FarmVille co-creator says, 'play as many games as you can'

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Back to SchoolThat is, if you want to become an accomplished game developer some day. Zynga VP of product development and FarmVille co-creator Mark Skaggs visited a McKinney, Texas middle school to give students the rundown of what it's like to be a game designer for a major company, McKinney Courier-Gazette reports. More importantly, he showed the kids what it takes. Skaggs told the bright pupils that if you want to learn how to make video games, you should "play as many games as you can."

Of course, the kids went wild after hearing that sage advice, but the guy has a point. It's probably tough to make an impressive video game if you don't know exactly how a player thinks. Skaggs also mentioned that good game design takes knowledge in several fields including math, science, engineering, technology and even English, according to McKinney Courier-Gazette.

According to McKinney Courier-Gazette, Skaggs claims that FarmVille wasn't even expected to be the smash hit that it was. Coming after the unsuccessful Treasure Isle (well, compared to its other games), FarmVille was reported to be originally geared toward the golden middle-aged mother demographic. It was only after college students started B lining for the farm that the game took off, McKinney Courier-Gazette reports.

After giving the runts a virtual tour of a few of the tools Zynga uses to create its games, Skaggs said, "Don't be afraid to fail at something or for it not to come out the way you expect. That's just the first step." Though, when you get to Zynga-like status, failure isn't necessarily an option.

[Image Credit: Game-Ups]

What do you think of Skaggs' approach to learning game design? How do you think young hopeful game designers should approach their dream? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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