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April 9, 2020
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Reminder: Why You Joined Game Development

by John Nelson Rose on 08/26/19 10:48:00 am

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.

 

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but there’s a reason you make games.


Sharing Joy

You like making people happy, and games are built to entertain. Great chefs are driven to share flavors, and architects inspire others with space. You appreciate the power of interactivity, and love when others can experience what you call fun. You know you can make the world just a little better.

Building Worlds

You love playing God. Game development gives you unlimited freedom to bring fantastic places to life. As technology continually improves, and as design becomes more sophisticated, these realms become even more immersive and affecting. Your favorite pastime is to push your imagination.

Writing Stories

You like creating conflict. Games can be powerful tools for narrative. The tension between player choice and story has always been a tricky balance, but you enjoy the challenge. You know the potential of great story to give life and context to an otherwise bland set of rules.

Creating Characters

You identify with heroes and villains. More importantly, you want players to live through their struggles. Through art, through dialog, and through game mechanics, you develop the gods and monsters that crucially connect with players. You know how personality can become an entire dimension of emotion.

Designing Systems

You get off on creating complexity. At its heart, every game is a layer of systems that should work together harmoniously. You need imagination and abstract thinking to get it right, which is no small feat. This fundamental challenge makes system design so rewarding. You’re only satisfied when you’ve finally created a well-oiled machine.

Nostalgia

You remember games’ distant effects on you, because they’ve always been with you. You’re flush with good memories of far-off worlds and battles, and you understand the power of past emotions. Not only do you want to experience more moments like those, but you dream of players feeling the same way about your games.

Escapism

You love being whisked away. Games are completely engulfing engines of escapism, and you often like to unplug from reality. Developers also feel a second-hand form of escapism when building a game, as the creative process itself can be just as immersive.

Cutting Edge Tech

You love the machine side of development, because video games and technology are intimately fused. Games consistently push envelope for tech in all industries. You’re excited to harness the power of engineering, and enable the graphics, sounds, mechanics, and systems of the future. And the unrelenting rate of high tech change? That just makes it better.

Learning How They Do That

You love to learn. Mastering game development is like mastering a game. They’re some of the most complex projects in design and engineering, so you can’t help wondering how they’re made. We’re often exposed to games at an early age, when they seem like pure magic. There’s such long-term gratification in pulling back the curtain, and you enjoy every minute of it.

Constant Change

You need to keep it fresh. The games industry has a hard time standing still, and you get off on the turbulence. What’s hot is continually reshaped by new technology, new designs, and new audiences. Unfortunately, job security may suffer from this instability, but you weather the storm because it’s exciting.

A Novel Art Form

You’re driven to find what comes next. As an industry, we’re still exploring our potential. Games haven’t been along that long, and you enjoy blazing new trails. You don’t mind that working on games is cool, and that lots of people would love to be in your shoes. You can’t help comparing our art form with more established media, and work to learn from what’s come before.

Chasing Creativity

You love coming up with new ideas. You’re excited to solve problems. Creativity is at the core of a successful game, and games shine when every team member pushes their own boundaries. From design to art to programming and more, creativity is central to every role in game development. Finding new ways to do exciting things is grueling work, but you live for the chase.


Check out my blog at medium.com/@johnnelsonrose


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