Archive | October, 2009

4 Good Reasons You Should Make Video Games

If you’re not convinced that the process of making video games is worth the time and sweat, please allow me to convince you otherwise.

So… Why make video games?

1. To Spread Your Creativity

Don’t tell me you’ve never had a good game idea. Everybody them.

That’s how every single video game in existance started off at one point. By thinking of a fun game concept. The secret to making them come true is opening your mind, and running with the idea (sit down… I meant with your mind).

Afraid your game isn’t going to be popular? If you find the game concept fun, so will millions of other like-minded individuals. That’s why games are so contagious.

The reason video games became so popular is because it gave people an easy means of channeling the product of their fun creativity to others in the world. “I think it would be fun to command a spaceship, and blow up asteroids all day long.” became Asteroids!

If I gave you the means of creating your idea of a perfect game, don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to do so. Your right brain is craving it!

2. To Gain Bragging Rights

What if tommorow, you learn that your best friend is the brains behind the next big mobile phone game.

Don’t put yourself in that position. Take the initiative, and make it first!

You might be suprised at how many positive comments you’ll get once people find out you made a video game. Even my first game, QuickTank, got me alot attention. Just the fact that you’re responsible for somebody else’s entertainement (referring to video games of course), no matter how brief, is a good feeling.

3. To Get A Full Brain Workout

Personal development-wise, game development can turn you into a very well-rounded person. This is probably the reason why most people in the game industry are very down-to-earth.

Even if working on a game project in a team, you’ll most likely be using both halves of your brain to get the ball rolling. By both halves, I’m of course referring to your creative side, and your logical side.

It requires your creative side because you need to look at the big picture in order to make sure the game turns out fun.

It also requires your logical side because games revolve around rules and variables.

4. To Vanquish Boredom

Not only for you, but for the entire world. Image that kind of responsibility!

By giving people that 15 minute escape from reality, you’re assuring the well being of the human race.

I hope you now have a greater respect for game developers. Soon, I’ll be posting blogs on how to become one yourself. Make sure to subscribe for email updates!

What’s Indie Game Development?

Short Answer: An indie (independent) game developer is an individual, or a small group of individuals, who come together to make a video game, often with a small budget.

Long Answer: Indie game development is a rather new concept in the game industry. Since the game industry is now moving out of the basement and into cubicles, the world of  bedroom coders is now falling back on smaller scale operations to satisfy their creativity. Instead of focusing on ground-breaking graphics technology or cookie-cutter million dollar MMORPGs, it often concentrates on simplicity, innovation, and healthy addiction.

Some big players in the industry started off as independent game developers (look up the story of Casual Collective). Games don’t need to cost thousands of dollars to be fun.

What successful independent game developement teams need is:

  • Passion into making fun games
  • Determination
  • Artistic abilities
  • Programming abilities
  • Teamwork

One word of warning: Don’t jump into the indie movement thinking of making lots of money from very start. You might not earn a penny until 1-2 years into the business.

20 Tips for Newly Graduates

Although directly unrelated to game development, I thought it would be important for me to pass on some valuable wisdom from a fellow newly graduate.

Treking out into the modern age world can be exciting, but also quite intimidating. I hope these pieces of advice will help some of you be successful in your own personal ways.

  1. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
  2. Try to keep in touch with your college/university friends.
  3. Keep work problems at work. Keep personal problems at home.
  4. Don’t be afraid to keep learning. Be a life-long learner.
  5. Beware of offers “too good to be true”. Remember: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
  6. It’s never a bad time to make a budget.
  7. A word for the adventurous: Don’t fall into the notorious “syndicated white collar” mentality. Don’t get too confortable for too long.
  8. Actively find others with the same interests as you in your region. Unlike in school, it’s highly unlikely you’ll simply run into eachother.
  9. Now is a perfect time to follow your hobby.
  10. A word for the ambitious: Take the bull by the horns. You’re young enough to recover from falls (provided they don’t put you 10,000$ in debt).
  11. On debts: Make it your budgetary priority to pay them off.
  12. You reap what you sow.
  13. Keep in touch with your family.
  14. Don’t forget to enjoy your youthfullness while you still have it.
  15. Don’t ever resent your degree. A lot of time and sweat was put into it, making it an icon of your determination.
  16. Always improve on your ability to work with other people; this is something that’s always going to be invaluable to your career.
  17. If you never did, now’s a good time to start reading books.
  18. Try to get as many hours of sleep each night. You may not notice it, but you get much less done in a day when you havn’t had a good night’s sleep the last night.
  19. Reflect on what you want to see yourself doing in 3-5 years, and aim your efforts towards it.
  20. Subscribe to my blog. You won’t regret it.