Doh! It looks like my last attempt at blogging didn’t go so well. One short post about 5 months ago, we will just classify that as a failed attempt and start this again. What have I even been doing with my time if I haven’t been blogging? Well, PushButton Labs decided to go their separate ways, and I am now a founding partner at Spotkin, a game production company. We haven’t officially launched yet, but we will be making ourselves known to the world at GDC this year. This will be the first year I have gone to GDC, so I am nervous and excited to see how it goes. I have been pretty heads down with starting a new company and working on our first game, but I feel like I have a lot more to talk about this time around. Get ready for my game thoughts, quandaries, and some development posts our first upcoming mobile game.
A recent article on Gamasutra inspired me to throw my two cents into the discussion. The article asked the question, “Should developers be obsessive gamers — or remain outside of the influence of other titles?” This question brings up two extremes, but I believe that the answer is a happy medium between the two. Game devs, regardless of what their job is, should all be involved with games somewhat. This doesn’t mean that they need to be playing all games all the time, but they should always be at least reading about current games or watching them on youtube.
Some people say it’s better to “design in a void” and not get influenced by other titles, but I have just never felt that way. I feel like all of the games I have played/read about/watched over my whole life have given me a vast library of design knowledge to pull from. I have countless examples in my mind of fun and bad gaming experiences. Would I call myself an “obsessive gamer?” Definitely not anymore. There is no way I could find as much time to dedicate to playing games compared to when I was in middle school (and I don’t really have the desire to play that much anymore). However, I am still always out at least looking at all sorts games. If I’m not checking out a new iPad game, I may be watching a video of some other game, always on the pulse of what’s going on in the industry.