I was thinking quite a bit about Super Hexagon this past week and I wanted to create an experience where I could evoke many of the same feelings skill-based of accomplishment and frustration (accompstration, if you will). I devised a game where shapes would constantly fly towards the screen and the player would either rotate the screen to get the ‘player piece’ through or move the mouse to avoid the walls of said flying objects – I ultimately settled on the latter.
What went right
The only thing that really ‘went right’ this week is that I made a game. Other than that, please see the ‘What went wrong’ section for more information about this week’s development process
This, however, is one of the very best things about the game a week challenge. No matter how ‘bad’ I think the game is, how un-fun, or even how broken it is, at least I’ve still created a game. Every single week, even if the game is ultimately a disappointment to me – it is still a game. These micro-accomplishments have been so incredibly helpful proving my worth as a game developer to myself (and maybe to others, but at the moment I’m focusing on my feelings towards myself), because every week I can look back to see that I put thought into a game system and created something that people can play – that is amazing to me. Even on my most disappointing weeks, the feeling of accomplishment far outweighs all of the negative.
What went wrong
This week fell victim to yet another incredibly busy week in the land of Adriel. I started my week in San Diego and ended my week in Orlando – between those two I also visited Los Angeles (for a day longer than intended thanks to my inability to read parking signs) and Vancouver. In addition to the traveling, Train Jam is fast approaching and my larger project is crunching to get a demo ready for GDC.
Needless to say – I was busy.
However, Game a Week has become so ingrained in my weekly schedule that it doesn’t even really cross my mind anymore to skip a week (okay, maybe a little – but it’s much easier to ignore that little voice nowadays). I’m not setting out to make amazing games – I’m just setting out to make games. So, even though I didn’t have a moment to spare for game a week until I got on my plane to Orlando on sunday (after having legitimately pulling an all-nighter on Saturday), I still powered through extreme exhaustion to make something.
I wish I had started thinking about my game a bit earlier. This week’s game, even though I was busy, could have been more solidly conceived earlier in the week. However, I had simply moved game a week entirely to the back burner of my mind until way later than I should have. The end result was something that wasn’t challenging, engaging, or fun – just . . . . tedious.
What I learned
Making games is good! Even when I’m disappointed in the end product of a game a week game, at least I’ve still made something. Micro-accomplishments are motivating, and I should attempt to keep game a week further towards the front of my brain during the week.
Secondary lesson of the week: Time sure flies. I swear it was only a week ago that I thought to myself “wow, can’t believe how quickly Train Jam sold out – good thing I still have a few months to figure everything out”. EEK!