Ken's Design & Development Notes

Just talking about stuff I've learned…

Posts Tagged ‘developing games

For the Love of the Game

with 2 comments

We’ve had a few pretty cool reviews on our first indie game: Andy’s Notepad [Saucers].  Our latest review (by @IndieGamerChick) was notable.  It was both complimentary and critical in the scathingly constructive (or should I say constructively scathing?) style that I’ve only read on her blog.

Damaged "Saucer"

A Truly Horrible AI

Kairi (her “stage name”) first complimented our game on its style.  Then she proceeded to criticize the gameplay, weapon switching, AI, weapon balance, and bullet visibility, of course with the accompanying word pictures often found in her reviews.  I really enjoy reading her reviews.  …of other people’s games.  To be honest though, I couldn’t help but laugh as I read her review of ours.  …and yes, I did enjoy it, I must admit.  I’ve read it several times, and each time couldn’t wipe the grin off of my face.If you’ve read the review, you know she didn’t like our game.  I think she wanted to like it, but it had some flaws in her eyes.  After reading throught the review, I twitter-thanked her for her well-written review and she responded, thanking me “for taking it well.”  I also remember her tweet to the devs of A Pixel Escape complimenting them for their “good grace and class.”

Which brings me to my point.

  • Style
  • Craftsmanship
  • Design
  • Gameplay
  • Mechanics
  • Quality

…all are necessary, but not sufficient.

What is most needed in indie games today is “the love of the game.”

To me “Indie” should be synonymous with “Amateur” in the best sense of the word.  Meaning “lover of,” an amateur (indie game developer) ought to be someone who does this for the love of the game or the love of developing games.  We don’t do it for an ego trip, and we’re not doing it just for money, believe me.  I’ve got a real day-job for that.

Does loving what we do mean we’ll always make the best games? Not necessarily, or at least not at first.  But I do think it means that we’ll enjoy the journey, appreciate those who travel with us, and because of the community feedback, we eventually will make the best games.  Our attitudes show up in our games, and I don’t want anything we produce at Coneware to be truly describable as “joyless.”

So a note to developers: You are not your game.  When someone criticizes your creation, even though you may have poured your soul into it, unless they come out and name you, they are not criticizing you.  Critics are a necessary and helpful part of our creative process and if we can take their sarcasm with a grain of salt (or bucket, as applicable) then maybe we can improve our skills.

In the end we, at Coneware, take what we find helpful, apply it as we need to, and hopefully bottle up some of the fun we had in creating our game, so that you the player can enjoy the game like a bottle of fine wine.  And if our games start out more like the boxed wine variety, then by all means enjoy it, but for the love of all that’s holy, please don’t drink it out of a Dixie Cup!


Written by kenccone

July 11, 2012 at 6:37 am

Posted in Indie Games

Tagged with ,