‘Ratchet & Clank,’ ‘Spider-Man’ vet to video game developers: Innovate, don’t emulate

Shaun McCabe first became interested in video game development when he was playing Final Fantasy VII in the late 1990s.

But to turn that spark into an actual career, he looked to Full Sail University in Winter Park.

The classes there would prepare him for a career that has taken him to Insomniac Games to work on the Ratchet & Clank.

Ratchet & Clank lead a Full Sail hall of famer

Now a Full Sail hall of gamer, McCabe returned to Orlando this month for a series of appearances at the school and around Orlando.

After he did, he shared three tips with The OVG that he said could help up-and-coming game developers.

1. Innovate, don’t emulate. A small game developer lacks the capability of a large AAA developer. But they’re also able to take more creative risks. Instead of looking to emulate other popular games, small developers should seek to differentiate, find opportunities to deliver truly innovative experiences to players.

2. Change early, change often. A lot of small developers start because someone’s had an idea in their mind for years. But the plain truth is that games very rarely end up the way they start; it’s a process. One of the advantages to being small is that it’s easy to change; embrace it.

3. Focus on culture. The group of people who start a company will largely define the culture for the future. And while it might not seem like a priority in the beginning, that culture will mean everything in the future. This means clearly defining your values and building a culture that supports those values.

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