In my Game-A-Week class, we are supposed to do presentations halfway through the course and then one at the end. And because I prepared and wrote them down before hand as a speech, I thought it would be nice to have a record of them online.
Like my peers before me, I would like to share my own experience with Game-A-Week. The Beginning was highlighted mainly by a strong feeling of diffidence in myself, which came from a place of ignorance of my capacities.
Making a game is a process, and for me, that process begins with careful consideration of my abilities measured against my ambitions. This is especially true when the process has to befit such a tight schedule.
After we receive our theme for the week and I come up with a concept, I will then immediately break it down to its core gameplay logic. This sheds light on the compatibility of the two elements and the feasibility of the project as a whole.
I invest the first couple of days repeating this process until I find a compatible and feasible pair. I will then immediately start implementing that core logic in unity while simultaneously working on the visual design and style of the game in Affinity Photo or Designer.
I will then spend the “second phase” doing all the additional programming as well as creating and implementing finalised assets which are based on and occasionally taken directly from the initial visual concept. After that, it is a race against the clock to polish the game as much as the time allows for. To get it to a stage where I feel comfortable enough to present it. This is the most intense but also the most exciting phase of development. Because this is where it goes from ‘a game’ to ‘my game’.
– – – Breathe – – –
Sounds intense right? and it is, but also incredibly rewarding. And within the process it never allows you to question yourself. Instead, it takes from you the best that you can give.
After going through this process five times now, the one thing I have consistently aimed for is to have each project be a uniquely individual experience. And for some bizarre reason, they have collectively formed a perfect reflection of my childhood.
For the second half of our course, I have decided to be bolder, not in ambition but in style. Time and time again, I find myself rejecting concepts and ideas that fail to align with my perceived persona which is not an honest representation of who I am.
For the people who are not in Game-A-Week, I recommend you try it, even for just a couple of weeks. It will test your perseverance and possibly improve it. It is one of the fastest ways to gain game dev experience. And if you are in a creative block it could get you out of it.
If nothing else, one thing surely gained from my experience thus far, is that it has helped me convert part of that diffidence into confidence, and for that I am grateful.
I now have a process that enables me to rapidly realise my ideas, not to mention the technical knowledge gained especially in terms of programming and visual scripting. And the fact that it was all achieved in a handful of weeks is incredible to me.
The most crucial thing, not just in matters of game development but life in general, is our willingness to listen. As human beings, we are trapped inside our minds, but our ability to listen is our greatest superpower. It allows us to look at the same things but with a different perspective.
With that said, I have also learned to listen to myself. We no longer live in a world where there’s a roomful of cheerleaders going “you did it, that was awesome”, no. In an ambitious and competitive world, expectations are high. When you do one thing right, it only highlights the ten things you could have done better.
So, you have to be your own cheerleader.
Now that we have completed the course, I have learned that playing all parts is good for learning. But the problem with that is, I am left with blurred definitions and a weakened conviction. Moving forward, I would like to focus more on working towards a specific skill set.
A few months ago, during the in-between presentations, I proclaimed that the world is a horrible place where no one ever appreciates anything that you do and you have to appreciate yourself. But bear in mind that those words were written by a man in the middle of a very intense course. And now that we have crossed this particular finish line, I would like to reiterate.
Although, I still stand with the second part of that statement, the first part not so much. And here is the reason why I changed my mind.
I believe in positive reinforcement.
When someone tells me that I am good, it only makes me try even harder to be the best. And I thought that I would have to be the one to do it myself, but that is not entirely true.
Between all the criticisms, big and small, beneath all the layers of friendly competition, and at times insecurities; I felt genuine admiration. And I know this for a fact because it is the same admiration I feel for each one of you.
I felt it in every simple nod of the head, in every smile on your face, and every time you told me you liked my game without making eye contact. I felt it in all of those moments.
If you take a look at my list of all the things that inspire me the most, you guys, collectively, are at the top of that list.
I was wrong.
Back then I failed to realise that we were all rooting for each other all along. And I for one will continue to do so for years to come.
The world might still be a horrible place, but at least we are not alone.