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  • Avatar ImagePaul Kaiser, a level 6 monster with 11 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    So many tools, so many resources — what’s missing? Everybody and their brother has a cool idea for a game, but they don’t pursue it. Why? Money? Skills? Confidence?

  • Avatar ImageJames Coote, a level 0 monster with 16 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    You can spend a few hours having fun imagining a cool game, but actually making one takes time.

    It is very easy to look at a game and work out what you would have done differently or what direction you might have taken it instead, but try to put ideas into a balanced and well written set of game rules / mechanics is much harder than it first seems

    We live in a very visual world, but games require lots of maths and programming skills, so many of the people who are attracted to them are often not cut out for the non-artistic side of game making

    Similarly, as games have developed (historically), ever increasing graphics quality has created an expectation of ever better graphics or unique artistic styles. This means lots of effort to meet those expectations

    I think many people can see the massive potential for games and so end up imagining games with impossibly massive scope.

    Finally, most people are not finishers

  • Avatar ImagePaul Kaiser, a level 6 monster with 11 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hey James, nice insights. I agree on all points — folks are intimidated once they see the mountain of work it would take to get a game made, they feel they can’t meet today’s game expectations, and indeed there are more talkers than shippers.

    I ask because I want to help more people move forward with their ideas. On the surface, it sounds like teaching them to create their vision would help, and bringing folks with different skills together to work on a game would help, too.

  • Avatar ImageAlan Au, a level 7 monster with 30 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    I suspect people have difficulty turning ideas into implementation, probably as a combination of (lack of) skill and (overreaching) scope. The amount of work is indeed intimidating, even for a simple idea.

  • Avatar ImageDenise Gross, a level 7 monster with 6 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi everyone,
    I think that often people don’t know where to start. And then when they start proposing ideas often they are squashed by people who have worked in the industry. When I say that I mean that they often run into discouragement before they even get started.

    A great example of this was with a game making initiative that was started in Canada for first time game makers. The initiative was targeted to women who wanted to create video games.

    Luckily this initiative is going strong and is called the Difference Engine Initiative. It is an amazing program and is very successful so far. Here is a link:

    Last year I just happened to stumble across this initiative when it was first announced. I was super excited about it but when I started reading all the comments posted about it I started noticing that many of them were very discouraging and cynical. Most of these negative comments were from industry insiders basically commenting that there was no way newbies could learn software etc. and possibly conceive of and create a game in a six week period. Unfortunately I cannot find the blog posts anymore regarding this to show you. I am guessing that they were probably removed because they were really derogatory. I just think that these people who posted these negative comments were probably overworked, under-appreciated, and burned out.

    I agree that creating a large console game is very difficult. But these days there are so many other game venues to explore. I think instead of being discouraging we should encourage people to start smaller.

    I think starting in small steps to build confidence is very important. The first thing I would have them do is create a basic game design document to flush out their ideas. And then creating a paper prototype. Some people think paper prototyping digital games is a waste of time but I think it is a great way to work out a lot of organizational details and it can certainly test basic game mechanics. And then they can take their game to one of the easier game engines, like GameSalad or Game Maker, to start implementing their ideas.

    Anyway, this is is what I would suggest and recommend.

    • Avatar Image
      Paul Kaiser · 5 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

      So true, Denise. Thanks for the link. Regarding ”starting small:” even Nintendo’s Miyamoto is wanting to chill out and work on smaller projects, ”…maybe something I could make by myself…”
      Small / short does not mean meaningless. I mean, how difficult was Tetris, really, to make? That was a game-changer.

      • Avatar Image
        Denise Gross · 5 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

        Awesome article! Thanks! It will be really interesting to see what he comes up with.

    • Avatar Image
      James Coote · 5 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

      One school of thought is that video game designers should practice by making and testing lots of board games as board games take max 1 day to make

      You can make a simple game relatively quickly and easy. Check this out, where one (professional) dev tries to make a game in a week:

      He manages it and without any game maker type packages, but not without doing a lot of ’crisis management’ and ditching a lot of features near the end

      However there is a massive jump between making a simple game with one mechanic and even a slightly more complex game

      I think with the nay-sayer developers, it is probably more that they resent the implication; that their job is easier or quicker than it actually is

      • Avatar Image
        Denise Gross · 5 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

        AWESOME link! Thanks so much for that!

      • Avatar Image
        Paul Kaiser · 5 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

        Good thought on the board games. I also like making simpler games on a tighter schedule, like over 2 weeks or so. It’s like writing fiction for an hour every day to get better inch-by-inch.
        Also agreed on the nay-sayer situation. I run in to that with homeschooling. People are like ”Oh, so public school isn’t good enough, huh?!” Pretty sure it’s a defensive posture.

    • Avatar Image
      bewmaynes · 1 month, 3 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

      I know that, despite being a long-time gamer, I had never even considered that i *could* make a game. It was just not something that had crossed my mind. I always made stories within games, but not games themselves. Game development and the knowledge that, ’yes, I can make a game’ has been eye-opening!

  • Avatar ImageSam Clifford, a level 2 monster with 1 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Not to over-simplify but as an experienced game developer I believe that the basic human drive to begin and the will to keep going (follow through to completion) is the #1limiting factor…. people must believe that game dev is iterative and finishing a version .001 even if its bad (and it will be) is the most important thing to do. Improvement comes later with future iterations.

  • Avatar ImageGrandy Peace, a level 2 monster with 2 posts — 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    For me, it’s a couple of things.

    1. There is a vast gulf between ideas and execution.
    2. I have doubts about my programming skills.
    3. I have some decent ideas but they’re small ideas; I have doubts about building full games/systems around them.
    4. It is a daunting task and I often have trouble getting started on big tasks.
    5. I worry about following through (call it a corollary to what Sam Clifford said).

  • Avatar ImageIlaria, a level 0 monster with 4 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    I think that the idea is not enough. You need a cool dev e a very cool designer! if you can’t do all by your self it’s quite expensive.
    Anyway THINK we had a great idea dosn’t mean we REALY HAD it. ;)
    And I add that in my country none pay you for ideas….

  • Avatar Imagenik, a level 0 monster with 5 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    This is a fascinating thread for me because I enjoy writing web games as a hobby. There are some very good points being made already, but I would also add that the number one reason that stops people from making games is themselves.

    (my game, by the way: )

    It’s true that it’s hard to write a game when you are getting a steady stream of negative comments, but a lot of times you can turn some of that criticism into good use and learn from it, if it’s not something derogatory and worthless. I’ve also noticed sometimes that someone will have an idea for a game, but they’ve over-complicated the idea before they’ve even attempted to sit down and start writing the game. Or, maybe they have a great idea, but they are lazy and refuse to learn the tools that they would need to help them create the game, so nothing ever happens. I would say: start small, take a few baby steps – if you fall down, get up and keep putting in the effort if it’s something you really want to do. No excuses.

  • Avatar ImageInksprout, a level 7 monster with 23 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    I think for a lot of people it feels like a risky thing to do. Creating a game can be both time consuming and not that rewarding. Like some others have pointed out you can be faced with a lot of negative critiscism when you start out making games and that combined with all the time taken to make the games (especially if you need to learn other skills before you even start) can be disheartening.
    For me personally learning software and programming are the most daunting aspects. I’ve come into a game design course from an artist’s perspective and because they have another course who learn programming we work with them instead of learning ourselves. It makes it scary to try to make a game on my own because of the sheer amount of time and motivation learning programming seems to take.

  • Avatar ImageJaelle, a level 4 monster with 15 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    I’ve worked on games that haven’t made it to a finished product and I think the problem often comes from starting with unrealistic expectations and not being ready to put the time into it. Also, it can often require a broad range of skills that can take a lot of time to learn if you don’t have them already. For example, I am confident in my programming skills, can use most graphic design programs fairly well, but have low confidence in my artistic skills. It can be demoralizing to try and make a game that can’t live up to what you see in your imagination. :P But yes, I think if anyone is determined enough, they can make it happen.

  • Avatar ImageLei, a level 0 monster with 1 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    For me it’s about the organization of ideas. After several failed attempts I’ve learned how to stay away from massive ideas even though that’s what I really want to create. But the complexity of games is something that can very easily get out of hand even in a small idea.

  • Avatar ImageAndy Thomas, a level 3 monster with 12 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    Depends on the type of game too. Games that play out in the real world can be inexpensive and can still make money. For example the cost of Blood Trail to us was just over £2k which was all on the video sequences. Set up didn’t cost anything because we used our platform and the experience just required leg work. We call them Crowdtrails, but basically for Blood Trail we randomly approached people in the street and handed them invites. We only wanted 100 to sign up at using the invite code as the final destination (a club) only held 500 max. Each sign up could create their own team with max of four mates. They then had to complete six challenges (this is where video came in) which sent them all over Manchester (UK). We ended up with just over 350 people playing and two clubs paid us to send them into their club (bonus). Each task completed gave them a reward of a map segment that led to the final Rising event. We turned it into a mental vamp party which again was sponsored by a club (cost covered) and we had a donation box. Cleared just over £700. Not huge amounts I know but for a trial event with no real focus on how we could make money, I was happy. You guys can all benefit too, because you can now all run your own versions of Blood Trail for free and we have supplied the video – all you have to do is localise the tasks – so you save the video production.

    Want to know more go to or read the slide deck I put together:

  • Avatar ImageSonny Rae Tempest, a level 3 monster with 4 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    Hi all,

    Personally, I think the thing that holds people back the most is fear.

    I don’t think this is particular to game-making. Fear seems to be what stops most people from doing anything creative.

