So the other week I posted about my plans for later in the year. Honestly, I wish I could start right now, but this is tricky, and I don’t want to mess it up. I have a savings target that I predict I’ll hit within three months. In the meantime, I intend to plan my approach to this carefully, and to try and conceive and prototype a few suitable game ideas.
The very first considerations I need make, I think, are the new constraints that result from this decision. Judging by the kinda things I’ve been posting here, it’s probably pretty obvious what kinda project I’d go for, if I could. The classic 40 hour, epic, plot driven RPG (and I’ve got quite a few of those in mind). But I don’t think that’s a realistic goal. Or a very smart one.
My biggest constraint is time. I have six months (which suddenly doesn’t seem like very long at all), so I can’t work on anything that’ll likely take longer than that. That basically rules out any RPG project I have in mind.
This constraint implies another: content. If I’m going to work on a game that I can realistically finish in a couple of months, then I need to start thinking a lot smaller. It seems to me that the fundamental difference between a game that takes a long time to finish and a game that’s finished quickly is the amount of content in it. It’s why Darwinia took years, and Defcon took months, I suppose. (And yeah, I know that’s probably obvious, but then there are other ways to cut corners that I don’t really want to consider.)
But you know what? Thinking about it this week, I figured the transition from making any random thing to making a living as a game designer would involve a total change in perspective. But I’m wrong. The only real constraint here is time. Anything else is self-imposed.
I suppose someone might think about this and come to a different conclusion – after all, if I want to make a living out of this – if I want to still be able to do this in six months time, then don’t I need to think about making something that’s going to sell?
All I need to focus on is making something that’s good. And I need to do it before I run out of money=time. And that’s it. I actually had myself really worked up with thoughts like “Oh, I can’t make that, I won’t sell a single copy” and “What can I do to make my game appeal to female gamers?” and “Making a murder simulator is a really bad idea, I hear they ban those now”. Sheesh. My head’s been totally in the wrong place.
What I need to do, I think, is continue like this changes nothing. In order words, to go on making games that are interesting and exciting to me, just bearing in mind that I’ve got a time limit. And anyway, I’m wrong again. Time is something I will have. Lots of. I won’t be doing anything else, after all.
Fuck, I hope I don’t get “writer’s” block again…
Does that make sense? Or nonsense? Hmm. A part three is needed, I think.