Currently, it seems that all paths in my life lead to game development. Why not? Apparently nobody's hiring in these parts, I've been politely snubbed by so many employers I suspect a conspiracy, and so this is my idea of self-employment.
BYOND might be so massively under the radar that we've got a designated section of blatant copyright violations - which isn't terribly encouraging when it comes to the idea of being noticed for my efforts here (though, it can happen) - but BYOND remains a damn fine free development suite for creating a certain kind of game.
Specifically, tile-based, highly multiplayer online environment games. That's a genre I find to be as fascinating as Bartle does, even though the professional MMORPG development world has mostly stopped doing interesting things with it (with few exceptions) and instead seems content to mostly try to copy World of Warcraft and then wonder why it doesn't work.
As those in the know will tell you, when it comes to game design, ideas are a dime a dozen and not a real big deal. I would say that the real test is in the implementation phase: the thousands of decisions involved in consolidating "idea that sounds cool in your head" into "a program these overgrown calculators can run and display to their users". The decisions you stick with during implementation are going to make or break whether or not a good computer game comes of it.
Being aware of this is part of the reason why I haven't released a game yet. I envy a lot of the kids around here who just turn out a game which is basically "reskinned basic BYOND." I can't do that. I'm too harsh a critic of my own work. (Caveat: I'm not saying you're all doing that - there's a number of awesome games on BYOND which go considerably further.)
The other part of the reason why I haven't turned out a game yet is because I fall off the game development wagon too easily. I was gamer for some 26 years before I seriously tried being a game developer. If a series of really hot games come out that I was to play, I'm probably going to do that. However, I'm not as much a gamer now I was used to be, as few games really satisfy a person who has been playing them as long as I have. Development emerges as an evolution: to have the power in my hands to make my own game better trumps being restricted to other peoples' ideas.
I'm finally to the part I wanted to talk about when I started this entry, about how realizing my own net dream is proving hard amidst the aforementioned thousands of decisions involved in bringing concept to fruition. I suppose I nonetheless explained the why of the difficulties I'm having, and why the specifics of where I started is not as important as whether or not I can bring it to an end.
Can persistence alone bring a difficult concept to fruition? I've been spending much of the past few days trying. Brooding, grappling, wrestling with these ideas. Staring down these difficult-to-realize concepts. I will continue to do this until either the idea is broken down or I am. In the end, perhaps this kind of commitment is what is needed to really be a game developer or realizer of any worthwhile idea.
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