The Warrior: Kill Kill Kill

He’s nothing but a fella in a fancy metal can.

The warrior is hard-working, self-sacrificing, and used to being miserable. He can chew through a wall to get what he wants, and routinely hits goals. He’s full of focused, often aggressive, energy which drives him inevitably towards what he wants.


Warriors have the killer glare. He’s gonna kill this project, just like he killed the last one.

The warrior is productive. He finishes things, he achieves what he sets out to do, and he is excellent and denying his own whining inner voice and working. He is an expert at the chase – whatever he’s aiming at, he’ll focus maniacally on the goal until it’s done. He loves knocking things out, crossing tasks off his to-do list, tracking down the prey and killing it.


Uh-oh, he’s got a stick. Stand back.

The warrior has an all-consuming focus on the goal, and everything that seems to get in the way of the goal is an obstacle, to be avoided or cut down. This includes other people, and his own well-being. He’ll sacrifice sleep, self-care, healthy relationships. Anything that gets in the way of his goal, he’ll ruthlessly eliminate. This tendency can be useful, but it can certainly go too far: a warrior’s life can be impoverished and small, no bigger than his next ambition.

The Warrior in game development

Real warriors break their arms every time they swing their comically oversized weapons.

The warrior has to work as much as possible, and gets projects done. He doesn’t tend to self-sabotage and procrastinate. The warrior gets games done, but doesn’t necessarily have great ideas. Without the other archetypes, the warrior runs the risk of climbing the ladder maniacally without checking if the ladder’s leaning against the right tree. If the warrior doesn’t lean on his other archetypes when creating, the warrior runs the risk of making a huge pile of derivative trash. The warrior can’t be properly creative because creativity requires quiet, openness, and play. The warrior locks his focus down, closes out everything but the next step towards his goal, and doesn’t allow himself any leisure time. That means that when the warrior tries to create, he only copies. You can see this effect if you’ve ever tried to be creative on an incredibly tight time-frame. If you really want to get the project done before the deadline, usually you snap into warrior mode, getting it done without regard for how creative it is – taking shortcuts, stealing ideas from other people have done, doing anything you can to complete the project efficiently.
Just remember: warrior mode is useful when you need to get things done, but any creative thinking must be done outside of warrior mode.

How to grow as a warrior

Lean into your monarch, and slow down

If you don’t slow down, you might smash into a cow.

As a warrior, you’re good at hitting goals – but you’re not so good at seeing if those goals are worth hitting. As the warrior, it’s vital to slow down and look into the future. Take a notebook and an hour of time and just spend it thinking. You brain will ping around wildly for the first few minutes, but after a little while of gently bringing it back to the project you’re working on, it will settle down and open up. You’ll start to have creative ideas, you’ll start to see farther than the next milestone. Then when you go back into wararior mode you’ll actually know where you’re going.

Lean into your bard, and care for people

Be sure to get together with friends and drink nonsense drinks filled with flowers that do nothing for the drink except make it more ‘grammable. Feel deeply ashamed for allowing social media to corrupt your social gatherings. Smash your phone, weep, and resolve to be a better person.

Sacrificing everyone and everything to your ambitions is not a good plan. Elon Musk isn’t a good father, you can’t be while working 100+ hour weeks. The bard isn’t so concerned with deadlines, and cares more for people. Once in a while you need to hang up your sword and focus on the things that really, really matter.

Lean into your wizard, and focus on getting better

Channel Hermione, basically.

The warrior doesn’t really care about quality, he cares about getting things done. If you focus not only on getting things done but on becoming an expert in your field, you’ll waste less time and make fewer crappy projects. remember, the warrior doesn’t care if it’s good – he just cares if it’s done. The wizard cares deeply about quality, about doing things right. He cares about bringing learning and mastery into your work. The warrior needs to sit at the feet of the wizard, and learn patience and craft. Then when the warrior is working, he’ll know what he’s doing.

If you are a Warrior most of the time, you’ll benefit greatly from leaning into the other archetypes. I’ll be posting more about them in the coming weeks, and I’ll update the links here.

Introduction: The game developer archetypes
The Bard
The Warrior (this post)
The Wizard
The Monarch

2 thoughts on “The Warrior: Kill Kill Kill”

  1. Pingback: Four game developer archetypes – Hermit Gamesmiths

  2. Pingback: The Bard: Shiny Object Syndrome – Hermit Gamesmiths

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