Chris Cross

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Chris Cross

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Designing a video game requires a wide breadth and depth of technological skills. After all, can you imagine how much code it takes to build out the massive, malleable worlds of contemporary games? Or how much skill in graphic design is needed to produce games that, these days, look nearly as good as blockbuster films?

The most important tool, though, is empathy. That's what Chris Cross says, someone who's spent most of his life trying to master every, let's say, level of game design and working for gaming giants like Blizzard. Today, he owns and operates his own game design company, Princess Hermit.

"If the game's not fun, it's your fault," Cross says about the stakes of his job, and empathy is the tool for bridging that gap. Understanding, appreciating, and acting on the feelings of others is not only how you run an effective team, which can run hundreds of people deep on a major release, but it's also how you put yourself in the headspace of the eventual player. What's fun? What's frightening? What's motivating? Answering those questions is a career unto itself. Learn more in the video above.

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