Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Hello , World

So here’s the state of play, I’ve had a couple of chats with Rich (designer and also my best mate) and we’re on! We’re going to set ourselves up and have a serious crack at making computer games for a living!

This should be fun: neither of us has ever made a game before, right now we don’t really have a clue what we’re doing and also we have no website, no money and no support.  What we do have though is a love of gaming and a na├»ve excitement about starting something new that we REALLY want to do! 

Here’s the current state of play…


Rich & I are in training!

Rocky lifted rocks and ran about in the snow, Bill & Ted buggered off to the 70s in a time machine, for us it breaks down like this:

  • Video training on the tools of the trade (Flash, Illustrator & Photoshop). I hate it: there’s frickin’ hours of the stuff to wade through. To make it worse the narrator in the series I’m watching sounds just like that yappy annoying slag who runs the general store in Megaton in Fallout 3 :-@ 
  • Working out how we’re going to work together: This one sounds easy but it’s actually causing us quite a few headaches – what format should Rich be designing in? Should he learn Flash as well as Illustrator? Should we even be using Flash at all? Etc. Etc. – It’d suck royally to put hundreds of hours in to learning something that doesn’t end up being used…
  • All the other crap: website, twitter, this blog, and so forth.
  • We’re hovering up general industry wisdom. The great thing about the gaming scene is that it’s so open, everyone’s happy to chat about their work. The best sources I’ve found are:
    • Extra credits (weekly show on general design topics)
    • (great interviews & a ton of articles)
    • All Your History Are Belong To Us (History of leading game companies & franchises)
    • PC Gamer (UK guys especially are awesome – keep flying the flag dudes!)
    • Double Fine Adventure (It’s an awesome opportunity to see how some of the greats approach making their games)
    • Of course Indie Game the movie
    • TotalBiscuit (He always explains in great detail why he hate’s something before mercilessly bludgeoning it to death in front of its children).

Actually I’d like to Segway a little on this:  As well as some really good tips & information, there’s also a common ethos to game design that all these indie guys all seem to have. Listening to the way they talk about their games really reminds me of musicians and other artists talking about their work.  It’s something I can resonate with and be inspired by. They really are the good guys, I want to buy beers for all of them! Also: games ARE art, end of.

We know the first game we’re going to make:

The idea started life as a straightforward 5 minute flash game, a dude walks down the street and you shoot bad guys who are trying to attack him. So far so generic…

Here are some pearls of industry wisdom for you: the first game anyone ever makes will be shit, projects always take longer than you think they will, don’t bite off more than you can chew, etc, etc.

So given all that we were going to just try and quickly bang out a bunch of quick & dirty sheds to learn the ropes & get the ball running. Problem is we’ve had many beers and many discussions and now we’ve gotten all keen about it!

A simple couple-of-week project is now bloated with all sorts of silly mechanics & fancy features: Do we need to rip off the Driver 3 leaping about mechanic? No! Will anyone give a crap about integrated leader boards, no, monetisation, no, I could go on…

So, against the best advice, we’re going to be ambitious and try and do things properly from the start, I know it’ll make things much more painful, but I’m kinda proud of that fact.

We have a cunning plan!

Our overall plan involves much more than spitting out games.  I’m really excited about the ideas we have for the website, community and a bunch of stuff that we’ll keep up our sleeve right now ;-) is going to evolve in to much more than a games portal, it’ll be great to see how it takes shape – and how it goes down with you guys!

So what should you expect?

For now: not a lot. Being realistic I expect our first game will come out around Christmas time, and the website will be pretty empty til then too.

By then we’ll obviously be experts(!) at the whole process, so we’re hoping both the size & speed of production will ramp up.

For now though, we’ll be keeping this blog and twitter etc up to date with our progress so anyone who’s interested can keep tabs on there :-)


Happy Gaming !