Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Game Design

Minion Games is reporting significant sales of Kingdom of Solomon at Essen. Woo-hoo! Looks like the booth is getting a lot of traffic. FYI, KoS should be in the USA at the end of November/beginning of December, just in time for a certain major holiday . . . All this brings to my mind the wild ride often involved in game design.

At the start, excitement is high--you've just had an amazing flash of brilliance! Then comes the first prototype. Blah--it doesn't really work. But there's still something there . . .

Next you work and work to smooth rough edges and get the game into a somewhat playable state. Finally, you can play the game from start to finish! Now the real playtesting begins.

People give you "constructive" criticism. Yuck. Like bad-tasting medicine, it must be endured for healthy design. And your game gets better. Now to find a publisher.

It's a good game, but no one has time or money to publish. So you try harder and finally get a bite. Hooray! If it's a smaller company, get ready for even more work--endless editing and revising. And it takes much longer than you think--seriously, when will the art be done!?!?

By the time all this is finished you are almost tired of looking at your game (almost). You start thinking that people don't care about your game or it's not as cool as the other new games (really people just don't know about your game--very different). But the game is published! People actually buy it! Happy times are here again!

Now you have to keep marketing and doing demos for people--more work, but it's cool. And so there it is, some days are good some are long and tedious. But if you keep working, one day you look up and it turns out you've come a long way--and that feels awesome!

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