Politics From An Eye of a Game Developer: By The Player, For The Player

Nathan Damtew
4 min readNov 5, 2020

I would like to pay my condolence for the people who lost their lives earlier this week in a tragic massacre due to their ethnicity. My thoughts and prayers goes to their family and loved ones. May peace be upon my country. #StopEthnicCleansing #SayNoToWar

Ever since I wrote “Politics From An Eye of a Programmer” eight months ago a lot of things went down. I thought the topic was too controversial and decided to keep my nose out of it. With everything that has been going on for months around the world and even in the past few days in my country, it’s quite hard to ignore politics and just do my job. Somehow I realized everything we do directly relates to it. For years, I thought the entire universe revolves around the sun when clearly our world revolves around the world politics.

Note: For all that haven’t read my last piece about politics, I strongly recommend if you read it before going further into this one. It will help you understand what my general stand is on world politics. Here is the link

Yes, I still think politics is some messed up $h!t but I tried to stop being ignorant and did my best to understand more about it. So, I thought maybe seeing it from a different perspective would help me better understand it and that is from a Game Designer and Developer point of view.

My journey as a game developer started 3 years ago when I wanted to solve a certain problem through games. Ngl, I started out as a bad game developer just like every amature does. I had a vision for it and wanted to bring it to reality. Few people started to believe in me and my vision. I had all their support to bring it to life but it wasn’t enough. So, I had to do more to have more people alongside me. At some point I had enough people that shared my vision and support me in realizing it. I’m still learning and continuously improving my skills to give the best for my players.

Pretty much every developer has went through the same path as me. Once every developer gets to the last stage, it’s not just about their vision and imaginations, it’s their player’s that matters most. To have a successful game a game developer need to align with their players needs.

Does that last sentence ring any bells? As a matter of fact, doesn’t my entire journey as a game developer looks familiar?

It’s the exact same journey every politician goes when they want to become a leader. They start with a vision for their country and a dream for their people. In the beginning, only few people believe in them, it could just be their mom at some point. Then they had to do more, campaign, to have more people follow them and share their vision. Usually the bad ones fail on the last and very important step. Once they are in power, they fail to align with thier people needs. I wasn’t smart or anything back in school but I remember my 6th grade civics teacher saying “The Government is chosen by the people, for the people”. It makes so much sense now. I also remember him telling me to bring a parent because he thought I don’t listen in class. But look at me quoting him in my article 😅. #MommaIMadeIt Anyways, where was I? . . . Yap, By The People, For The People.

I’m not here to tell what our political leaders should do but to share my understanding of the politics as a game developer. I finally came to a realization that a game developer and a leader are very similar except in our case the phrase “By The People, For The People” changes to “By The Player, For The Player”. In my brief experience, taking my players needs seriously is what matters the most, after all I’m building the game for them. I sometimes wonder if our leaders ever thought the same for their people. SMH.

FAQ

How do you design a game for the player? You hear their heartbeat

Do you need a stethoscope to hear their heartbeat? A game developer doesn’t need a stethoscope to hear their players heartbeat. I mean unless the developer is a part time doctor (happens rarely)and a player comes to see them as a patient.

So how do you hear the players heartbeat? Tracking KPIs and collecting feedbacks from the players.

What are KPIs? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quantifiable metrics used by game developers to measure the success of their games and business.

KPIs allow us to measure progress over time and better understand which areas are working, which are not, and where to put our focus. Without measuring KPIs we wouldn’t know if our game is a potential big hit, a total waste of time and money, or somewhere in between — but, we won’t know anything to prove either one.

How do you collect feedbacks? Primarily through play store or app store review section. Social media also plays a huge role in collecting feedbacks.

What do you do with the collected information from the players? You adjust the game accordingly to better satisfy the player needs. A player must always come first.

What happens if you fail to do any of these? The player doesn’t want to play your game anymore. You’re a bad game designer and a developer.

As for now I’m going to leave it to you guys to finish up drawing the analogy between a game developer and a political leader. I still feel like there is more I can say and maybe, just maybe, I might come back soon with another part.

In the meantime, stay safe, wear your mask, and #SayNoToWar. Ciao!

--

--

Nathan Damtew

I don't usually write, but when I do I try to keep it entertaining, to the point & knowledgeable. I’m a techie, a leader, and a friend. Lemme buy you a coffee☕️