So I realised after my last post that I wasn’t taking my Industry Project game as seriously as I should have been. It may not be my game, but it is one i’m working on and, like I said, I should be aiming to be proud of it when it is completed. So I stopped piss farting around and ousted the project manager. I’m Mr. Manager now.
I’ve spent this week making a keynote demo of how the game should play. Hopefully when I show it to the group tomorrow they might actually understand what we are doing. I’ve been getting the vibe that none of them really understand how the game is supposed to play or even a basic grasp on the structure, so I need to clear that up. While it is really shitty and the art is horrible (it was made by me in flowcharting software, so I think I actually did pretty well) it helped me identify a lot of the unsolved issues with the design. While I’m very much aware this is the reason we prototype, I didn’t realise that a fucking powerpoint play through would be so useful.
We have a meeting tomorrow and I’m going to drill into the art guy for submitting artwork from the internet. I thought this was plagiarism but apparently not… just copyright infringement. Which works for me though because after I confirm with the group that we don’t want to get sued, I can tell him all his art can’t be used, and this is how I want it to be.
No more freedoms for those who can’t think.
One major concern I have is that this will eat into my private project time I was wanting to use during the June/July Holidays. Now that i’ve figured I can live off working only 3 days a week, I was going to continue to do that during the holidays and give myself 4 days to work on my own game. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but I finally think i’m in the right mindset to get it done.
But coming closer to the holidays I can see that the industry project will eat into that time. I have a major implementation milestone due first week back. I really wanted to dedicate as much time as I could to my own thing because I knew it would be difficult (my first major endeavour) but really wanted to get something solid by the end. However its becoming evident that will no longer be the case, which shits me something chronic as i’ve been working towards this most of the semester.
But I’ll juggle them. I have to. If I don’t come to your events on the holidays it’ll be because im sitting in front of my computer making games. Hope you understand.
In lieu of having finished all of the ebooks on my iPad and not having the chance to put some more on (iBooks store doesn’t have the kind of books I want to read) I thought id write about something I’ve been meaning to for a while, if not mostly for the introspection.
There have been a lot of blogs posts from developers inspired by a talk at GDC this year titled ‘Why do I make games” (I’m not one for fact checking so apologies I can’t remember who gave it). The talk was about why the author wanted to make games, what inspired him, and if those reasons lined up with what he was doing in the industry now.
While I’m yet prove myself as any kind of game developer yet, I can still see the merits of thinking about the question and answering as honestly as I can.
It is the only thing I can see myself doing.
I can honestly say that when I look to the future, If I’m not making games I don’t know what I would be doing. In the darkest of timelines I guess I would have some low level programming job doing mediocre, boring, repetitive tasks. But you know what? I’d go home every night from the crappy job, and I’d work on a game. Why? Because I have to. There is no future where Lewis doesn’t work on, and at bare minimum, reluctantly release a shitty game into the wild.
I feel I have something to contribute to the industry.
In the games industry at the moment we have people arguing over sexism where once upon a time we were supposed to represent the more inclusive part of society. We have people hating on AAA for making the same thing over and over, and at the same time hating on Indie developers because they act so ‘pompous’ (I disagree but whatever…). We have F2P games that although according to opinion pieces everyone hates, still fill up the top 30 (I think it’s 30?) grossing games on the iTunes store. Hell, we can’t even decide what a game is. But I love it. I want it to be in the thick of it. I want my opinion on topics to matter in the industry.
I also want to contribute my games. I want one of my games, some day, to change how someone else thinks about games and game design. For me, Braid changed a lot about what I thought games were. I’m not asking for a wildly successful game, but for my game to change at least one person’s perception of what a game is. Games have a bad reputation in the media because all they see are the guns and violence. Don’t get me wrong, I love many games with guns and violence, but there is so much more. There is so much out there already, and there is so much more to come.
To make games I’m proud of.
I was thinking of writing, ‘I want to create unique game experiences’, but then at the same time I could have also written ‘to make a wildly successful game’, which unfortunately at the moment in the industry are opposing claims (there are always exceptions to the rule, so don’t go throwing game names at me because I will yell “I KNOW BUT…” and whither your soul with counter examples). I just can’t wholeheartedly agree with either; to have wildly successful game would involve sticking to tropes and making what the mass want, which may not be what I want to make. On the other hand a unique play experience is not the kind of thing that screams “profitability”, and if I do want to do this for a living that is unfortunately something I need to consider. But what I can say for sure is this: I want to be proud of everything I make. I’m sure many of my first games will be mediocre and have flaws, but if I can look at them and see that I put all my effort, all my energy into making the best game I could at that time, then I’ll be happy.
Spending my night rush implementing features into my Industry project game to meet a deadline which was moved up by two days because the project manager couldn’t do his job and book a meeting at the usual time. Or even give us dates as to when certain parts of the sprint are due. Or… anything, really.
If this subject has taught me anything it’s:
a) What not to do in the industry.
b) I should have been project manager (hindsight is a bitch). I already got those mad bitching manager skills, I just wanted to focus on design/ programming and not have to deal with the paper work. Which I’ve done a lot of anyway so really…
c) I will always pick who I work with carefully.
If you can’t be bothered at least trying to meet minimum requirement then I have no time for you. I feel as though the other group members (bar Jake, he does more work then I do and a far better job of programming) picked this project because HEY LOOK GAME SWEET FUN. I understand your enthusiasm for games; I share it. But if you have no discernible skills to contribute then what are you doing on here?
I could say more but i’ve wasted 10 minutes writing this. Back to work now.
I won’t care in the morning. But right now it pisses me off.
The fact that I have almost no free time is slowly driving me insane. It is not entirely Uni’s fault, but also because i’m lazy and on the one day I have off every week I end up collapsing on my bed and sleeping instead of catching up on the work I need to get done.
It is probably silly of me to think I can spend every waking moment doing something productive, but every time i’m not doing something useful I feel guilty. Well I used to. I’m trying not to right now because it just makes things worse. Water off a ducks back.
Any who, my head is about to explode as the one thing I really want to do is the one thing I have not got time to do. So to tide me over until I have that time (more on that later) here’s someplace I can place those thoughts. Most will end up being rants. And most will probably not make all that much sense. But usually only drunk Lewis has opinions and well… when he’s drunk no one around him cares. “GAMES GAMES GAMES RANT GAMES” he says. That crazy drunk Lewis…
I was of the impression that my opinion was invalid since I have never actually finished a game before. What do I know? You read a few books and a few thousand articles and all of a sudden you’re an expert? It wasn’t until I said that out loud to my boyfriend that I realised it was a stupid thought. My opinion is my opinion. It will help me, when I finally get there, create a game that represents me and doesn’t compromise my values (to some of you that may sound weird that a game would have my values, but I can assure you that it is important).
This blog is just a way to get them out of my head and onto paper. They only make sense to me when they are stuck in my head. I have a horrendous time trying to put a coherent sentence together when trying to explain my opinion. This is my attempted remedy.
Let’s see how it goes, shall we?
(Ps. While i’ve had a tumblr for a really long time I have barely posted anything, so forgive me if I fuck shit up. DO I LET PEOPLE COMMENT ON THIS I DUNNO AHHHH.)