This is a version of an article that first appeared in the November 2011 issue of Game Developer magazine.


Every now and then, I get asked by a junior designer how to move up the ranks in hisorganization and become a senior designer or a lead.  There is no simple answer to this question – different designers at different organizations have wildly different day-to-day responsibilities and toolsets.

There are commonalities, though, things that are true no matter whether you’re a worldbuilder, a systems designer, or a game writer.  They are core personality traits focused on leadership, teamwork, and quality.  While they don’t belong in game design theory books, they are crucial to the success of large software projects, and among the most important traits I look for when interviewing potential design candidates. Continue reading