September 25, 2012

Developer Theory

One of the beautiful things about games in their raw form is how the seem to create themselves after a certain point. There are many things to be said about art and a lot of which art says about itself, and make no mistake that games are indeed art. A classic quote which I believe is attributed to Michelangelo is that inside every block of stone or clay is a soul, a sculpture waiting to reveal itself, as if you were the tool being used to break itself free. There's a lot of this idea present in various forms of art how the artist doesn't make the art rather the art makes itself or the artist.

I would say making a game is a lot like a new girlfriend, substitute your preferred partner naming convention the idea remains the same. Just as you keep secrets from them so do they keep secrets from you. As you open yourself to them they shall reveal their secrets to you. In game development it's similar as buried within every game idea there are things that simply belong together whether or not they're obvious is a different matter though. Often from what I've seen is after you have some core ideas put together there's a gap where an obvious piece should fit to speak metaphorically, and then it becomes a search to find the secret your game has made for itself and reveal it. It's a maze of puzzle pieces creating themselves and itself without even realizing it. Of course referring back to what I said about revealing yourself to it also applies heavily. Often it's easy to see a personality in programming, you can understand what a person is thinking and their general mindset when you see their code.

All art stems from some derivative of love. Even the violent and deadly forms of art such as war and assassination for example come from a place of love, even if it's a perversion of ideal loves. Each game you're involved in making is like falling in love for the first time all over again. There's a real passion in making a game and it shows. You can tell a lot about the people who make a game in the finished product. To analyze it in relationship terms you can tell if the game was like family to the developers, or if it was a girlfriend, a wife, a mistress / concubine, or something else. For a lot of movie based games it's the love you have for a cheap hooker it's all about the money and the love for it only lasts briefly and insincerely, then you worry about catching something and regret it. Meanwhile Triple A titles typically range from your best friend since you were a child to the deity you worship. Some games can be really fun like those college experimentation days when you would try just about anything, and others can almost make you feel dirty for playing them. In the end it's a cumulative effort that shapes the end result more than any direction set.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that inside every core game idea there's a multitude of features and other games waiting to break out, and that a little pieces of the developer/s are in every game. Without an understanding of the love and dedication necessary to make a game you can never hope to make a good game. Respect what you love and love what you do and you can't go wrong.

1 comment:

  1. The people who keep making brown FPS should read this.