Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Development: Try it, you might like it. Or it might consume your soul.

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 6, 2016

James Wymore talked recently about the difference between those who want to write novels, and those who want to have written a novel. This resonated with me both as a writer and as a game developer.

When interviewing people for positions for the game studio, there were people who I felt would do anything short of selling their soul for the chance to make games (although not always for my particular studio). Then there were those who left me with an impression that they really liked games and wanted to have their name on the credits of some famous games, but the idea of creating a video game was… just another job. (Now, a lot of times, that passion for making games was crushed by the industry itself over time. Once again, let’s hear it for indie-dom!)

But that wasn’t necessarily a determiner of whether or not they’d really be passionate about making games. It was an indicator, but no guarantee. It’s tough to tell in advance. You have to try it. In the bad ol’ days, the barriers to entry prevented people from getting even that far. While it was always possible to pick up something like that as a hobby, there was plenty to dissuade some folks from getting started.

With indie-dom, it’s easier. There are no longer quite as many barriers to getting started. And if you’ve never tried it, how will you know if it’s “in your blood?”

So for those for whom slaving away in front of a computer to make a game or write that novel over and over again for little promise of any kind of compensation isn’t a passion or addition, but do put in that effort to give it a try so they can “have done that” once… There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’ve done it once and called it good… congratulations, and I salute you.

For others who haven’t tried it… getting started is the tough part. Where do you begin? There are lots of resources out there, but it can be pretty bewildering at first. If you think it’s something you’ve got a passion for, though, I would recommend trying it. Start small. Tiny. And then, grow. If it’s really something you’ve got a passion for, just seeing the pixels move around on your simple little game will be a thrill. It may not be as big a thrill later on, but you’ll still get a sample of that feeling.

When I was a kid, I loved going to the arcades or checking out new games on my friend’s Atari. But while I loved the games on their own, part of my fascination was a desire to go home, turn on my Commodore 64, and create something like that (only better!). That passion never left.

Just be warned. It can consume your soul. 🙂

Filed Under: Game Development, Writing - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • CdrJameson said,

    Reminds me of the old question:

    Q: How can I become a games developer/novelist/scriptwriter?
    A: Write some games/novels/scripts.

    What the real question often is…

    How can I get someone else to pay me to develop games?

    …to which the answer I guess is ‘with difficulty, and usually not for very long’.