I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the Dunning-Kruger curve before, the psychological effect of illusionary superiority by relatively unskilled people. I usually discuss the effect in terms of imposter syndrome, but that’s just one of the many implications of this simple law. Another implication of the curve is that if you place a lot of relatively unskilled people together, you create an environment in which a lot of information is exchanged as being true, regardless of its veracity.

This is something I’ve seen to painful effect in many environments: I’ve seen it at many universities, but also in game development forums, or extremely popular Facebook groups. When all opinions are equal in a creative process, you don’t necessarily get the best result: you get the safest result. If the majority of participants are either uninvolved, unaffected or unskilled, you get way worse than that. If they’re all of those, it’d be a miracle to get something awful regardless of intent or effort.

The best way to avoid bad information is through reckless collision with reality, or smaller and more specialized communities. While these communities definitely create a sense of security, and a sense of others getting it, the reality of game development is often far harsher. Reach out to game developers you look up to, or experiment with social media. In the end, it’s hard to make bad choices, but really easy to make uninformed ones. Check your information by seeing if you can find the opposite position argued, check your assumptions by rigorous playtesting with the intended audience, and check who is giving you what advice and what their credentials are.

Having no information and having to figure it out yourself is a much better spot to be in than being bombarded with and following bad info.