Some of my earliest memories involve dreaming up my own games. I can pinpoint it all the way back goofy scribbled drawings of Megaman bosses that were awesome in a really terrible way (Raiden Man? Funny that I now work on Mortal Kombat). I would doodle and scribble and dream of games all the live long day… What’s the point here? The point, is that it was a solo activity. It was mental masturbation. It was self flagellated fantasy. I was alone, as we naturally are when we dream up games in our spare time. But that is not how I have spent the last 4 years.
No, in fact, it has been the exact opposite. Designing at RAD was always a collaborative effort. A meeting of the minds. The early days of a project are LIVED in the conference rooms. A life that is predicated on long moments of pregnant silence intercut with fervent dashes of meaning and progress, and maybe just a little bit too much youtube in between. You can almost imagine a maelstrom of ideas weaving like a tapestry over the conference room table. All fighting for dominance. Ok, maybe that image is a little strong, but the point is that you are never alone. At least not for very long. It is true that we break to design on our own, but it is always for the express purpose of coming back to the group refreshed. Ready to share more ideas with the group, or to solve a problem.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that I wish to make better use of my free time, so recently I have been writing down game ideas. An activity that exists to enliven my creativity and bolster my experience. The PROBLEM is that the entire affair has felt wrong. It has felt horribly, critically flawed, and I realized that with every fiber of my being I wished–needed–to share with the group. What group? There is no group. Just me!
An odd feeling. Part of me feels I’ve been ruined. It feels eerily like a lack in confidence. I don’t TRUST my own ideas. Well, that’s true. I don’t. No one should trust their own ideas. Four years of experiences are screaming at me not to trust my own ideas, because invariably some insight eludes you on your own. You miss a glaring flaw, or you miss a glaring addition.
On the upsides of, “things beaten into me in game development”, I spend much more time on paper design. A good by product of living this life. Four years ago I would have said, “yeah that’s good enough” and jumped right into making things. Is that what I should be making? Who knows! Certainly not me.
Measure twice, cut once.
Wisdom that can only be learned by personally being the asshole who never even bothered to measure in the first place.