Frictional creative director Thomas Grip tells Gamasutra that while creating intense gameplay is exponentionally (sic) more difficult when you can’t rely on combat as a “crutch,” removing combat from its games was necessary — the team just wasn’t good at designing it.
Instead of trying to become more “well-rounded,” should an artist abandon that which she is weak at? It worked for Frictional Games, creator of the cult horror masterpiece Amnesia: The Dark Descent. They knew they were no good at designing combat, so they didn’t even try.
At the time Frictional was preparing its first games, the Condemned series hit the scene, excelling in frightening melee. With its small team and limited resources, the team knew it couldn’t come close, and decided to think about what else they could do instead. Since then, frightening without fighting has been something of a company ethos.
Work with what you’ve got, resources-wise and talent-wise. A lack of something can be an opportunity to explore a strength. A lack of something everyone else seems to have can be what sets you apart, what makes you unique. You just need to allow yourself to let go of those thoughts: “If only I had…” and “If only I could….” Instead, take a good long look at what you do have, and run with it.
(Sometimes figuring out what you do have is a process that takes years.)