Hi, How are you ?
This week I have taken a step in another direction and want to talk about what it means to be a Games Designer/Developer. The idea for this post came from an article I read couple of weeks back titled: ‘To Play Or Not to Play’ for those who are curious hit the link to follow up the article (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6496/to_play_or_not_to_play.php?page=2 ) For those who would can’t be bothered to read it, it is essentially about the industry professionals and the view should you be a immersed serial gamer who knows there ‘Game’ inside out back to front. Or is it better to take a step back from gaming and the influences outside of your design studio ?
Now I am in not position to deduce either way which is better however it did get me thinking about myself and the influences I subject myself to. Thinking from a common sense perspective if I want to be creating games, participating in there processes that lead up to a games creation I need some inspiration, understanding and feel for what is out there at the current moment, evening delving back into the past.
Currently if I am honest my inspirations if any would most likely come from : Manga, Anime , PS3, Nintendo Ds and art I follow on deviant art ! Putting it that way I don’t really have many channels of inspiration I wouldn’t say my horizons are quite broad as I need them to be. Besides that being said as of late I haven’t really immersed myself much into these channels. I hardly read manga as much as I used to weekly releases from Shonen Jump keep me occupied for a few minutes a week. As for the Anime My scope isn’t quite that diverse as there is so much to choose from. You can probably see where this is going….. I think the aspect of it all that is daunting is that I feel that I am some what out of the loop when it comes to gaming in the last three years. Let me give you an example. I can’t actually remember the last time I purchased a game after it had just made it’s way to store. Shocking as it sounds my reasoning being I have a whole pile of older games some of which have not been touched, that I need to finish (some of which are from previous gaming generations PS2….)
You may be thinking well you might not have the time to spending hours on end playing games as the older you get the responsibilities to hand increase too which I won’t argue for the most part is true. At the same time I believe if you enjoy something enough you will make the time to do it regardless of external constraints. It boils down to me not showing enough love of the things I like to read, to watch, to play and to admire.
Bringing back to the main point of this post. Do I believe that I need to have gaming running through my veins in order to break into the industry ? In short hell yes, have I been doing myself any favours recently? Hardly… Enjoyment and passion are a given but looking at it from a career perspective knowing what you do, understanding the product and understanding the competition etc these aspects and many more are what I am going to have to always take into consideration when and if I make it into the industry. I need to be good at what I do, lets not forget I have to make a living off this too.
Referring back to the article I read before. There are pro’s and con’s associated to being a die hard gamer or casual sort. Though it is said that a balance within the teams or mix is better in it’s own right. Where I will fit into the future team. Who knows really. For the moment though I definitely need to broaden my mindset and really push to build better foundations within myself. I had an idea to help someone and that is to start using EverNote haven’t heard of it, well that’s what Google is for 😛 have a look at the youtube vid at the end of the post. My Phone first and foremost is to communicate but also it should be a tool used to capture and document all sorts for. Kinda like getting the ‘Smart’ out of smartphone. Best bit I can use the software to sync notes and such from my pc to phone and vice versa.
So in closing be honest with myself I have lost touch to some degree with the gaming world despite keeping up with the news and developments. I need to recapture my gaming spirit and design till the cows come home B-) . Till the next time t.c and have a good start to the new week.