Mark Major of Whirling Derby (@WhirlingDerby) offers advice for new designers:

“Every skill you have helps in game design, because everything can be the basis of experience for a game. Design is about creating an experience, so before anything else, know what that experience is and be realistic about whether you can deliver that or not. Don’t be afraid to cut material out of a game that doesn’t reinforce that experience.

"Also, spend a lot of time with your games. Make them shine. Playtest them. Making games and getting them out in front of people is exciting, but don’t let that excitement make you settle for second best. If you know you can do better, take the time to make it better.”

http://news.thegamecrafter.com/post/42445138546/mark-major-inducted-into-the-hall-of-fame