How to Make a Game – Part 8: What is Your Game About?

How to Make a Game – Part 8

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How to make a game pt8

Making a game? About what?

I’m not just talking about the subject matter but the deeper reason behind what you will be taking on. I think I mentioned it earlier, but if you want a real quick way to make a lot of money then focus on your passions instead. I’m not saying money isn’t needed at all, but that should be a side consideration.

Allow me to elaborate. The last time we spoke, I was talking about publishers and how they basically look for money making projects. Seems like it would be obvious to center your project around that, right? Well, yes and no. (In my entire life, I did not imagine using that phrase until this moment!) Following your dreams is the path to riches. You’ll get your money for sure, but you will also get something a lot better… a piece of mind impossible to get from anything else. Not to sound too morbid, but your deathbed experience will probably be a lot better knowing you did what you loved all your life versus scrounging around for a couple raises at a job you thought was just OK.

So when picking a project, look at the games you like. Games you are interested in. Don’t be daunted by the size and scope. Maybe you want to make an MMO, or a game like League or Legends? That’s OK. Start with that and realize you will have to setup realistic goals and scale the game to your team size. Don’t expect to make World of Warcraft by yourself in this lifetime. You might be able to make a sample of that game and you surely could gather a team to make it, but create a giant MMO all by yourself? That’s pretty lofty.

Basically, picking something you love will allow you to soldier through all the tough times ahead. I was reading a book about motivation the other day and it had a fantastic passage about fears and uncertainties. It stated fears and uncertainty are a form of resistance. It went on to say they are good since they normally point directly away from what you should be doing. Want to fart around instead of working on some coding? Guess what you probably should be doing? Coding! Feel like reading a Facebook article instead of that animation you were working on? Guess what you should be doing? See how easy it is?

One thing to remember as you sit down to make your game is that these things are fluid at first. Games will reveal themselves to you over time. You need to allow time to find the real game you are making. Hold the concept in your head and use time and effort to chip away and make that concept a reality. I found out long ago no game comes to me fully formed. It’s mostly a couple concepts and some ideas about “game moments”. From that, I build a game and allow a very organic growing process to happen. I try not to force the game this way or that. Instead I set up the base parameters of the game and let my work and iterations reveal the game I was intending to make. Nine times out of ten, this is faster and results in a much more fun game for the player.

Getting too caught up in a rigid design idea developed from a hard night at your local coffee shop is a sure way to burn you enthusiasm to the floor. Your first ideas might work but more often than not they should be used as jumping points.

Let’s sum up some of the methodologies I’m talking about. These are some core beliefs I use while creating and working on game to keep me going. Perhaps they can help you in your quest to make the best game ever!

  1. Pick a subject matter you have a passion about. You do not need to be an expert, just love it!
  2. Your fears, uncertainties and any resistance are normally pointing you exactly away from what you should be doing.
  3. Be fluid with your game ideas. Initial game design is a starting point and not law. Allow your game to grow organically as you create it.
  4. Most of all – live your dreams.

That’s all for this week and I’ll be back next with some more thoughts on getting your game up and running quickly!

Talk with you soon!


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