My writing process, I think, is pretty organic. I usually sit in front of my keyboard and I let, whatever, come out. I don’t have an agenda. Truthfully, I’m not even really trying to build our brand or sell games when I write. I just write. There are times that, if I’m working on something interesting, I’m likely to write about that topic. But that’s generally the most direction I have. Earlier in the week, I wrote an article about the final 10% of an indie game project. In it, I highlighted the fact that I’m fortunate to have a impressive/inspiring leader. I’ve been wanting to get those thoughts out, into the nebulous/daunting network that connects us all, for a while now… and prior, I hadn’t for a few personal reasons. After putting it out there, I realized that I actually felt pretty good about it. I mean, I wasn’t breaking any new ground here. It was a few nice comments about a person I respect. But, it lead me to think about what I want to say, and how I said it. What do I want to say in this blog? What do I want to say in my games?
Designing a game is much like writing a blog post, in that I think it’s an organic process. We generally start with an idea that we really love. We’ve got loads of ’em. Then we kick it around for a few hours, and sometimes days. We try to keep the scale small, and we try to keep notes on everything. Sometimes an idea is larger, one that we recognize need more resources (programmers, artists, etc…) and so we’ll park it for the moment. In all of this , however, one thing is constant, we never compromise. We’ve made that mistake before. We sacrificed quality for time in my dungeon crawler design and production. Never again! The Dungeon Crawler started off as a Gauntlet type coop dungeon crawler. The design called for an incredibly difficult game. Quick death/quick respawn/quick mission failures and restarts. It morphed into an action adventure. NOT A BAD thing. We tried to pick up on some Zelda design elements(which has had tremendous influence on both Flipo and I) and tried to make it work. We really did some good work. And, I’ve some incredibly fond memories of the DC. However, it wasn’t “The DC” I set out to make. After stewing on what could have been with the DC, I told myself that I wouldn’t let that happen again. When working creatively, I now know that I need to tell the story that I want to tell. It might be derivative! Some of the mechanics might be overdone. But it’ll be the game I want to make, and hopefully you’ll join us for the ride!
All this to say, stay true to yourself. Know thyself. Know your limits. Get help. Stay true to that design. Stay true to your team! That game that you always wanted to make… That’s your jam! That’s your source of motivation. Do it! This also applies to everything. Social media. The code you write. I can’t give life advice, but I can give game making advice. I think now, I’ve earned it. If you agree or don’t, drop us a comment!
One last thing, on Saturday we get to say something about mobile arcade games with the release of Circle Wars! Give us a listen?