As a Game Designer, there is one skill that trumps all others in importance. The skill of communication is absolutely invaluable when dealing with all facets of a game’s life cycle. How do you want the soccer players to move following a cross into the box? Should the Carolina Hurricanes play the trap more often than other teams? Do the enemies have a high skill in using lead pipes? If they do, does it follow that they can use similar blunt objects just as well? As a designer, you should know the answer to these questions and why they are so.
There are many different components of a team (art, design, programming, etc.) and as teams often shuffle from project to project, not all members are educated in how things have worked in the past or, given something like a sports game, work in the real world. A programmer’s job is to create the vision of the designer and work around problems and bugs in order to do so.
In the example of a baseball game, the average person would likely not understand the in depth strategy of defensive shifts and fielder positioning. It is not a programmer’s job (though it would be extremely welcome and beneficial) to discern that since Ryan Howard is naturally a pull hitter, the CPU should move their fielders to the right side of the field. What they need to be able to do, is program the CPU to do that after the designer has properly communicated and explained that fact. The programmer can worry about how they wish to develop a system to determine how the defense plays for certain players.
Perhaps, even with a properly communicated explanation of why Ryan Howard pulls the ball when he hits, and why the fielders would want to adjust for that, the programmer could set up a system that, given certain attributes, can provide defensive shifts for other players such as Jim Thome or David Ortiz. Taking it a step further, if they are aware of other resources such as batter spray charts, the programmer could facilitate a script wherein the designer could create a criteria for when an AI ‘manager’ would call for his players to perform a defensive shift. This could go miles in establishing both a way of establishing manager ratings, AI, and even offensive player tendencies.
The point is, the greatest ideas mean nothing if you can’t communicate them effectively. Though everyone thinks of communicating their ideas to an audience, people rarely seem to think about how they can communicate their ideas to the people responsible for building the game. What do I suggest (strictly my opinion) for people trying to get into design? Take some English or communications courses. The skills of oral and written communication are always in high demand.