visual novels for instance).
  • Some layers demand for a different set of skills. Roguelikes demand for strong game design, while visual novels require excellent writing.



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Game Dev Marketer. I share processes, techniques & tricks to do game marketing. Portfolio: