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Subject: Developers rss

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Emmanuel Dario Fernandez Arcidiacono
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I know this doesn't belong here, exactly, but I couldn't find the correct forum for it.

Here's the deal: with a couple of buddies, we're making a little podcast, (super amateur) and I thought of discussing the role of the developer. The designer, the artist, the publisher, all of those are fairly easy to understand (not only what they do, but from where they get the required qualifications and what those are), but the developers... can someone direct me to where I might learn about them? (their specific function, the things they usually must learn before starting their careers, anything).

Thanks in advance
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Gil Hova
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Think of a developer like a record producer. They're not part of the band, but they have a big influence in the band's sound. They punch things up, and make it sound better.

So a developer is usually hired by a publisher to work with the designer. The developer tweaks the game to make it polished and ready for publication. This can be tightening rules loopholes, streamlining play, adding variable player powers, and facilitating extra playtests. Developers are usually uncredited, sadly.

I have some shameless self-promotion coming up, so I'll hide it in a spoiler...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
If you want to know more about the subject, I just started a podcast myself called Breaking Into Board Games. We discuss getting into the game business from the points of view of a designer, a publisher, and to your question, a developer.

We have one episode down, and the next one comes out next week. The next few episodes are interviews, but we'll start recording more analytical episodes over the next few weeks.
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Paul Incao
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From my experience as a developer, in order to get the attention of a publisher you need experience. Play a lots of games, study rulebooks, offer to participate in playtests, offer to test PNP prototypes for designers. The key is get experience and learn what makes a good and bad design. If you can add value it should be easy to find a designer which will allow you to gain hands on experience with the design process....

Finally being a developer is all about taking part in a creative journey....that is the reward primarily. There is not a lot of money to be had in the boardgame industry and developers normally only get their credit in the rulebook, not the game box.
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J J
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Monk74 wrote:

I know this doesn't belong here, exactly, but I couldn't find the correct forum for it.

Here's the deal: with a couple of buddies, we're making a little podcast, (super amateur) and I thought of discussing the role of the developer. The designer, the artist, the publisher, all of those are fairly easy to understand (not only what they do, but from where they get the required qualifications and what those are), but the developers... can someone direct me to where I might learn about them? (their specific function, the things they usually must learn before starting their careers, anything).

Thanks in advance


Mark Rosewater, long-time head designer of Magic the Gathering, has had quite a lot to say about developers over the years, which should prove useful. The best option is a quick search with the terms "Mark Rosewater developer". Go with his 2011 essay "Let's see what develops" to start with.
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John A. White
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IngredientX wrote:
Think of a developer like a record producer. They're not part of the band, but they have a big influence in the band's sound. They punch things up, and make it sound better.[/o]


Scary...
I thought they just gave card action ideas. and helped with balance and play testing.
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Emmanuel Dario Fernandez Arcidiacono
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Many thanks to you all guys

I will be tunning for your podcast, Gil! And J.J thanks for that remindar, I had forgotten about Mark Rosewater! I used to read his columns on Magic back when I played it... that should be a big help too.

Again, thanks! Of course, should anyone want to add anything, please do so.
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