It really, really hurts to have a cool thing you designed summarily cut from the game.

Now here’s the problem: it is well known that designers love to sit there and beat their chest in woe when their ideas are removed from their games by producers. It is, in fact, stereotypical behavior to protest such cuts. So much so that it galls me when I see it, and it galls me even more when I do it.

But, man, sometimes it really stings.

It seems to be largely in the presentation. Producers take note: there is a great deal of difference between saying, “We’re thinking about cutting that boss fight and replacing it with something simpler; what do you think about that?” and saying, “Yeah, we cut that. Thank god, too, it didn’t make any sense.”

Don’t get me wrong. When a producer comes to me and asks me what I think about a proposed cut, I’m well aware that they aren’t actually looking for my opinion on the matter. It’s been settled all ready, generally long before the question made its way to my desk. That said, even the slightest courtesy in these matters often makes the difference between a kind of resigned acceptance of the inevitable and sitting there stewing in frustration and confusion (and then blogging about it).

But still, one is presented with the dilemma: the way such things get handled often really fucking stings, but if I make any noise about that fact, I have to overcome the initial assumption that I’m just complaining about my work getting cut. Which I’d like to do. Which of course is something that wants to invade any conversation I have about the topic, and takes some reasonable amount of restraint to prevent. Which makes convincing people that I really don’t just want to grouse all the more difficult.


Needless to say, they cut something today. It happens. I fantasize sometimes about ways to handle the urgent necessity of game development in such a way as to not require me to sit and take it unflinchingly. There ought to be a better way, dammit.

None jump to mind, though. Other than just being kind to one another.