If you are following me on Twitter, you may be familiar that I like video games : ) Sometimes I tweet screenshots (without spoilers) and my fascination with various games.
I’m especially into FromSoftware games such as Dark Souls, Demon's Souls, Bloodborne, Elden Ring, ... These are kinda challenging games that teach you to learn from your failures and improve at your next run.
I find this approach similar to how the design process works. We learn from our failed or flawed design solutions due to various reasons like lack of data to make educated assumptions, lack of edge use case knowledge, etc. and continuously improve on them, not giving up until we succeed with the best possible solution.
Playing these types of challenging games helps building strong characteristics.
Don’t give up! Learn from the failures and improve on them.
In these games, the stories are very vague. The plot gives you an unclear objective like “Ring 2 bells (in Dark Souls)” but it doesn’t tell you why you do it, how you should go along to achieve that goal... You need to figure that out by talking to NPCs and finding clues in the world.
Again in a similar sense, we as designers are often communicated the mission, the goal of the project such as “I want this app to help people through their mortgage process". But, how do we do it? You will find the answers to that. So, you talk to founders, do market research to find clues to achieve your goal and come up with a plan.
Playing these types of games with vague plots helps building investigative skills.
Research and find answers for your design solution.
I’m always amazed by the minds that create these fantastic worlds. Interconnected maps, creative creature designs, environments... Literally creating digital worlds with every detail that needs to work in harmony. The creativity, collaboration and discipline it requires is spectacular. I have deep respect for these minds.
Playing these types of creative, ambitious games helps building collaboration skills and creativity.
Work with your team and push the limits of your creativity.
There is a common question for designers, “Where do you get your inspiration from?” The common answer is to browse websites like Dribbble, Behance, UIJar.com (shameless plug 😁) and sure there is value in these websites. However, I find these websites useful while looking for specific interaction or design solutions.
Inspiration is everywhere. Do not limit yourself to design collection websites.
Explore these magical worlds in video games.
There is also the pure enjoyment side of playing video games. Coming home after a long day with a head full-on meetings, emails, design specs, ... and leaving all that behind by getting lost in these fantastical worlds is refreshing.
As Bertrand Russell's saying goes:
The time you like wasting is not wasted time.
Enjoy your time with video games, do not see it as a waste of time as society thinks. This is YOUR time, use it as you like it. It will make you a better designer.
What type of video games do you like? Please let me know, so I can explore new worlds which I may not have discovered yet.
FYI, this article includes affiliate links. If you use them, it won't cost you anything extra, but a small commission will be paid to me which will be used for this blog's costs. Thank you.