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The crushing power of still
by Arseniy Shved on 03/19/13 02:06:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

This post originally appeared on my personal blog here.
wall push

So I have this Cool Idea for a game. I guess you know the rest…

It usually goes like this – you come up with The Idea, tell your friends about it, they get excited. Together you decide to give it a shot and make something tangible. Hellyeah! The world will be yours. You and your friends are destined for fame, wealth and glory, and hot chicks will give you free blowjobs on the streets, and heavy metal stars will ask you how to rock and… and there will be boobs and… and booze… and… and boobs and… and not a single goddamn thing gets done.

The euphoria fades, new inspiration never comes. Why the hell should it? The results of the work done are the best motivators after all.

Anyway, they all give up and you do not hear from them for weeks, and when they finally show up, everyone is like “your idea was not THAT good”. Sometimes you will think this way too and sometimes you will be right.

BTW If you do not know it yet, never ask you friends, unless you are 1000000% sure they are not going to lie to you so that they do not hurt your feelings. And never act on your idea at once if you are not a pro (and why a pro would read amateur’s blog?). Write your thoughts down, let it go for a couple of weeks, then revisit it. Still think it’s good? Now act.

You may repeat this fruitless process indefinitely, or you may try to change things a bit. Wise internet folk say “no one cares about your idea” and "do it yourself" and “your idea sucks” and they are right. But they are wrong.

The thing is, gamedevs are pretty creative and have lots of ideas of their own. And they actually have no interest in your idea especially if they have some experience. Inexperienced ones most usually come up with crap or give up quickly (no offence, we’re on same side here) so why would anyone care about them? But, guess what, not a single thing can be done without an idea behind it.

Unsurprisingly the topic of the day in gamedev is the lack of innovation and, get this, new ideas.

Giant-Rock

It’s incredibly hard to make a game even if you have lots of experience. It’s close to impossible to make a game on your own without help and previous experience. It’s even harder to make a game that other people might like.

Most people do not bother to address game publishers with their ideas (and they are right, no chance here with their quality standards and submission policies), still, I hear, publishers get crazy lots of proposals. Intuitively most beginners tend to flock with the ones like themselves, after their friends are eliminated from the “possible help” list.

As opposed to friends, who always say that your ideas are cool, random folk usually have quite an ego (this is a good topic for an article itself) and tend to reject 99% of what you say. It’s damn hard to find someone with similar values and vision or to develop some sort of direction which would suit everyone (this process has so many pitfalls and I definitely going to share my own experience on that matter).

What I’m leading to is how does one tell whether his idea is good or not? And do not tell me, that it’s all about the execution. Execution is important but execution is nothing more than a row of decisions based on a set of ideas and assumptions. Furthermore, a good starting idea is a basis of the rest. Your pretty building has better chances if it stands on a solid ground and not on a marsh.

So I have this Cool Idea for a game. I’ve had it for a year now (it makes me think that I am either really dumb or my idea is not actually that bad, if it managed to excite me for a year without having any visible results, which is really frustrating TBH). I’ve had several “got help from friends” rounds; I even tried to pay them (bad idea). I’ve also tried to do something myself, duh. If you guess that I have no tangible results, you are right. But it’s too early to give up. Next on my list is asking for help from internet community.

We'll see what happens.


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Comments


Jonathan Jennings
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interesting article , technically I am a " pro" ...well professional who loves reading amateur blogs btw , I mean we were all amateurs at some point right? if I were you and was considering going the internet route I would look into forums for game developers( almost all have a student or amateur game development forum where you can share your ideas with others) or even better join one of the vast number of groups on linked in that try to form a " breaking in " collective.

my suggestion to you if you really want to get this game developed , if you haven't already done it , is create some solid concepts , write ups , essentially conceptual demonstrations that show you really want to bring this project to life!

approaching someone with just a " good idea" is kind of a moot point , it doesn't take much drive or desire to create an idea but a demonstration of the concept that shows you put time and actual effort into starting the basis of your idea is a key thing i look for .

one of my friends sked me to work on a game with him as his programmer, I agreed only after seeing the game design doc, having several skype meetings, and with him agreeing to collect a librarys worth of assets . if I was going to spend hours coding the game in my fre time I had to see that he too waned to invest in the project in his free time . don't lose hope there are tons of people out there who want to make games and will be willing to help but as you have clearly learned by now hearing a yes isn't quite as valuable as finding someone who truly invests into helping make your project come to life!

Arseniy Shved
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Thanks for a positive feedback.
When I was submitting this post here, on Gamasutra, felt absolutely exposed, confused and... sorta naked. Now, I'm at least wearing pants, so, yeah, thanks =)

As for creation of something to read/look at - that is exactly what I'm doing. For the past 12 month I've been doing what I can. Well I got my hand dirty with coding (not much code I've been able to produce, but experience is still experience, right?) 3d modelling and animation (a bit more succesfully). I have written down tons of ideas and basic core mechanics. I have a plot like 60% ready. Trying to stay busy.
Oh, the game is a brawler so I began to take Muay Thai lessons. Whatever can possibly benefit me and a project =)
And yep, forums are exactly what's on my mind. =)

Thanks again for your comment. It meant a lot.

Jonathan Jennings
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No problem , unfortunately game development is a road with a million paths. There are so many variables( primarily people) involved that it definitely seems like climbing an extremely large mountain some times. I definitely know the feeling and hope you find the right path for yourself!


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