Why do you make games?

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  • I'd love to know, for me it's the ultimate in creative playground, I'm bloody good at it and I've been doing it for over 20 years. It's a question Rami Ismail asks in his most recent talk as his company Vlambeer, and a question we should keep asking ourselves, as I'm sure the dynamics change over time.

    I ask, because last night (as you do), I wrote a blog post on my website, an honest account of "Why I nearly quit game development" in the last month or so for good and thought I would share it with you all. Read it here. I know I'm not the only developer out there who's struggled and I hope it resonates or helps even just one of my fellow developers.

    So, why do you make games?

  • Honestly, it's always been a dream of mine, ever since I started playing video games! I guess the Nintendo and Micro Geniuses really impacted me that greatly. And when I played Final Fantasy VII....I saw games in a whole new light and always thought, wow I wish I was part of the people who could unleash our own fantasies and create worlds for other people to see and live it.

  • The question is interesting, my motivations changed over the years: warning huge wall of words and moment of coolstorybro

    At first, it was just a "I wanna try it just to have a grasp on the concept", during this period, I realised I liked doing it, thinking about the logic behind, creating the world and interactions even at a small scale, however the syntax of languages I tried was just a no go, so I decided to try another approach. (I was pretty young at the time)

    Later, I tried RPG maker, as I though It may be more about concepts rather than code, while it was not that, it showed a nice view of all possible parameters and their power, that lead me to learn quickly than it was the same codebase each time but done in a flexible way, which from now on would be my goal: flexible code if possible (future would show that I was right). However later I learned that my version of rpg maker was illegal (I know it can sound obvious, but I was young and never had the internet in my youth so the though of internet having illegal things at disposal that easily was actually not something I would have ever guessed)

    Another day, another thing: game maker, the drag n drop was a nice touch, but was not working very well, so I went to the gml route, while this was not as punishing as before, I was still a kid and so I did not have a lot of knowledge about physics, but I managed to do small prototypes, nothing that big, but still.At this time I was not just "trying out things just to know" anymore, I had not a passion, but still a wish for me to learn about it, this time with game maker actually was a long time.

    But I also tried to see about software création, by fooling around with other things, I managed to grasp some things, but that was not me, I still tried tough, that period may be four or five years before that post, but I had a passion for game making, later (I think 3 years before that post) kyatric (that I knew from a game, as he was the administrator of a small but nice forum) talked to me about C2 and CC, I tried C2, there was bugs and crash at the time (r52 I think), however the idea was here, and browser games did not disturbed me as I prefered that from exécutables. I had other things to do however, so I did not get into it fully yet, In the mean time, I tried CC, I hated it, end of story, seriously, it was just "No.. I cannot sorry guys, that just... no", cannot tell exactly why but it felt uncomfortable.

    My passion grew with C2, I learned it slowly but surely, I bought a personal license and was happy, everythign was fine, I got my diploma irl, the two next years were going to guarantee me a future, and the next year was going to be perfect, the kind of year #endofsong, buuuut of course life is where sh*t happens, and it turned out very badly, after a year the fatigue won over me, I had to quit my training period and sleep, and sleep, during all august month, I could not go back to my current school period as I could not endure it anymore, besides that, my parents (I mean my mother and her companion) disliked each other which kind of threw me at a state of depression, we could not have any money keeped since none of them had a job, nor wanted really one or could have one, so I did the only thing that made me feel better: I used C2, I used it, and used it, protip: without working you lose your mind, so get a good job.

    Well that is not great, but the passion was here, then someone proposed me to do quick jobs this year (doing and selling html5 games), which actually was doable, sure I have made some money, that real life problems keeped cashing, and the other issue, not only those jobs were rarely finished, but also, the team was not working well, there was performances not issues, but premade judgement of, so we tested, again, and again, and each time I was asked on polishing something that actually was working perfectly (protip: never work with people until they realise that doing a game needs to make choices at some point), at the end I disliked doing that for nothing money wise, respecting stupid publishers' requirements, facebook was the time when I said "I quit". It was not profiteable in any way, and my passion of game making could not expand while having stupid requirements bringing you down! Protip:we lost a lot of time in perf tests that were sort of useless, have you code organised in C2, dont do stupid things, and you should be fine.

    I stayed with C2 as this one was my dream engine, the html5 market however seems sabotaged, I decided that money would have to come from something else, as I refuse to make any more money with that until there is stability and viability with this market (as for wrappers, they are kind of stupid just in their goal, but also I learned with cocoonJS that when people dont do their job correctly, do not rely on them long term wise, which may be the best lesson of my life).

    I also did tried MMF2 and Clickteam fusion 2.5, but why would anyone even remotely try to make a game in this.... is beyond me.

    Tl;dr: first just wanting to try, then wishing to continue, then passion, then it was that or killing myslef and my parents, then repassion, then money, then f*ck money passion is far better.

  • Great answers, thanks for sharing Aphrodite thanks for sharing what comes across as a very heartfelt response.

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  • I don't know how to answer this but since the day I came across C2, I've been asking myself entire time, why am I not making games before...

    This is actually the first time I'm having fun and enjoying stressful thinking.

    I guess different people, different stories.

  • Because when I first played that quarter fed arcade machine as a kid I knew I wanted to learn how it worked. So I spent the rest of my life obsessed with computers. I'm still a hobbyist, I will most likely always be. I'm a programmer though. My reason for game development are the same as listed above, but for web dev too:

    Software development (no matter what it is) can be the ultimate creative playground when it is designed to your own specs and built by you. There is no other feeling in the world that comes close. We are the few and powerful who can create "something" out of "nothing"

    C2 is the first game engine to "dumb it down" enough for me to actually be productive. Most of my past projects have been swallowed up by things like futzing with screen scaling, reading through APIs, design patterns that turn out to be anti patterns, etc. C2 is like this great big state machine with the API reference and layout editor all built in.

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