- David Edery, nowadays one of the acquisitions guys for Xbox Live Arcade, but also a prolific blogger at Game Tycoon, pinged me with a neat piece from Obsidian's Chris Avellone guest-posted on his blog, and called 'Game Design Research, ala Avellone'.

There are multiple good threads in that (and some great sketches!), but here's one highlight from the designer: "Over the past ten years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with licenses like Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons (in multiple worlds), Star Trek, and now, Aliens. I think I know more about some of these settings and their inhabitants than I do about Earth culture. Which is pretty shameful, now that I think about it."

Avellone continues: "But for our industry, having that knowledge saves you a lot of time. Knowing all the sub-plots that took place in comics, novels, all the nuances of why Giger concepted the aliens the way he did, the history of the Weyland-Yutani corporation - this minutia of science fiction licenses is actually a valuable knowledge base. There’s a reason they have fact-checkers and historians at LucasArts and Blizzard and other franchise houses - knowing the setting in and out is a paying gig... So my advice for any aspiring members of game development is pretty simple. If you’re a nerd, keep being a nerd." Done!