What Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues can Teach us About Game Development Part 2

Written By MrSun at 8:00 am - Friday, September 26th, 2008
Categories: Game Development

We all know who Benjamin Franklin is, one of the greatest Americans in history. His brilliant ideas have survived the centuries without any signs of disappearing. One of his greatest ideas was the idea of personal development. To assist himself in his development as a human, he created a list of thirteen virtues which he would try to focus on following. These virtues can all be applied to the game development process, as I will show you today.

Virtue #8: Justice

“Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty”

Be nice.

For game developers, this virtue basically means that we shouldn’t do anything bad to the people who play our games. Don’t purposely do anything that would annoy them. Of course, some humor here and there is fine, but try to keep it all in good taste.

Virtue #9: Moderation

“Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve”

Don’t tilt too far to one side. Don’t do one thing too much or too little.

As game developers, we need to keep our games’ features moderated. This means that we have to spend equal amount of effort for every aspect of the game. Don’t spend all of your time working on a single game mode or character art, unless you want to spend that much on everything. The key is to be consistent with your time.

Virtue #10: Cleanliness

“Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or habitation”

Keep everything clean.

For us, this means that we have to keep our code clean. Always try to use the best programming practices and comment your code the right way. Optimize your code. Making a “clean” game takes a bit of work, but the outcome will always be worth it.

Virtue #11: Tranquility

“Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable”

Stay cool through minor problems.

There are many problems, mostly minor, that all game developers have to go through. Don’t be discouraged when you come upon one that is challenging to fix. You should never abandon a project simply because you encounter too many problems with it or it hasn’t turned out as you expected. You have to stay calm through the whole process if you want a happy ending. Take a break from it if you have to, but always keep your tranquility.

Virtue #12: Chastity

“Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation”

Don’t have sex unless necessary.

This virtue surprisingly does indeed fit into the topic of game development. However, we’re not talking about sex here. Instead, the game developer’s “sex” is playing other games. Just because you make games doesn’t mean you have to play others. You should only play games if you want to see how other developers did something in their game, or any other reason that will benefit your own game. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself once in a while, but if you want to be a great game developer, then this step is quite necessary.

Virtue #13: Humility

“Imitate Jesus and Socrates”

Be humble, don’t pride yourself too highly.

This is the last of Ben Franklin’s thirteen virtues. As a game developers, you must be humble with the feedback you get on your games. Don’t be insulted if somebody doesn’t like your game. You have to listen to all of the reviewers carefully and improve your game accordingly. The public is always correct when it comes to whether or not your game is good.

One Comment

trifle goods for life:

nice blog and thanks for inspiring ideas..