Game Development Reference
It's been a genuine pleasure over the last several years to watch new studios spring up right out of college and
elbow their way in alongside the big studios by virtue of great ideas and effective execution.
“ My favorite advice to give everybody just starting out in games is to pursue the things you truly want to
be doing for the rest of your career. First of all, you'll be more passionate and motivated, which means your
work will be higher quality and you'll be happier every day,” notes Smith. “Secondly, you'll develop your skills
and over time become known as someone who does that kind of thing. The last thing you want is to pigeon-
hole yourself as a great Zynga cloner when you'd really rather be making innovative first-person simulations or
something. So don't just take any opportunity that comes along; seek out or create the situations where you get
to do what you love. I've had people thank me for this advice, and zero reports of regret so far. I feel very much
like it got me where I am today.”
Design because the Web, Facebook, and iOS Are Now the
World's Best Platforms for Art and Creativity
I have been writing about and working on games for more than 10 years and was lucky to help develop projects
that were revolutionary, if only for a while. Years before anyone was talking about alternate reality gaming,
Electronic Arts' Majestic integrated voicemail and satellite images into a multimedia experience. Years before
anyone took virtual goods, avatars, and user-generated 3D content seriously, Linden Lab's Second Life stirred
imaginations for several exciting years. But, for various reasons, both of these projects were ahead of their time.
It's no longer time to be ahead of your time. There is no better time to be creating games. When I started
to write and develop games, tens of millions played them. Now hundreds of millions do. The platforms you've
read about in this topic have turned gaming into a truly mass-market medium, on a par with motion pictures.
Moreover, all three platforms make it possible to build a business from your passion and develop with more
freedom and opportunities to take risks than any other medium in the past. Even web games made with an in-
tent to be serious, disturbing works of art can often find an audience in the millions—more than most works of
literature or acclaimed indie movies. iOS games like Waking Mars, which gives you new ways to experience
and think about the world, are finding a ready audience. Games like Hatch, which gives you new ways to think
about ourselves, will likely do the same.
So the real question to ask yourself is this: Why would you want to miss the chance to develop games now,
when there may never be a better time to do so?
I hope this topic, dear designer, helps you answer that question for yourself. I can't wait to play your games.
Here are the key points we covered in this chapter:
Design now because success usually comes from unexpected places.
The market has always been oversaturated with games. Big hits often come from unexpected places. Like
Small iOS/Facebook/web developers have some special advantages over the big publishers (who often
fund indie game designers for that very reason).
It's better to design a game you love, because all the work you'll do to make it won't feel like work at all.