Oscar Clark suggests nine ridiculous questions every game developer should ask themselves

Silly questions with a serious heart

Oscar Clark suggests nine ridiculous questions every game developer should ask themselves

Kicking off the second day of Devcom 2017, Oscar Clark, an evangelist at Unity, gave a talk on the nine ridiculous questions every game developer should ask themselves.

The first question was "what do you love that isn't a game?", suggesting that developers find something that they feel very passionate about to make an entirely new game around the experience.

Next up was "why would no one else make this game?" – "what is it that you've got that makes you badass?", Clark expanded, noting that having the passion for something can help make your game better, and perhaps secure a license if you're using an IP.

Pinch me

"Will players see your game in their dreams?" was the third question, with Clark adding that your game needs to have a visual element that they will remember long after they've stopped playing.

Memories about games don't have to be positive, however. He adds that you should ask "how can I make you hate a mechanic", such as an incredibly high difficult, which will reward players once they overcome it.

The fifth question revolved around dropping features, with Clark noting that removing certain elements of an established genre can create a whole new experience – such as how a tower defence game is essentially a cut-back real-time strategy.

Wanting more

"How can I stop the player playing?" was the controversial sixth question, with Clark adding that developers need to consider the timeframe which players might actually play their game in, to give them "natural" rests between sessions and avoid burnout.

He then asked "what is the worst thing I can deny a player?" – "we have to create a sense of an opportunity cost", he said, adding that if players only buy once, then you've failed because the player wasn't interested enough to make a repeat purchase.

"What will keep my players checking their phone?" was the penultimate question asked, with developers needing to consider what makes their game compelling and demanding players return to it regularly.

And finally, Clark asked "how can I make the other players jealous?" – this could be giving the player a way to show off their skill, or just showing off their wealth through the ability to buy premium items.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.