Thursday, December 28, 2017

Don't be a Game Designer

Game design is not an easy position to get into in the games industry. Depending on the game, it might be a more math intensive job than  you are prepared to do. It is often done by the president of a small company, or by a singular person on a small team.

A large company will need a very specialized designer. And junior jobs are highly contested and difficult to get into.

Instead of going to school for game design. Go to school for computer science. Learn statistics, and learn excel (google spreadsheets). Know how to take data and analyze it. Learn how to figure out percent chances of complicated randomness. Be a mathematician.

Practice drawing every day. Practice with a mouse using shapes with google draw. Take a drawing class. Learn how to do pixel art. Learn how to do line shading. Learn how to do simple 3D modeling. Do that instead of going to school for game design.

Learn how to program. Learn how to create a prototype. Create practical prototypes of game ideas when its faster than programming something. Watch youtube videos like Mark Brown's gamemaker's toolkit. Do that instead of going to school for game design.

Then go to school for anything. Anything at all. I still suggest computer science. But if you're more art oriented you can attend a technical school for that. Even history is fine. Just don't go for game design. Have insanely good grades. You do not want a C average. Also go to a really good school.

After all this, you can have a very good chance of being hired for a game design position. But you'll find what most people who get a game design degree learn: if you want to be a game designer, you have to do it yourself. Being an indie is the way up. At which point you're going to want to learn about business and advertising.

You have to do it yourself. A game design degree won't get you there. It might help you with some of these tools, but it won't be extensive enough in any field. You're going to have to learn a lot of this on your own. I suggest going to learn the things that are hard for you to learn. And self study the rest.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Modern Magic: A poem

Hot days, beating down,
burning my eyes,
sun is getting me down.

Dark nights, gonna clown,
burn in hand,
blood moon makes me frown.

I need a ray, not gonna lie,
need to make my day,
winter's come and I got the bye.

Turn two right? I'm gonna die,
Turn two kill hand,
infect killed me with just one guy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Issues with Mobile Blogger App

I'm having trouble uploading pictures from  my phone through the blogger app. Very annoying.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Humor for Creativity

I've been playing Magic the Gathering for years now. And last night, I got to play a draft with the latest set to be release, Unstable. Unstable is part of a series of joke sets released for the card game, but unlike previous attempts, they have made a legitimately fun draft environment for this set. It brings to mind one of my favorite ways of getting myself to think creatively, which is to tell jokes. They don't have to be good jokes, but the act of thinking in the way that jokes make us think, gets our brains going into the kind of thought processes required to be creative.

I often like to tell jokes or joke around when I'm trying to brainstorm a new level design. Sometimes I'll even design a level that is ridiculous to try to execute. Because in doing the joke. In allowing for the crazy, you end up creating heuristics that you can use on the sane creative thing you are going after.

Some people fail to understand why I work the way I do. I've learned to game myself. If I start feeling low I work out. If I can't think of solutions, I put it on the back burner and joke around. I ask myself out loud the question. I try to explain things in as simple a way as possible to my desktop figurines.

So whenever you find yourself stuck, just remember to tell a joke. It doesn't even have to be funny. For example, when I started this post the title was "Only to use the word Alabaster". I typed it without thinking. And it reminded me of the magic card: Angel of Flight Alabaster. From there I thought of the game I had last night, and well... the rest you just read.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Is there a purpose for Romance stories?

Romance stories have a place in this world.

Not as fodder to sensitive people. Not as porn for women. But as guides of idealized actions.

That’s what happens a lot of times with fan fiction stories. People write idealizations. Perfect scenarios. This is where fanfiction gains a great deal of stigma compared to published works. There is a lack of true threat. People can only win so much before it becomes boring in a story.

But in real life, we accept winning over and over as amazing. Especially when we can understand that someone has worked towards that goal. But we fail to see the failures. Take, Michael Phelps for example. He wins. I mean, he WINS. But we must understand that before each win he has achieved, he failed. He fails somewhere in his life. We just don’t see it.

Stories require conflict and success. It needs imperfections. Finally, because humans are creatures of patterns, we have to connect dots and causality.

But real life isn’t like that.

Real life isn’t a romance story. We don’t have a meet cute. We have exposure and time. We have conversations and hormones. We have false starts and mixed signals.

So, how do romance novels help?

They give us a roadmap on behavior. Where the negative lies, and where it can transition to positives. It shows people how behavior can change, and what the possible results can be. It asks the question: If you love this person, why do you not behave in this way?

In the end we are our actions. Changing our actions, changes who we are, regardless of the reason.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ending 2017

Its been a few years since my last post. Having work and projects can reduce available time for creative endeavors.

Though I've been gone for a hot minute, I'm still interested in continuing my evaluation of games, writing and culture. As such I'm hoping this post will spark a resurgence of my attempts of chronicling my progress across projects.

Of note some of my older posts are no longer valid. Things like the chrome app store going away and UDK no longer being worth learning. This of course leads to progress. Which is why newer content must be created.

Current Projects:
Stallion by Moonlight (Novel)
Pangoria's Cube (Puzzle Game)
Unannounced Web Project est. 2019