A friend of mine once relayed this quote (as a joke) to me about consulting: “Why make money solving the problem, when you can make so much more by making it worse?” And, like all such quotes, it’s funny because it contains a kernel of truth.
I provide consultancy services to people who need game design advice, like mechanics, user interface, progression curves etcetera, and mine is a position of some power. There is an air of the arcane about all things game, and those of us who fit in the expert category can seem like alchemists to outsiders. If anything I tend to be blunt.
Rather than say things like “Well we really need to see the problem from all sides and develop a complex solution that tailors to all of your users’ needs” (Or “getting them on the tit” as Don Cheadle calls it in House of Lies), I tend to say “Just move that number over there. Ditch that whole system because users will never care about it. Look, you really only need me for a day or two.” And in so doing, I get a lot of repeat business – clients generally appreciate a doer who’ll give them actions rather than a thinker who’ll write them an essay.