"I've met virtually no one…who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am."
"And every designer that I work with…I think, frankly, is lazy."
So how does a good game designer work? Garriott went on, explaining the design process which started back with that high school writing assignment. Using a “four-dimensional spreadsheet,” Garriott says he records every character, location, and item in a game and blends them into the whole.
“OK, here’s some magic items, have I distributed them around enough?” Garriott asked himself, miming his process. “How do they migrate across the story? What is the journey of that item through the game?”
“I think it’s this discipline of how I break down storytelling—not just the story, but each region, each thread, each object, and I kind of do them all simultaneously. I kind of have a four-dimensional spreadsheet in this sense, even before there were ‘spreadsheets,’ that’s how I broke them down in the beginning.