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GraysonEvans

Why do you make games? (Real Talk)

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I have been working on a personal project for a while now and I find myself questioning my own motives at every turn. 

I think before I can make something I am proud of I have to have a answer for why. After a few weeks of thinking I think I have an answer.

 

I make games because I want to make people happy. I am not a good person, I am selfish, mean and very narcissistic. By traditional means I really have nothing to offer in terms of a personal relationship. So I turn to making games to maybe for once actually affect someone in a positive way.   

 

 

So why do you guys make games? there are so many of us with so many story's I want to know.

 

 

 

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After beating Olmec, I was like "If I can beat Olmec, I can make a game."

Now that I've been doing it for a few months, I think of games as some sort of internet-age folk-art. I want to participate in the communities that make small games and explore the medium.

I just made my first NPCs that wander and react and it's quite a thrill to watch th behave and tweak it. Shit's addictive.

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This might not be the type of reason you are looking for, but I make games because I genuinely love the work.  Sure I like the other aesthetic or thematic elements, but to be honest ever since I got into game development I've almost stopped playing games, and would rather whip up a prototype or learn some new piece of middleware instead.

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My main initial reason was to make games that I wanted to play but that didn't exist. (Though at least one of these gave me so much trouble, I don't like to play it anymore =P). Later I found out that sometimes the best way (for me) to share a particular joke or occasional serious thought was to turn it into a small game. After releasing a couple of flash games, I then got addicted to seeing the number of plays and comments go up on Kongregate ^_^ because I quite enjoy knowing that I was able to help hundreds or sometimes thousands of people on the internet find something to do for a few minutes! There has always been the backdrop motivation of "It would be cool if I could make money doing something cool" as well, of course -- though that's been gradually replaced over time by the simple, voracious hunger for MOAR COMMENTS :P -- which in turn is slowly being overtaken by a more craftsmanlike interest in challenging myself to new heights of inventiveness / elegance / hilarious jokez. (But I think there will always be a part of me that daydreams about landing a radical gig tightening up the graphics on level 3).

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This might not be the type of reason you are looking for, but I make games because I genuinely love the work.  Sure I like the other aesthetic or thematic elements, but to be honest ever since I got into game development I've almost stopped playing games, and would rather whip up a prototype or learn some new piece of middleware instead.

Every reason is valid. Loving the work is the hardest part for me, I love the feeling when I fix something that has been broken for so long, but being able to love the process is a gift I think.

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This might not be the type of reason you are looking for, but I make games because I genuinely love the work.  Sure I like the other aesthetic or thematic elements, but to be honest ever since I got into game development I've almost stopped playing games, and would rather whip up a prototype or learn some new piece of middleware instead.

 

Same here. I just like figuring things out and making them work, even if it's not something that's actually useful for the project I'm working on.

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I got into game dev because I've always wanted to do something creative. When I was a kid I wanted to be a comic book artist, then a video game dev, then a musician, actor and then a game dev again.

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Hey folks, I'm new to posting on these forums but I saw this thread and it seems like as decent a point as any to say what's up.

 

But yeah! Games! I just always wanted to make them. I like that, as a medium, you get to do art and music and writing (and I like the problem-solving bits of programming). So I went to college as a music major and jumped around a bunch, eventually getting a traditional art degree and a CS degree.

 

When I first started making games for a living (early 2000s, as a texture artist on PS2 sports games) the only way you could make a game was to go work at some big company. And just about the only way to work at a big company who made games you actually liked was to work for some other company first. So I did that for a while! And met some super nice people, all of them with their eyes on the prize of someday making cool games. By the mid-2000s suddenly people were making games on their own and releasing them and then regular folks could play them! What!

 

Some time around then I switched over to full-time programming. I got married and have since had a couple kids. Now I make games for them (at Double Fine!).

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After I played Broken Sword I decided I wanted to make games. I'd never really played a game with such a strong sense of place and story, and I wanted more. I still make adventure games, to learn about things I don't know much about (history, sociology, geography) and make stories that stick with people, that tell them something about the world they live in.

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Hey folks, I'm new to posting on these forums but I saw this thread and it seems like as decent a point as any to say what's up.

 

But yeah! Games! I just always wanted to make them. I like that, as a medium, you get to do art and music and writing (and I like the problem-solving bits of programming). So I went to college as a music major and jumped around a bunch, eventually getting a traditional art degree and a CS degree.

 

When I first started making games for a living (early 2000s, as a texture artist on PS2 sports games) the only way you could make a game was to go work at some big company. And just about the only way to work at a big company who made games you actually liked was to work for some other company first. So I did that for a while! And met some super nice people, all of them with their eyes on the prize of someday making cool games. By the mid-2000s suddenly people were making games on their own and releasing them and then regular folks could play them! What!

 

Some time around then I switched over to full-time programming. I got married and have since had a couple kids. Now I make games for them (at Double Fine!).

rad! welcome to the fun B)

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Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. I got frustrated with journalism in college so I switched to the furthest thing away I could think of that I was still interested in and ended up with a couple CS degrees. I think making games takes advantage of my (hopefully) unique skillset. That said, I haven't exactly finished anything yet.

