Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Dev Quote of the Week – New Year’s Resolution Edition

Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 9, 2014

I thought I’d deliver a triple whammy this week for quotes, in the spirit of the New Year – some comments from game developers not necessarily specific to making games, but in the motivational / New Year’s Resolution theme.

First up, from Cliff “Cliffski” Harris, of Positech Games, in an article entitled, “What’s Holding You Back?

The new dividing line between the talented, the capable, and the employable will not be related to their background, their school, or their parents wealth. This is becoming *less* relevant. The difference is going to be motivation, confidence, and a willingness to work. The reason you don’t understand quantum physics, is you haven’t bothered to investigate it. There is simply no other answer. I have no excuse for any gap in my knowledge, and I know it. I don’t blame anyone but me. And tools? if you are a software developer or artist there are a crazy amount of free tools. In short, a lot of the excuses I might have thrown around as a kid for not achieving what i wanted to just do not apply, at least in the IT world.

Next up, Josh Sutphin, lead designer of Starhawk (among other games) offers this advice for breaking into the video games industry (as well as explaining why much of the “traditional wisdom” about how to get a job in the games biz is wrong):

Two words: “MAKE GAMES”.

It’s really that simple. Once you’ve made a game, there’s no question whether you know what you’re doing: you’ve already done it. After that, getting a game design job is no different from getting a job at your local Wendy’s.

I’m speaking from experience: shortly after high school I built Gem Feeder, a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, as well as a handful of levels for the same game. Those projects got me my first game design job. (Interestingly enough, they also got me my second, despite now having professional experience on my resume.)

Finally, Tobiah Marks, a Game Evangelist at Microsoft (yes, that’s a real job title) and indie game developer offers a suggestion on the best time to learn to make games (and were you expecting anything other than the words, “Right now?”) and more importantly, some reasons and motivations. In particular – and reminiscent of Cliff’s advice above – he brings up another answer to “What’s holding you back?”

What’s the worst case? What horrible fate will befall you if you choose to become indie and aren’t as successful as you’ve dreamed?

You will:

  • Make exactly how much you’re making from your games now (aka: none)
  • Have learned a ton and gained practical experience with programming, art, design, and business.
  • Have created a portfolio of finished content and the ability to put “entrepreneur” on your résumé.
  • Have spent your time doing something you [hopefully] enjoyed doing, and are now able to proudly say you took a shot at your dreams.

Yeah, those risks are there. I won’t argue that. The way I see it, even if your worst fears come true and you “fail” you still come away with much to show for your time and effort.

It’s never too late to come up with New Year’s Resolutions. Well, okay, maybe in August you should call them something other than “New Year’s Resolutions” and just call them “Resolutions” or “Goals” or something.

Now yeah, it’s one thing to get all pumped up with goals and plans and a “can-do” attitude when you jump in. It’s a lot harder to sustain that fire and enthusiasm as the first day, first week, first month, and even first year go by. Turning a goal into a habit and lifestyle is not easy – at least for me, anyway. But one way to look at it is that you can’t fail if you don’t give up… you simply haven’t yet succeeded.

Anyway, good luck with all your endeavors, whether you take on game development or anything else.

Filed Under: Quote of the Week - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • McTeddy said,

    You know, these are all rather relative to me this season. My goal this year was to start a weekly youtube thing about making games that I’ve been putting off for FAR too long.

    I figured that my opinion matters because I’ve had experience in the video game industry… failed as an indie… and successful published a board game. I know more about making games than many people and I can give something back.

    I had alot of inspiration coming from the face designers of my childhood. I’ve been treated well by some of the biggest name board game designers. I want to live up to their example, even if my knowledge or video skills are limited.

    Besides, I’m still hoping to get filthy stinking rich and insanely famous one day.

  • Anon said,

    My experience in general is: The sooner you do it, the better.

    Some YT channels are (still) very popular because when they started there was no or not much competition. Now it’s more difficult to convice people to watch a certain channels because there’s so much out there.

    In other words: It may already be too late to become really successful but the more you wait the less probable it gets (so start right now!).

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I agree. There may be times where it may be sub-optimum because events may inhibit the likelihood of you turning your goal into a habit — like trying to start a new diet during the holiday season. But if you wait until the perfect opportunity, it’ll never happen.

    And McTeddy – maybe I should make “Get filthy stinking rich” my New Year’s resolution each year. Maybe one year I’ll keep it!

  • Cuthalion said,

    Inspiring quotes!