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Video: Grappling with the dark side of game development

As part of the GDC 2016 Independent Games Summit, game designer Joshua Boggs (Framed) gave an emotional talk about how his quest for validation and acclaim led him to sacrifice things he held dear.

December 6, 2016

2 Min Read

Game developers are, by and large, creative people who put their best work -- and, by extension, a piece of themselves -- in front of the world. That means they need to learn how to handle attention, or the lack thereof.

As part of the GDC 2016 Independent Games Summit, game designer Joshua Boggs delivered an emotional talk about what he thought he wanted out of his life as a game maker -- and how his role as director on the lauded 2014 noir puzzle game Framed satisfied some of those desires, but ultimately left him unfulfilled.

His talk was ultimately about how his quest for validation led him to sacrifice things he held dear, and it serves as a cautionary tale for fellow developers who might be struggling with their own ambitions or anxieties. Using himself as a warning, Boggs discussed his depressive and downward spiral during the development of Framed, and detail how his unsatisfied mind fueled his destructive addiction for recognition.

It was a powerful talk. If you missed it in person, know that you can now watch the entire talk for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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