04 Apr Break or be broken
This isn’t about breaking physical stuff nor it is about trying to break software. No, it’s about getting broken mentally.
As Nick said before, creating a game in 2 weeks changes game development, a lot. As Jimmy Pataya was my first as a game designer I had little experience in this area. Every time you do something new, you jump right into it. In my case I landed unexpectedly early, head first.
The first week of game development was a tough one. We had democratically chosen something with skydiving, my job then was to work that out to get a game design. I did exactly that. Then I presented the game design, it was all about falling down without control of the movement, passing rings and match the color, heavily relying on a Japanese themed graphics style. Some team members were positive, others disagreed big time. So big that the concept wasn’t going to make it. The concept was taken back and after a lot of discussion we ended up dropping the Japanese stuff and adding character controls.
To be honest, it broke my heart and was thinking, “This was not how I imagined the game to be”. A good night sleep does fix your mind most of the time. Especially when you don’t have the time to cry like a little girl.
Some days later, it happened again. Most of the testers found the color matching too difficult or couldn’t control the color matching and character movement at the same time. We choose to drop the color matching. In my heart I wanted to keep that mechanic because it was coolests thing but my head told me to go with movement as the testers liked it and the team wanted it. You could say I’m a wuzz but then I would say team motivation is more important than my own ego.
The point I am getting to is that as a game designer, there is a big chance you will get broken, mentally. You can strengthen yourself and the process though. Instead of breaking, you now might only get bend.
In my case it was all about expectations.
Some team members expected a skydiving game to be like a base jump game in which you have a start at a ridge and an end, landing on your feet.
I expected the color matching mechanic to be a strong and simple gameplay element.
The testers expected, well I’m not really sure what they expected but the first version we sent was definitely not it 🙂
Who knows how bendy I can become with some exercise?