Over at Jordan Mechner’s relaunched site,1 game designer Adam ‘Atomic’ Saltsman looks at the differences between big-budget and little games:

Don’t forget that taking a true game design role on a big game is almost impossible. The vast majority of the team, while they all have creative input and the ability to affect the outcome of the game, are largely devoted to producing the game content, not making decisions about the game design.

Even in a game studio with a thousand employees, only a handful of them will actually work on game design on a daily basis, and they’re probably going to hang on to that job for a while. This is just the reality of it; if game design is the part of making games that you love, making small games is going to be a much better bet, at least for now.

It’s detailed advice with lots of links and examples. Check it out if you’re interested in the playable side of motion pictures.

  1. If some design details look familiar, it’s because Ryan Nelson helped with the revamp.