Week 12 — A final reflection for development practice.

2020-12-07

Week 12 is entitled Finale, and I’ll cap things off by doing a tiny retrospective, and the week 12 challenge.

Retrospective

I’m very thankful for being shown the value of being a reflective practitioner. I sometimes write in my paper journal before bed time as a sort of meditative and mindfulness practice. And sometimes I write the odd blog post, but those range from creative writing pieces to recording tiny bits of my life for posterity. I’ve not really written from a critical reflection point of view, and will definitely keep it up as part of my ongoing professional development.

Towards the end of the module, I participated in a couple of game jams, and realised my art could do with much betterment, so I’ve stated another SMART goal for this purpose.

Reflective journaling

Week 12 challenge

Summarise your thoughts and speculations about the work you would like to carry out during the next module. Outline your thoughts about what you would like to do for your Final Project.

The next module is Game Development, during which I will be developing, enriching, and combining skills across the art, design and programming disciplines in order to become able to create a small indie game as an individual.

So, the big question is, What Game Should I Make?

Out of the many games I’ve seen in my life, some were small adaptations of what came before, and some broke completely new ground. I’ve had lots of fun playing games from both groups.

As a gamer, I like the new and shiny, but I also like nostalgia, and Hades is proof that even roguelikes (McHugh 2018) can be done in fresh ways (Games 2020).

As a game maker, I won’t do anything unless I have a passion for it, and where there’s passion, I think players will notice.

Automobile inventor Henry Ford once said "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." The same is true with video games. I believe that most gamers don't know what they want until it is shown to them. That is why it is important for game designers to have ideas born from passion.

(Rogers 2014: 35)

Passion. What will instill passion? An ideology? An art style? Perhaps a very nostalgic influence which reminds me of those glorious days as a kid?

I don’t know yet. What I do know is that as a designer I have to be widely read, keep my eyes and ears open, and draw inspiration from everything that is around me. What skills do a game designer need?

In short, all of them. Almost anything that you can be good at can become a useful skill for a game designer.

(Schell 2019: 3)

Jesse Schell goes on to iterate the following non-exhaustive list of skills: animation, anthropology, architecture, business, cinematography, creative writing, economics, engineering, history, management, mathematics, music, psychology, sound design, and visual arts. Not only can these skills be applied on the job, but they can be part of the game content too (e.g. a game about business might benefit from knowing how business works).

What game do they want? © University of Rochester

I’ve been a bit guilty of mostly reading game design books and making games in my spare time recently, so I’ve by no means been a “well rounded individual” these past few months. But, hey - I’m just starting out, right? I have to get the basics out of the way first :-)

I’m left with a tall order: make a game that I’m passionate about which draws on my own unique skills and experiences, and that is fun to play.

Bibliography

  1. MCHUGH, Alex. 2018. “What Is a Roguelike?” Green Man Gaming Blog. Available at: https://www.greenmangaming.com/blog/what-is-a-roguelike/ [accessed 7 Dec 2020].
  2. GAMES, Supergiant. 2020. “Hades.” Available at: https://www.supergiantgames.com/games/hades/ [accessed 7 Dec 2020].
  3. ROGERS, Scott. 2014. Level up! the Guide to Great Video Game Design. 2. ed. Chichester: Wiley.
  4. SCHELL, Jesse. 2019. The Art of Game Design: a Book of Lenses. Third edition. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, a CRC title, part of the Taylor & Francis imprint, a member of the Taylor & Francis Group, the academic division of T&F Informa, plc.

This post is part of my critical reflective journal and was written during week 12 of the module development practice.

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