March 5, 2016
Day 196. Sort of, not really. That’s how long ago I quit my job to make games. I’ve been wanting to make them for years and had put together different ideas. In the last year, I got serious about it. Initially it was considered more as a cute idea by people who knew me rather than a legitimate business goal. No one was surprised that I wanted to make games. But people who knew me were eventually surprised when I made the jump from comfortably employed at my long-time job to frantically and uncertainly unemployed/self-employed.
I’ve kept friends appraised of the process along the way. One suggested a blog about the process because of thoughts and experiences I’ve had along the way. The biggest change is that now work 7 days a week instead of 5. Even though I can sleep in if I choose, I often spend more hours a day working than at my 8-5 job. I’ve gone through some interesting experiences working with others, some good and some as learning experiences. Game creation is complex, and the most fun part. The cards have to be balanced so no player wants to throw the table over in frustration. The artwork should be there. That’s been one of the most challenging parts of this process, the artwork. I am getting ahead of myself but the idea is that you can’t just be a good gamer or have a good idea. You can expect to learn a lot of new skills or at least improve your current ones.
Alright, so, I plan to talk about things as I go moving forward, and today I should mention that I got a game in the mail just a few hours ago, the prototype for Nocturnes. It’s the second game prototype from the Game Crafter I have received so far. Of course I’m excited about it, really excited, and nervous. That can be overshadowed by being determined and always thinking about the next step. I pulled out the box and…. It looks good! Really good. I’m looking over it for everything that I can improve on visually and fortunately, at this time, there doesn’t seem to be a whole that needs work. I play tested this particular game A LOT with pieces of printed paper, mostly with black and white images; this is definitely an improvement. I know people order prototypes with just the basic information but I wanted mine to be game-ready with little to no changes necessary. I know it will change over time, but I want to like it in its original form. That’s me though.
It’s interesting because this particular game is about nightmares, and I actually don’t like scary things. I tend to avoid anything horror related, so having it be the first game I threw myself into was unexpected. I think because it needed a lot more technical work than the others so I really delved into it. Once I got going, I wanted to see it done. I’m happy with the results. I think it rides a line between being dark and being interesting. The tiles are, ideally, a conversation piece for players. What scares them and what doesn’t, how a dream could unfold like it does in the game, and so on. Certainly those are meta-game thoughts I’d like to see from other players, but we’ll see how that goes.
I feel like I’ve already said a lot for one blog and don’t want to overdo it. That said, I know things will pick up and start moving quickly over the next few months for me and my games. I’ll post again in a few days about other updates and steps in the process.