It's hard to design games. It's even harder to design good games. Just ask legendary creator Richard Garriott, the man behind the Ultima series - he says the difficulty to learn how to design well is the reason why most other developers are rubbish.
But first, some back-patting. "Other than a few exceptions, like Chris Roberts, I?ve met virtually no one in our industry who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am," Garriott told PC Gamer
"I think there?s really very few great game designers. I think Chris Roberts is one of them, Will Wright?s another, Peter Molyneux is another. They clearly exist, but on the whole, I think that the design talent in our industry is dramatically lower than we need, as an industry. It?s a very hard skill to learn.
"I?m not saying that because I think I?m so brilliant. What I?m saying is, I think most game designers really just suck, and I think there?s a reason why. It?s really hard to go to school to be a good designer."
His reasoning is that designers are usually born out of aspiring developers with no notable talent for either art or programming. Either you're great at art and focus on artistic discipline, or you're great at coding and focus your career on programming. Or, you're great at neither and focus on designing.
Do you think Garriott's got it right? Should there be more focus on teaching the specifics of media design in schools? Let us know in the comments below.