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I weirdly got into the industry before I ever really made a game; I had started a couple tiny projects in Java/Flash/Obj-C while I was in school, but never really pursued game development until I'd been working as a tools programmer at a large studio for about 2 years. Between work and industry events, I'm surrounded by smart, creative, motivated people all day, which eventually made me feel a little guilty for not having any cool side projects going. Doing tools work in C# meant I picked up Unity pretty quickly, and I got immediate satisfaction out of banging prototypes out. The speed and flexibility of working on my own is really gratifying compared to the more...let's say deliberate pace of development at work, and it's also a good excuse to work and collaborate with folks who I wouldn't get to normally, and make their ideas come to life. Which is corny as all hell, but completely true.

 

So short answer: it's fun

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I think that's more of a reflection of our personalities than anything else.

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Hey I'm new here as well. I work as a freelance web developer but I've been getting a lot of enjoyment out of game development.

It just feels good and I find learning new things with game dev is much more interesting than anything else I've done.

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LiAYcuk.png

Honestly pretty close. I tend to get an idea in my head and feel a powerful compulsion to make it real. I make games for myself, any player appreciation as a welcome side effect.

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I haven't made anything yet. But I was driven to pursue software engineering after three years of an Ecology major and a Marine Science minor because games were all I thought about. For a great deal of time I wasn't even playing games just reading about experiences, mechanics, and the like. I realised that not only could I create abstractions of real life and carve them out into niche gamified experiences (see Mai Nichi, Gone Home, etc.) but I could take already existing game experiences and distil them into other abstractions (games like Anitchamber). I've always felt creative urges but never really outputted. Gaming provides a metatextual response that I find film or writing could never quite provide, it's the intersection of each and relies on personal interpretation in more than story but drive as well. Unlike some other friends of mine, I don't quite mind if the things I create aren't well known and validated. I'll be making these experiences for myself as much as others. Though after experiencing the strange fraternity of the NS2 competitive scene I would love to make a game with a niche multiplayer community; which I must admit is a pretty odd goal.

In an odd way, games are ecologies of themselves. Ones I love to explore.

I guess my drive is similar to the tweet above it's a weird combination of desire and pathos. Though I guess as yet this is a combination of purple language from someone who has no output to date.

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Man - that Naomi Clark quote nails it - There's game jams, which I mostly do for the fun of collaborating with people on a problem, but then there's THE games: the ones I don't see being made anywhere else, that I feel SHOULD be out there somewhere, and they should work like THIS... It's almost a nervous tick some times, like needing to look up something you can't quite remember - a feeling that this thing SHOULD work, and you have to see it to be sure.

 

There's a big space for personal games out there, and I LOVE playing those, but for me the games I enjoy working most seem to be these weird logic puzzles - http://mallowdrop.com/ was my first attempt at a full game, and it's this weird exploration of gravity/platforming puzzles. There was never any story or characters - but I saw things like Braid, and Fez, and Where is my Heart? and I wanted to make games like that. These are games that take forever for me to chip away at, and often the act of figuring the mechanics out is more interesting than any game I can end up making with it.

 

On the other hand, the games that I find the most rewarding to build in the short term, though, are games where the meat of them are procedurally generated, or local multiplayer games. They let you get up and running with a SYSTEM first, and then you figure out how to "play" inside that system. http://gritfish.itch.io/holodorks was a blast to make, because the process went from (as usual for me) exploring how a few systems worked together (procedurally generating the level and then painting the background in) and then figuring out what type of game worked in that system (we ultimately settled on going for a "Nuclear Throne" thing but didn't get super complicated with it). http://gritfish.itch.io/towerface was a blast for the same kind of reasons, but the act of testing the game with the other people at the jam and tweaking it was WAY more fun than coding all the physics.

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When I was 12 or something (22 now) I had an old shitty computer. Most games I played was small indie stuff because it didn't lag on my computer. One day while playing Burn the Trash by Cactus I realized "Oh shit, this is made by ONE guy! I COULD DO THIS!?". A couple years later I learned programming in school and started making small stupid games in console, then in XNA, and now with C++.

 

Nowadays I make games half because I'm fulfilling some kind of dream I had as a kid, half because of that feeling when people play it and tell me they like it. I love that attention. Seems like a lot of people here are the same, I thought the narcissistic thing was kind of personal for me, but more people share it. Maybe I don't have to feel so bad about it! :) Also, nowadays games is basically all I think about, and if I could make games all day and make a living off of it, my life would be complete I think! ;P

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To quote Mr Krabs: Money!

 

 

Seriously, though, I am not sure exactly why I want to make games. I don't really see myself doing anything else.

 

Sure I like the other aesthetic or thematic elements, but to be honest ever since I got into game development I've almost stopped playing games, and would rather whip up a prototype or learn some new piece of middleware instead.
 
This is true for me. Unless the game is really good, I find myself just thinking about my own project and wanting to go back to it.

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I probably have the worst answer which is that I spent way too much time playing video games as a kid that when it was time to think about college there was no other topic that I knew as much about. Animation, a side of video games I was completely inept at, became my major for the worst reasons: insecurity and narcissism.  Everyone in my personal circle really thought I should study English or perhaps creative writing, mostly because it was the only thing I had anything approach talent for, but I wanted to prove that I could get good at something I was completely bad at.


Since then, however, my appreciation for games as a medium has  grown into a mature appreciation both for the work and the community and culture fighting to grow a round it. I don't know whether that is the result of my mind justifying my choices or if I was just lucky in happening upon an aspect of culture as packed full of potential as it seems.

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