Do You Trust Your Gut Feeling?

We all have experienced this – making decisions based on gut feeling. It can be small or big things in your life, but at some point you cannot rationally tell why you chose to act the way you did – it was just a gut feeling. Or hunch. Or intuition. Call it whatever.

In game development (or game business), do you trust your instincts?

How much you trust them?

Have you tracked how successful your instincts have been? (Tracked rationally, not just on “gut feeling” way of tracking, but actually putting down stats…) I haven’t tracked things down, and now as I think of this, it’s quite hard to say how much my hunch plays role in me doing decisions.

I’d say that I’m the sort of guy who tries to be pretty objective (like that could ever be possible) – and rather than guess what works, I like to test it (or see if somebody else has tested it). But, every now and then I might get into a situation where I just gotta trust my instinct and do quick decisions based on what I see the best way. There might not be a good rationale, but it “just feels right”.

For example, today I wrote a blog post… but deleted it. My gut feeling was saying that it wasn’t the right time for that blog post. So, I deleted it. I can write about that topic later, but now wasn’t the day for it. Was it the right decision? Don’t know, but my hunch was telling me that it would have been the wrong decision to publish that post today.

How’s your hunch working for you? You ever listen to it? Or always?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I’ve definitely gone off the gut feeling, particularly in RPG’s. I can’t count how many times I’ve fought a boss, been down to 1 more hit and I’m dead, then struck a physical attack to finish the boss rather than healing just because I had a gut feeling he was about to die. I’d definitely like to see some stats on this, they would be interesting indeed. Nice post, interesting concept.

  2. I generally trust my “gut feeling”, but I have a scientific reason for doing so. Basically it’s the results from the “logic engine” in my sub-conscious mind doing extra checks. For more on this way of looking at the matter, here’s an article.


    As for how reliable it is, I’d say it’s pretty accurate, but I’ve trained it to be.

  3. During last 3 years I’ve learned to trust my gut feelings in almost all matters regarding game production. Maybe we should call this experience, but I like the term gut feeling because often there’s no real reasoning behind it – I instinctively feel what is right or wrong. This isn’t always good though, because it makes me play safe most of the time and avoid risk which can sometimes lead to great pay off.

    I can’t track precisely how successful I’ve been so far, because my track record is rather depressing. Most of my recent instinct judgments were against decision eventually made, so I correctly predicted many failures which hardly counts as a success.

  4. I have at least similar expreriences with the thing you had with your deleted blog post. Sometimes I get great intuitive ideas, but then my intelligence tells me that the world is not ready for that yet. Frank Zappa didn’t care if the world was ready yet, he made it to be ready. But we are not all rockstars and can afford the consequences and risks of free speech and free will :)

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