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Oblivion lead designer: Break out of your game dev bubble

Morrowind and Oblivion lead designer served up some practical design tips during our recent Twitch stream. Here's what he had to say.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 2, 2017

1 Min Read

Gamasutra recently had the chance to pick the brain of game design veteran Ken Rolston, who you might recognize as the lead designer behind The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and its sequel, Oblivion

During out chat, which was streamed live over on Twitch, we asked Rolston why, even when working on a huge project like Oblivion, he was determined to play a lot of games outside of the office. 

The veteran designer explained he did that so he could pinch one or two ideas from the best, and that other designers should be doing the same. 

If that's not possible -- because hey, making games isn't exactly a walk in the park -- you should talk to the person on your team who does get stuck in outside of work, because a lot of design problems can be solved by analyzing the work of your peers. 

"It's true, [I would play a lot of games outside of the office]," he explained. "I think also another way to look at it is that, if you can't do that personally, make sure you know which person on your development team is the guy that does that kind of game playing, and can serve as an informant for you."

"Partly be your own informant, but assume that there's somebody more obsessive and more completionist than you are, and therefore knows everything about games, so you can steal ideas from them."

To hear more from Rolston, be sure to check out the full stream right here. After that, why not follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel for even more developer insights and gameplay commentary.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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