Senior Design Systems Designer • Manchester, UK 🐝

The lost art of video game hacks, plus articles, videos, and podcasts I've been enjoying or creating in May 2023.

Mash up of a first generation Pokemon battle, and Link holding lots of diamonds from Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
This is just but a glimpse of my new ethical diamond collection.
When’s the last time the game you played had a glitch or a hack? For me, it’s in the order of years.

The lost art of video game hacks

If you haven't heard (for some strange reason), the new Zelda came out for the Switch this past May. Within days, videos surfaced online with players' contraptions—often nicknamed Death Machines—trawling Hyrule with seemingly unlimited battery power. Definitely not intended, but how did they do it?

Turns out there's a duplication glitch, whereby with some effort you can get an unlimited supply of any material you can get your hands on. All of a sudden, after a certain point in the game, you can amass unlimited wealth, crazy powerful weapons, and enough parts to create and power up some insane contraptions.

Why does a glitch matter?

For some players this ruins the game, but for me it made it that much more enjoyable. I’m a busy guy, and I did have to put in the work to get to this point, but this saves me from having to grind excessively. Plus, I can explore the limits of what’s possible.

For an AAA title (the top tier budget for a game), it’s incredible they left in this oversight.

Some millenials will instantly remember the duplication glitch back on the classic Pokémon Red and Blue. I know I milked that glitch for all its worth, amassing unlimited rare candies to see what moves my Pokémon could learn and what levels they evolve at.

Remember, internet wasn’t as easily accessible and computers were expensive, so I either had to find a magazine with the answers or learn by trying.

Hacks and UX testing

This speaks to the notion of users always finding a way to use your product in unintended ways. You will have to work hard at plugging all the gaps, but the more people use something, the higher the chance that they can find a gap or a backdoor that you missed.

It can be worth spending some time either approaching your product or feature with a wild mind trying to break it, or enlisting help from a team mate who can think in that way. In the best case it can make your product feel robust and complete—but in the worst case, it can open up the business to liability or financial loss.

But let's not get too serious.

After all, this thought train started with me wanting to muck around with flying death machines and whacking Bobokins in Zelda.

👀 What I’ve been enjoying

🏝️ The naked truth about relocating and remote work by Maggie Jandova
While remote work has been an incredible game changer for many, it's important to remember there’s two sides to every coin. I love Maggie's vulnerability in showing that yes, it can be really hard work to adapt to a new city, but you shouldn't let that deter you. Simply, go with eyes wide open.

😰 How to make design decisions during the design process easily by Edward Chechique
Even senior designers can get caught in the analysis paralysis trap, not just juniors and mids. I think it's even more important to share Edward's take, since over time you can forget the basics or get stuck with bad habits. Plus, kudos to the hard work he's put in to convincing Midjourney to generate the wonderful illustrations!

🎨 Beginning Graphic Design: Color by GCFLearnFree
I've been following the IxDF course Visual Design: The Ultimate Guide and really enjoyed this free YouTube video. For anyone without a graphic or visual design background like myself, will really benefit from picking up a some of the essentials of Visual Principles, Visual Elements, Colour, Typography, and Grids.

Psst! Get 2 free months with my IxDF referral link:

🎬 The No Bull Guide to Figma

Caption: Should I use Groups or Frames in Figma? In 3 minutes. Chuck with a confused look on the right, with the Group and Frame symbols.
The latest lesson: Groups, or Frames? Thumbnails done by me!

If you're still not sure whether to try my course or not, here's some quick stats for May 2023, and change since last month:

  • 3,548 minutes watched: +111% growth
  • 44 students on Skillshare: 57% growth
  • 46 subscribers on YouTube: 21% growth

It's this viewership that keeps me going—the more people get value out of my content, the more I can create.

You can learn more about the No Bull Guide to Figma using this link, or following the preview below:

The fast way to learn Figma realistically, with Chuck Rice
Distilling years of teaching designers, from Juniors to Heads of, how to truly be proficient at Figma. Learn on Skillshare and YouTube 🔴

And here’s the latest direct, free YouTube links uploaded in May if you’re already convinced:

🎙️ Diary of Design Thinking podcast

Snapshot of the Diary of Design Thinking podcast. Design Systems, ChatGPT, and Beer by Dan Donald, Chuck Rice, Simon Hoang.
You can tell who was ready for the photo.
Design Systems, ChatGPT, and Beer with Dan Donald
We’re privileged to have Dan Donald, previously Zeroheight and Autotrader, discuss Design Systems. He's not only an engineer, designer, and product person rolled into one, but an absolute generous gem of a human being.

🗞️ In case you missed the last edition

A realistic 3D render of classic 80's and 90's tech including a GameBoy, cassette tapes, and a commodore.
Photo by Lorenzo Herrera / Unsplash

Career planning for happiness, Gamification, and Design Engineers
What to do when you've achieved all your design career goals, as well as a collection of articles, videos, and podcasts I've been enjoying or creating in April 2023.

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