This week I felt completely void of ideas. I spent a lot of the week trying to force myself to think of a game idea, but it just wasn’t working. Then before I knew it, it was Sunday and I hadn’t started ANYTHING. Usually when I push off making my Game a Week game, I at least have some sort of idea that brews in the back of my head all week. However, this time – nothing.
As the pressure of coming up with and idea grew, it became more and more difficult to create. To distract myself from the fact that I simply lacked the ability to be productive on a game, I spent a lot of my week doing ‘busy work’. I started development of an app that will package all of my GAW games into one standalone executable, read a lot of comic books, started an ask.fm, and even cleaned the entirety of the place I was staying. I did most of that to make myself feel better about not working on anything ‘real’, but at the same time I was also hoping that I would be inspired by anything. Unfortunately, I just still had nothing.
I resorted to brainstorming with some friends, and then finally it was suggested to me that I should make a game where you have to do something in 60 seconds. That evolved into doing something in 60 seconds while literally on a clock, and so on and so on.
Thus, at 9pm Sunday night, I began development on Week 20.
What went right
I made this game quickly. One thing that Game a Week has really done for me, is that it has made me very good at creating things very fast. This now means that when I do have a new idea, I know that it won’t take me long to prototype it and see if it’s something I’d like to pursue further.
In addition to that, this week I was actually able to put some time into focusing making some ‘real’ artwork. I sat down and came up with a color scheme that I liked, created some simple sprites (except for the main character – I poached that from my Train Jam game), and made some simple animations. Instead of focusing purely on the gameplay, I started my journey towards becoming a better all around ‘game maker’.
What went wrong
Same thing that goes wrong every week – I started this way too late. I didn’t have enough to time to really explore the idea before falling asleep – and as it was Sunday, I couldn’t ‘sleep on it’ and return to it the next day. This week, Game a Week almost felt like a burden. It was something that I really didn’t look forward to and something that I just felt no passion for. I’m hoping that I get my groove back soon, but as it stands now, I feel almost burnt out on making these little prototypes.
What I learned
It’s not THAT hard to make art that is a step up from ‘programmer art’. With the help of websites such as Color Scheme Designer and the use of simple shapes and a minimal amount of effort, you can make something that is at least slightly desirable to look at.