    I do a lot of work with people in all ranges of creative endeavors (eg: painting, writing, music composition, etc.) and what I hear most is that people are just afraid that nobody is going to like it. Of course, as mentioned above, harsh and oftentimes hateful criticism that saturates forum-space can often lead a person to stop creating altogether, since they consider these forum members not only their peers, but possibly their support system as well.

    Sure, learning to program from scratch can be a daunting task for anybody, regardless of how intelligent they may be. But there are so many game engines out there (GameSalad for example) that make the bulk of game generation more of an artistic challenge, rather than a programming one.

    My favorite way (and from my experience, the most effective way) to get people to be more creative, is to get them to just let go. I know it sounds like a hippie-driven philosophy, but there’s so much to be said for getting people to just let go of their fears, have no expectations, and just live in the moment of creation.

  • Avatar ImageMika Oja, a level 7 monster with 24 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    Lack of development space. I’m in a fortunate situation where I know a lot of people who are enthusiastic about development and can make a prototype in a 48 hour game jam. However, the biggest problem with any bigger project is that there is no space for teams to get together and develop. Everyone developing on their own from their homes does not really work because the separation shoots down motivation very quickly. To really work as a team, a suitable space is needed, and most people’s homes are not the answer.

    For me it’s also a state of mind thing. It’s much easier to get into the development mindset when I go to a place that is truly tied to development. Such as game jams.
    Working 30+ hours in a weekend is not a problem when working with other people in a space that actually affords team development. At home with no schedules it’s easy to get distracted and go into the “I’ll do it tomorrow” state. If you’ve instead agreed with your team a time and place where development is to happen, the mindset is entirely different.

    The hardest possible scenario for me would be developing alone for myself. With absolutely no outside pressure it’s really easy to let a project fade.

    • Avatar Image
      Mace · 4 days, 10 hours ago· REPLY · Flag

      Getting my point of view here:

      Sure times do matter.
      A game is a real involvement with no security of the result.

      People are often scare by that.

      But from me, creating something like a game need a bunch of guys, not only one.
      What you need is a team, a group, people working with the same passion and the same goal, makin an awesome game.

      And it’s hard to find people with corresponding skills with the same passion as you do.
      Sure it’s much easy to find them online but It’s a real fun to have someone getting drunk with you who can’t talk all night long of the coolest game ever you’regonna create together.

    • Avatar Image
      Mace · 4 days, 10 hours ago· REPLY · Flag

      Getting my point of view here:

      Sure times do matter.
      A game is a real involvement with no security of the result.

      People are often scare by that.

      But from me, creating something like a game need a bunch of guys, not only one.
      What you need is a team, a group, people working with the same passion and the same goal, makin an awesome game.

      And it’s hard to find people with corresponding skills with the same passion as you do.
      Sure it’s much easy to find them online but It’s a real fun to have someone getting drunk with you who can’t talk all night long of the coolest game ever you’regonna create together.

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  • Avatar ImagePaul Warne, a level 7 monster with 1 posts — 5 months, 1 week ago:

    For me it is about culminating the right motivation. This factor is what lead me to If I know I am working on a game that could help alleviate suffering in the world, I find it much easier to overcome any obstacles preventing that game from being made. This motivator has improved my design process and has quickly inspired others to join me in realizing such a project.

  • Avatar ImageFelipe Marchi, a level 4 monster with 3 posts — 3 weeks ago:

    I just spent half a year trying to come up with a good board game design and failed. The goal was to make a game to help the world in any way. So I spent so much time searching for problems I could solve and had an amazing personal growth.. BUT.. with such a broad objective I took forever to start actually designing something, and even when I started making the first sketches I still felt like I was drawing in the dark. Who is this game for? How many players are there going to be? What will be the size of the board? And so many other questions came up… There was no clear goal, no path to follow… and that shook up my motivation badly… So I read more about design and game design methods asking myself: where do designers start? And the only answer I found is… They just do.
    And so far I have concluded that the main issue when creating any kind of game is not having a clear objective. When you know exactly what you want your players to experience, game design comes naturally. I’ve seen some game designers speaking about their games in conferences and they always focus on the player, what is the player going to do or feel. And make it simple, for example Shadow of Colossus, the main goal was to make the player have that space, that reflection that comes while running through the vast scenario. Everything else came in the game was a consequence of that.
    I don’t know if I was clear… but I’m starting over now with a much simpler idea, trying to maintain my motivation, focusing on the main experience that I want my players to feel and let the game arise from that. Let’s see how that goes.

I so want to make games but it seems like my online store, blog and 9-5 job just take up too much time. Being a single income family I have to prioritize money over hobbies

There may be more to it, but what I can see right in front of me is family responsibilities and the fear that making games will never be more than a "hobby" and not something I can afford to spend my time on when I have to bring home the bacon and then be present as a husband and father - it leaves little time and energy for anything else.  I've tried making games in the past, before I was married, but it seemed like I was never in sync with anyone with complementary skill sets, so when I was ready to go, no one else was, and so nothing ever got done.



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