It is with a glad heart that today I finish off my series of posts about being an UnPublished Game Designer.
I hope that this has given you good for thought, and maybe even some ideas of your own on how you too can get started and maybe can go on to avoid the mistakes I have made and get to where you want to with much greater ease.
With today's post, it is my hope to discuss with you about how to end projects, about realising when you have reached as far as you can go and when it is time for something new.
Like many of you out there I have created a great number of game projects, the greatest of them all a game that I collaborated with my friend Tom on called Ring of Blood, a Fantasy themed Arena game with simple but elegant rules that made for a super fun game. Of course those rules were lost over time and the game is now just a fond memory.
There have been plenty of complex games, involving resource management and travel, simple card games a and countless amounts of homebrew house rules for existing games.
Every one of these projects had to come to an end at some point and as with all types of art knowing when to stop is just as important as how to start.
You see, to a lot of people, ending your work on a game is seen as a polar thing; either the game is finished, ready to ship and be played by the masses, or the game is a flop, it's never going to get finished and frankly even the creator (you) hates looking at it.
Now to most people the former is a positive experience, while the latter is negative, but allow me to spin it on it's head:
Your game is finished, you've created the next monopoly and are set to make millions from the licence alone! You've also finished something that you started as a hobby. Now you have to find something else to fill that time with (spending those millions maybe?)
The other side, your game never made it, you had some good ideas and some fun, but it just never manifested as a good, fun and marketable game. Well that's ok, because we can go back to basics, the theme, the narrative, and from there rebuild, start from almost scratch and carry on with what you enjoyed.
What if the reason you stopped was boredom?
Simple! Just isolate what it was that bored you and don't make that mistake again.
At every stage of this process I've commented on how this is a hobby and if that is not the reason you are doing this, then reading these posts will do nothing for you, chances are they will only infuriate you instead.
So have I made mistakes with my games?
Have I wished I'd done things differently and gone back and done just that?
Have I destroyed all remnants of a game in a nerd rage, the mere mention of the game causing bile spewing and vitriol?
More times than I can imagine!
Do I regret any of the time spent working on those games? Not a second!
At every stage of creating these games I have learned something, and the only reason I am confident enough to put myself out there as much as I am now (and I still have a long way to go) is because I have learned from every single game I've worked on in the past and put those lessons into practice.
So as we leave these posts, I have to raise where I see CRYPTS: A Weird West Dungeon Crawler going.
Will it be the next box office smash, or end up a small .zip file somewhere on the net, drifting in the place where forgotten games go to die?
Honestly? I don't know.
I'd love it if the game was enjoyed by others, but as a self pessimist I am aware that the chances are stacked against, but isn't that what makes us human? To see the odds are bad, that the chances of success are minimal and yet we still try anyway; for the thrill, the learning and the fun of it!
On that note I wish you all good luck in your endeavours, that you stay safe and that with hope, I'll see you Cryptside sometime.
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley