Monday, April 28, 2014

Everyone has a good game idea.

Hey all,

So I thought I'd chime in about those people you know who have "a totally awesome idea for a game that would make you millions of dollars."

Fact is, everyone has a good idea for a game. People are good at creating high level concepts, it's when you ask someone to design the low level aspects where most people will fall out. It's like this: everyone knows what a good, well built table looks like, but not everyone knows how to build a table of that quality.

Making games is an art, games are art, that doesn't mean that all games strive to be high art, looking at you God of War. Carpentry is an art form too, it's also very practical, I like to think of game development in the same way. There are various components that combine together to form a complete game, and a game is only as good as the quality of its parts.

Anyway, that aside, everybody thinks they have a great game idea, and when you're judging the idea, it isn't just about it being fun, but do they have the guts to actually make this idea real? That may seem a bit judgemental, but if you choose to work with people who don't have the guts to see things through, you'll fall with them.

Choose your coworkers carefully.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

To Aspiring Game Developers

Hey all,

So, I thought I'd take the time to talk about getting started in games, what it means to be a programmer or a designer.

Getting started in the games industry is certainly a trial, and your rewards are going to be mostly self awarded. You will be taking pride in parts of the product that many people will not even see. Hell, you may spend a ton of time working on something for the game, only to have that feature cut, it happens. You will be working long hours, you will probably not be rich, and odds are, you may never make a AAA project or work at Nintendo.

But you will be making something amazing that may inspire many people for many years to come. Your game may entertain many, and maybe somebody will say "Oh _______, that game is amazing!"

I guess what I'm saying is, you're not going to be doing this to be rich, or to make people love you, you're doing this because you love it.

Programmers: You will be responsible for actually making the game, or making tools that enable others to do so. You have to be great at logic and problem solving. Good math skills are a huge plus. But here's something no one ever says: Have a backbone, tell people when they're being dumb, if you feel like you know better, prove it. Also, take ownership of your work, don't provide excuses. Language is not important, know your fundamentals.

Designers: You are responsible for working out all the details of your game. You have to be a strong communicator, and must be willing to argue to see your vision come to life. Sometimes you must put your foot down and compromise very little to see your project to reality. A designer doesn't just write something down on paper, they also make levels, plan the in game economy, get the feel right, write in game scripts (assuming the programmer put a scripting language into the game engine), and direct the team. Designers are busy people.

Both of these parties have to work closely together to deliver a product smoothly.

Making games isn't easy, and if you're just starting a company or indie group, start small so that you can get a feel for how your team works. A lot of people make the mistake of aiming high (guilty), and not realizing just what that means.

Hopefully this short read taught you something you didn't already know, but I wrote this on the bus, so it may be a bit scatterbrained.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Life Be Changing

Hey all,

So, a lot has happened in the past few months. Namely, I changed jobs. I now work for Amazon instead of Fugazo Inc., though I'm not gonna say what I do exactly.

Frankly, I left Fugazo because working there became a real chore, lots of arguing and debates. Also, although I wasn't experiencing it directly, I felt like people we're being mistreated as employees, not being respected. I was being overworked at some points, managing programmers in the company plus coding up three different web servers that each used their own technologies... It was a lot. This would all be fine if I was paid the right amount, but I really was being paid pennies in comparison to my peers, I was hoping to raise everyone's pay by making a successful project... Never happened.

For my thoughts on publishers, you can read the previous post, I'm not gonna write it again.

Although I grew to dislike working at Fugazo, I love the people there, and I'm not done with games! I want to re-enter the games industry on my own terms, and make the games I want to make. I would like to run a small indie group where the fans would help us dictate what we would make. This is a far off dream though, though that's never stopped me from trying!

Project Chang'e is moving along smoothly, I just need art and this project can really get rolling. I've been teaching myself to draw with terrible results hahahaha.

So that's an update so far on what's going on, hope it was at least interesting to read.