Yesterday, I watched this video about Shovel Knight and nailing nostalgia: After watching it, I thought: Isn't all the talk about learning how to design games that is going on ("you must totally read hundreds of articles and tutorials, watch videos etc.") nonsense? What the developers of Shovel Knight did was they took elements from games they liked and put them together. There is very little in it that they actually "invented", is there? Sure, there were some capable level designers at work, but actually, even the level design doesn't seem to be on a level that is unreachable without a university degree. So, in conclusion, isn't it enough to know what you love about your favorite games and put it together as your new game? Maybe have one or two cool ideas to spice it up a little? I, at least, feel as if all the talk about learning how to design games is a bit far-fetched and certainly partly a matter of people who actually HAVE learned it on an academic level to brag about it and make themselves seem more professional than they actually are. Or in short, my thesis is: Intuition equals academic education when it comes to game design. Agree or disagree? Why?