Sunday, 27 October 2013

Creativity Conundrum

Good afternoon Dr Internet.

Normally I like to use these blog shaped therapy sessions to throw out some info on what I've been up to and discuss whatever’s on my mind. I find it cathartic; we all like to get things off our chest occasionally.  But recently things have changed, I've realised a few home truths, and it’s doing my head in.

I keep thinking up new game ideas!

Some are better than others (I’ll admit that) but they’re all at least partially original, do-able with my current knowledge, exciting to me in some way and I can’t wait to get started on them!

So where’s the problem? Let me explain…

In the last few weeks I've been working on Newgrounds and Kongregate integration for Bedlam.  Now that we’re finished with the damn thing we want to shove it in front of as many people’s noses as possible.
Even though it’s still being rolled out, in my mind it’s already old news...the next game in the pipeline has been in development for almost 10 months now and is about 80% complete.

So from here I have to finish post production on Bedlam, then complete the next game, then do the post on that, plus probably some website updates and all the socials… all of which before I can get cracking on anything new.

And in that time, (not the whole development cycle – just the last couple of weeks)… I've come up with plans for another 3 games!

Now I’m sure I’ll get faster at coding… and I'm only part time so I could chuck in a bunch more hours if I wanted to… And we could get some more guys in to help us… but even with all that (and the best will in the world), I’m never going to make all the games I want to.


There it is right there.

Big sad face :-(

So the vast majority of the games I come up with are never going to be made…  Every time I hit on (to me) a great new idea then I’m fully aware that the chances are that it’ll end up filed away in an imaginary storage warehouse in my mind, guarded by imaginary top men. Top Men.

I guess it goes with the territory of being a game developer. It takes so long to make a game compared with the amount of time needed to conceive one, it’s practically inevitable.

I don’t have any answers on this… only a pearl of wisdom: From now on, no matter how drunk I am, I’m never going to pitch an idea that I have at another game developer. It’s something I try to avoid as a rule: typically when you start gushing at people they can get pretty defensive anyway…

 But now I know another reason: When you start banging on about an interesting new game concept you’re not offending them, but you are reminding them of all the great games they have in their mind that’ll never see the light of day.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Indie game: the moment

Well internet, the last couple of days have been a bit of a roller-coaster.  As things are all tied up on Bedlam I decided that it was time to release it in to the wild and see what’s what.

To date it has been up on our website and playable for over a month but: given that we haven’t actually told anyone about it OR the website, the chances of it being actually played by anyone are practically nil.

So this brings us on to the Indie game: The movie moment referenced in the title… Anyone who’s watched the film knows the one I'm talking about: It’s the part where Super Meat Boy gets released and Tommy and Ed are glued to their monitors seeing how it goes down with gamers.

To be honest it totally swept me up! For about 2 hours after the game went up for review I was refreshing my browser every 5 minutes, reading all the comments and agonising as the rating went up and down.  And before you ask: No I didn't log on anonymously and up vote the game!

So how are we doing?  We’ll it’s been just under 3 days now and the stats are as follows:
The game’s been viewed 1657 times
It’s passed evaluation and been accepted on to the main site
We've had 4 comments – all reasonably constructive and positive
We’re hovering at a rating of just over 2 out of 5.

This may all seem pretty underwhelming to you but I'm ecstatic! The game’s getting played! WOOOOOOOO! It’s not gajillions of people, We’re not making any money off it, but we've entertained a bunch of random people around the world for a few minutes of their lives… and I find that immensely satisfying!

And as for the rating… Well I’m not to disheartened by a 2/5: After all it’s our first game, it is really limited in scope and (due to the fact I haven’t figured out the Newgrounds API yet), It hasn't got a working leader-board… which is a big point of the game.  So yeah I’ll take 2/5 for a first punt all day – It gives me a target to aim for with the next game!

Also a side note: Loving newgrounds so far!  I’d heard some pretty disparaging comments about it but so far it’s all sweetness and light.  The developer area is straight forward, the terms are really generous and pretty much all of the users who've commented have left constructive feedback :-) - I think it’s going to be a second home from now on.

Find out how it's doing now at

..just make sure you vote :-)