Today I carry on my discussion on being an UnPublished Game Designer.
What is today's subject? Well if you haven't guessed from the title we are talking about:
Now I know how this might sound. Little ol' Loxley telling the big wigs that they don't have passion for their games...
...that's bull shit. Straight up! I have seen plenty of game developers who are super passionate about their games when they belong to all manner of publishing companies; from the smaller one man operations all the way to the companies who if they were capable of being turned into an anthropomorphic being, their special fighting move would be titled: COLOSSUS SMASH!!
It's possible for anyone of any level in a game design house to be passionate about games and what they do. Hell, if you want an example then just YouTube any appearance that Chris Metzen of Blizzard Entertainment has ever done. I've never seen so much passion in one person for something that acts as an artistic extension of themselves.
But this is where the issues begin to arise.
As I mentioned just now, a game being designed, be it the work of a singular person or that of a super team of 1,000 turbo-monkeys, it is an artistic extension of themselves and like many artists you have those who will push out any sort of shit and not care because they are not passionate about the game, only their next pay cheque.
We've all seen it, we've opened a game supplement, read through the rules, stories and narrative, closed the book, walked away and gone; "Well that was a waste of money", and the reason is because you know whoever wrote it just didn't care that much.
It's a tragic state of affairs when you have some games be them video or tabletop that feel so lovingly prepared, and at the same time others, sometimes multi million selling games that are just churned out for the drooling masses.
Does it really matter though?
Regardless of your passion for a game, should it not be judged on the quality of the game itself, it's writing, it's programming and it's final product and not what goes on behind the scenes?
It's a difficult question and one that every consumer must answer for themselves. From a gaming point of view I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. Like I said, it's an artistic extension of it's creator, and like all art it is subjective.
But we're not talking about consumers here, we're talking about developers and designers.
Should a designer care about the level of passion in their work? Maybe, maybe not.
Should a one man operation design system care? Hell yes!
If you are a one man operation, then you need to get people interested in your product. You don't have the big name behind you that Games Workshop, Privateer Press, Electronic Arts and Activision have. It's just you and your unknown brand. YOU need to grab people's attention and show them your game is awesome, and no matter how amazing your game is, a lack of passion will not get people's attention.
Beyond this, to those belonging to published/publishing companies? Well that comes down to whatever they can live with.
Could I sleep at night knowing that I was creating a game that I wasn't passionate about? No, but then I'm not a professional game designer.
So there we go. Take from this what you will.
I think I have made my stance pretty clear, but that by no means I'm right.
Do you have thoughts on this matter? Hit me up in the comments and I'll happily hear your take on this or any other topic I've raised recently.
Until next time, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley