Leadership Letters
 Game designers write to their past selves
Hey, Matt.

You're going to be a game designer one day and a leader, even though right now, you don't have a desire to do either of those things. You're also going to go by Matthew.

You shouldn't be afraid of any of that. Being Matthew isn't as boring as you imagine. In fact, being Matt is actually more limiting than you think. Does that mean you're making a mistake right now? Sure, but it's pretty benign.

You're going to make a lot of mistakes, and instead fearing them, my advice is to prize them, gather, document, and share them with others. You know the phrase "Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it"? It's about failure way more than it's about success.

When you start leading people, the best thing you can do is foster a culture of open failure and motivation to improve. Failure reveals limits and opportunities. Failure reveals attributes including absence.

Celebrate success but never forget to celebrate just giving it a try. Thank people for their contributions even when it doesn't move us forward. You will move forward. You will have success. But you'll have a lot more failure first.

When you find leaders who index on success, regard them with suspicion and interest. When you find teams afraid of their failures, help them interrogate, synthesize, and rebuild.

You'll learn how to do all that, mostly by fucking up along the way.

I believe in you.

ยป Matthew
Matthew "Ironmaus" Moore
Principal Game Designer
December 12, 2019

Year Started: 2008