22 June 2011

So you're making a game. Do you like your game?

You must like your game yourself.

If you don't, you are at great risk in not honestly knowing what you should be focusing on. Often I see developers focusing on earning money from their product and putting their focus on the money rather than on the game they would love to play themselves. They try hard to please people they don't really know about with the intention to get as many people as possible to buy the game and thus, they rip themselves and their game into pieces in attempt to please everyone.

What happens, is the game become a bloated abomination filled with things that the developer himself might not play with, but still hoping it would please the customers. This is a wrong way to approach this.

What you should do instead, is focus on the game and make sure you will enjoy it. That you will love it. That you would play it yourself and actually enjoy it and play it more. Then, make sure it is accessible enough by having the mechanics be easy to learn and the story easy to understand for the average joe so he doesn't have to think too hard to get into the game.

Don't please others, instead, please yourself because you know what you like.
Do make it accessible so you can share it with others with relative ease.

Whether they like it or not, is their opinion. Just like everyone has their own taste.

This applies to non-profit projects with fan-bases too. People might have enjoyed a product that you or someone else made, and you're working to create a better version of it or maybe a sequel. Take all the feedback and ideas you can get, but since you're the one developing the project, its important to put yourself ahead, because you don't want to be in the position to create something the fans probably want, but you won't necessarily like it.

You also will be much more motivated to work on something you like than if you'd try to stretch yourself to please someone else. Keep in mind, that not everyone always truly knows what they want and they might have blind or false opinions about things that can very easily be irrevelant for what a product is really about.

Stay true to yourself.

(This is a part of the "what makes a good game" series)

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